FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 16: Tim Tebow #5 of the New England Patriots warms up prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Gillette Stadium on August 16, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Tim Tebow is some 18 months removed from leading the Broncos to a playoff win over the Steelers. In the year-and-a-half since, he's was traded to the Jets where he served as Mark Sanchez's backup, was released earlier this offseason, and finally signed by the Patriots this summer.
The former Heisman Trophy winner has enjoyed the game's biggest successes (he was a national champion with the Florida Gators) and most disappointing lows (sitting behind Sanchez certainly qualifies). With the Patriots, Tebow looks a lot like the quarterback we've seen during his three-year NFL journey: inconsistent, inaccurate and mostly ineffective.
On the upside, coach Bill Belichick said earlier this week that Tebow has "definitely" improved. That's good, but Belichick didn't offer much context; improved compared to what? The coach also didn't go so far as to commit to Tebow making the final 53-man roster. The first wave of cuts come next week but Tebow seems unconcerned.
No,” Tebow said Tuesday, via the Boston Herald. “I’m just worried about improving every single day.”
Against the Bucs in last weekend's preseason game, Tebow was 1 for 7 for -1 yards, and that included an interception. While he and Belichick both use words like "improve," negative passing yards won't cut it for any quarterback and any level.
“Well, you definitely want to do better in some areas, and also you have different things happen that you just try to handle the best way you can,” Tebow said. “We did some different things (offensively), but whatever’s called, we run and just have to execute.”
Ultimately, Tebow's place on this roster will be because of his versatility. Belichick has admitted that the Patriots need two offenses -- one for the run-first Tebow, and another for traditional pocket passers Tom Brady and Ryan Mallet -- which could eat into valuable practice time once the season starts.
The real question, however, is this: If the Pats and Tebow part ways, is there another NFL team willing to give him a chance?