EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


August 18, 2013

Tebow did nothing to quell doubters

There was only one reason to watch many future bartenders playing football in the second half of the New England Patriots’ exhibition home opener on Friday night.

Tim Tebow.

The guy is interesting and, when he’s not playing football, very likeable.

Well, Friday night was another shot in the dark, another 30 minutes of football when he could confound the experts who say he can’t play quarterback in the National Football League.

Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett were done. Brady was Brady, completing 11 of 12 passes over two possessions, and Mallett was Mallett, inconsistent but showing signs his arm if very strong (12-for-20, 137 yards, 1 TD).

The stage was set, on a platter, for Tebow to, at least, look decent. Complete a few passes, run for a few first downs, maybe get in the end zone once and then call it a day.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

Well, it was asking too much, apparently, as Tebow looked like the guy all of his naysayers said he was ... an awful thrower of the football.

Tebow’s stat line is one of the worst I’ve ever seen for a quarterback not named Mark Sanchez: 1-for-7, minus-1 yard, 1 interception.

What was worse than the stat line was watching him throw the ball, oftentimes with zero chance of completing. I found myself excited, Tebow back to pass ... he looks left ... he looks right ... he rolls left and slings the ball 10 yards down the field to, well, no one.

The ball hits the turf with a receiver not within 10 yards. Talk about a downer.

Tebow did rush for 30 yards on six carries, but we’ve always known running, cutting and grinding his way down field is his forte.

Before everyone writes Tebow off, and wishes he’d go to the CFL or something, understand his role here, which Patriots coach Bill Belichick slightly alluded to last week.

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