It finally happened. Some team took a chance on free agent quarterback Tim Tebow. And not just any team. The New England Patriots broke the relative calm of the NFL offseason on Monday afternoon.
With that, the football world was overtaken with analysis about whether or not the Tebow-Patriots experiment will work. For the record, an initial survey of the landscape seems to reveal a punditocracy mostly on board with the idea. After all, this is Tebow and the Patriots we're talking about here.
Let's delve into the central theses consuming approximately 50 percent of the Internet and 90 percent of ESPN and NFL Network programming right now.
1. He is/isn't going to be a quarterback
What position is Tebow going to play? For now, he's working as a quarterback. That's the official word. However, official word hasn't stopped boundless speculation that Tebow might also be chipping in to help the oft-injured Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, play some fullback, line up under center on third-and-short, work the special teams beat or provide the kind of moral compass the Patriots are obviously missing.
He's versatile. More importantly, Bill Belichick loves versatility. One thing not being pointed out is that we've yet to see Tim Tebow use said versatility much and never with anything more than average results.
We can fantasize about all the wacky schemes the Patriots can draw up with Tim Tebow, but the coaches aren't taking Tom Brady off the field unless they have to. Sometimes, football is a pretty simple game.
2. His quarterback coaches have fixed him
Question for you: If a little coaching was all it took, then why is league still filled with bad quarterbacks, many of whom play for the Jets? I just can't believe it's that easy to fix a guy's deformed throwing motion enough to make it viable in the NFL.
Tebow has apparently worked with a small platoon of quarterback coaches. Established QB guru Chris Weinke at IMG Academies has been working with him since his release from the Jets. In April, Dennis Gile, another one of his quarterback coaches, talked to SB Nation about Steve Clarkson getting all the credit for Tebow improving his mechanics.
All of Tebow's quarterback coaches claim that he's improved and has what it takes to succeed in the NFL. Huge surprise that a service provider would be touting the rewards of his service.
3. Bill Belichick is a genius
You can skip War Room and the other canonical tracts about BB's greatness. The guy can coach. One look at his vitae and the last decade-plus leading the Patriots says it all. But every genius has limits. Not every player Bill Belichick picks up turns to gold. I haven't heard much about Albert Haynesworth and a long list of failed Patriots wide receivers over the last 16 hours of Belichick beatification.
One thing the Double B does do well on the personnel side is take chances on players. And Tebow is definitely a player worth looking at in the right situation. If I can retreat into the versatility trope that has been repeated ad nauseam over the last 24 hours, having a third quarterback capable of doing other things adequately isn't the worst idea in the world.
Something else to remember about Belichick's track record for taking chances on players: He's not afraid to cut bait and walk away from them. Tebow hasn't made the final 53-man roster yet.
4. This is really about the Jets
Of the things written and said about Tebow since Monday afternoon, this one is absolutely my favorite. The Patriots don't need Tim Tebow or any other reject from Gang Green to understand the Jets' playbook. But that's not even the best line floating around about the AFC East rivals.
Would the Patriots pick up Tebow just to needle the Jets? No, probably not, but I secretly think we should ignore practicality and embrace spite as a motivation. It's as logical as anything else being said about the situation right now.
5. The Patriots can kill the media circus
Media means one thing to Belichick and the Patriots: distraction. Nobody gets away with blowing off a press conference like New England's head coach. The man's gone to Nixonian lengths to squelch the press throughout his career. Therefore, the thinking goes, it's a perfect precondition for Tebow because Belichick will put him in a media blackout.
It's been less than 24 hours since the news broke. The Internet is flooded with Tebow reports, columns, videos, blog posts, slideshows and anything else you can break down into a series of 1s and 0s. As of 9:45 a.m. ET on Tuesday, NFL.com had 14 different links to Tebow items on the top half of the page. Live trucks from ESPN, NFL Network, CNN, etc. were setting up Tuesday morning outside of Gillette Stadium.
Bill Belichick can't control the Tebow show any more than he can control the Giants in the playoffs. There's also Tebow himself feeding the frenzy, showing up at various Six Flags Over Jesus suburban megachurches. Good luck putting a lid on that.
The media controls the Tebow circus, and as long as he attracts the eyeballs of a confused America, they don't need Bill Belichick's cooperation.