Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Belichick Likes Tebow: What It Means

We already knew that Bill Belichick was a Tim Tebow fan. There was no way Belichick was NOT going to praise Tebow, when asked about him.

The Patriots coach is very close to Florida coach Urban Meyer, and had -- numerous times -- talked about how intrigued he was by Tebow, particularly in creating favorable mismatches using a mobile QB.

In fact, Belichick's praise of Tebow was a huge reason why -- for a long time (going back to September 2008) -- I was entirely convinced that the Patriots would be the team to draft him.

I also continue to think that Belichick is, by far, the best coach for Tebow in the NFL. And, for Tebow more than any other player, coaching context will matter.

Belichick is not only the most innovative head coach in the league, but he has complete job security. That is the ultimate combination to maximize the value of Tebow. In turn, Tebow -- and Meyer -- trust Belichick implicitly to maximize Tebow's talents.

Here is what Belichick had to say about Tebow, following Tebow's workout for the Patriots this weekend:
Great career, great player. I think it’s obvious that within the last six weeks, that he’s worked on his mechanics and they’ve improved, which is a credit to him. He’s very coachable and he works very hard. I’m sure that whatever he feels he needs to do, he’ll work very hard at, whatever that is. Athletically, he tested very well at the combine, which you can see on the field.

My sense of Tim Tebow is that if you asked him to play nose, he’d play nose. I think he’s that kind of kid. Whatever you ask him to do, I think he’d do.
The Patriots certainly have enough draft picks in the 2nd round to make a play for Tebow. It isn't Belichick's style to trade up, but he might have to, if he really wants to take Tebow.

I honestly think that Belichick would unleash Tebow on the league in a way that no other NFL coach could or would. It's not just using him as a QB, but anywhere. (By the way, while there's no way that Belichick pulls Brady on 4th-and-2 against the Colts, I think that if Brady was unavailable, Belichick is entirely confident he could have devised a scheme for Tebow to get those 2 yards and seal the game's result in favor of the Pats.)

Here is arguably the biggest takeaway: There is no more powerful endorsement -- at least for the media continuously re-framing Tebow's draft status -- like that of Belichick.

And even if Belichick is playing pre-draft mind-games -- and, although the NFL is all-business (and Belichick the most all-business of anyone in the league), I cannot see him abusing his close relationship with Urban Meyer by using Tebow to angle for other, non-Tebow draft dealing -- his comments will give Tebow's draft stock a huge boost.

-- Dan

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