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Analysis: Five reasons Tim Tebow will and won't succeed with Patriots

4:13 AM, Jun 11, 2013   |    comments
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Will the third time be the charm as Tim Tebow prepares to join his next NFL team, the New England Patriots?

Maybe ... and maybe not:


1. Bill Belichick knows how to maximize talent: This is the same head coach who made former starting wideout Troy Brown into an effective defensive back when the New England secondary was decimated by injuries.

Remember moonlighting tight end Mike Vrabel? The former linebacker caught 12 passes in his NFL career ... all for touchdowns.

Belichick also gets a lot of credit for recently re-popularizing double-tight end formations and making them effective and all the rage in league circles. In short, the coach is always on the cutting edge. If anyone knows who to get the most out of Tebow's arm - or legs, or the rest of his body - it's probably Belichick.

2. Josh McDaniels has had a vision for Tebow: The Patriots offensive coordinator didn't get much chance to deploy Tebow, whom McDaniels traded up to get in the first round of the 2010 draft while running the Denver Broncos, before he was fired from his post.

But clearly he saw something in the former Heisman Trophy winner that made him think he was worth such a pricey NFL investment. (And given the lack of established wideouts in New England - journeymen Danny Amendola and Michael Jenkins are the most accomplished - why not go with some run-heavy, Tebow-flavored formations?)

3. No pressure: Tebow led the Broncos to the AFC West crown in 2011 (ironically, their season was resoundingly ended by the Patriots in the playoffs) after being thrust into the lineup midway through a then-disastrous campaign following a near mutiny by the fan base. He was acquired last year by the New York Jets, who purportedly had major plans to involve the scatter-armed quarterback into their offense, though that never really happened.

In New England, expectations should be more than tempered, because Tom Brady isn't coming off the field unless he's on a stretcher.

4. Familiarity: Tebow spent the 2012 season studying AFC East opponents and brings some insider knowledge of the Jets, though New York's offense is now in overhaul mode. Even if the Pats, who once struck gold after claiming Jets castoff Danny Woodhead, glean a few helpful nuggets from Tebow, this move could at least pay a few dividends.

5. Backup QBs have done well in Foxborough: After being coached up by Belichick for three years, Matt Cassel stepped in for injured Brady in 2008 and played excellent football for most of his 15 starts. Drew Bledsoe came off the bench in the 2001 AFC Championship Game and led the Pats past the Pittsburgh Steelers into Super Bowl XXXVI. Even Doug Flutie, another oft-maligned former Heisman winner, had his famous dropkick moment courtesy of Belichick. (Yes, we're stretching.)

Nate Davis, USA TODAY Sports

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