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Was Tim Tebow's final performance enough to win him a Patriots job?

August 30, 2013|By Sam Farmer
  • Tim Tebow of the New England Patriots throws a pass against the New York Giants on Aug. 29.
Tim Tebow of the New England Patriots throws a pass against the New York Giants… (Jared Wickerham / Getty…)

Tim Tebow threw a couple of touchdown passes Thursday night in New England’s 28-20 exhibition victory over the New York Giants. Question is, was his performance enough to secure a spot on the Patriots’ 53-man roster as the third-string quarterback behind starter Tom Brady and backup Ryan Mallett? Patriots Coach Bill Belichick, in his typically opaque style, wasn’t going to tip his hand on that after the game. Consider this less-than-illuminating exchange with reporters: Question: Can you comment on Tim Tebow’s performance? Belichick: I think we had a lot of guys that stepped up and competed well tonight. We’ll see how it all looks on film and take a closer look at everybody. Q: Should we read into certain guys being on the field in the second half as being people you need to take a look at, people who might be closer to the end of the roster than the front. Belichick: I look at how they play. Look at it however you want. I don’t care. Look at it upside down or backwards if you want. I’m just trying to look at how they play. Q: What would factor into keeping Tim Tebow? Belichick: Whatever we do is what we think is in the best interest of this football team, the 2013 team, whatever that is at any position. We’ll do what we think is best for the team. Q: What specifically would keep him? Belichick: Whoever we keep will be because of the value they bring to the team. Q: I’m asking specifically about him. Belichick: The things we feel like he can do that will help our team. So will Tebow survive the final roster cut? I would be mildly surprised if he did, even after his performance in the exhibition finale. As a third quarterback he's a luxury for a team that could use that roster spot elsewhere. Despite the fact receiver Wes Welker is gone, tight end Rob Gronkowski is injured, and tight end Aaron Hernandez is in jail, the Patriots are still the best team in the AFC East. The gap isn't so wide, however, that they can tinker and experiment with players the way they did 5-10 years ago, when their roster was solid across the board. As for Tebow changing positions and playing tight end or running back, as some people have suggested, that's not going to happen. It's too late in the game, and the competition is too intense, for a player to learn an entirely new position at this stage and be better than, say, a street free agent who has played the position his entire career. If Tebow makes the roster, it's because of who he is as a locker-room leader and citizen, more than what he can bring to the Patriots on the field. He has the support of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and by all indications Belichick likes and appreciates him as a person, as Tebow's coaches always seem to. If he doesn't make the roster, and doesn't wind up with another NFL team, at least he would be leaving on a high note.

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