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Debate Friday: Legit interest in Tebow?

What should we read into the former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback's visit to New England?


Florida QB Tim Tebow. AP Photo

Face it, you can't get enough of this topic.

Anytime Tim Tebow's name is mentioned, it garners attention – and strong reactions no matter what you think of him.

Tebow's back in the news again in these parts, after having been taken out to dinner by head coach Bill Belichick in Boston's North End. NFL teams are allowed to have as many as 30 draft prospects visit them prior to the draft, and in the Patriots' case, Tebow was one of their 30. But a pre-draft visit isn't necessarily an indication that a team has serious interest in choosing that player.

Which leads us to this week's Patriots Football Weekly Debate Friday question.

Is New England's interest in Tim Tebow legitimate?

Read the arguments from the PFW writers, then cast your vote in this week's poll.

Erik Scalavino says, "Yes …"

As I argued back in February in our other Tebow-related Debate Friday, I think there's a spot for him in the NFL. Whether that's at QB or not remains to be seen. But he can play football, and if any coach in the league can find a place for him, it's Belichick.

Bill probably already has more knowledge of Tebow as a quarterback than any other signal-caller in this draft, given his close relationship with Florida head coach Urban Meyer and the many trips Belichick has made to Gainesville over the years. The makings of a Tebow-Belichick bond had already started well before the former Gator arrived in New England this week.

Belichick and his staff have said numerous times in the past that such visits are typically used either to gain more information about a prospect (not just projected first-rounders) or to gain answers to lingering questions. My guess is, the latter explains this week's Tebow trip.

If, in fact, the Patriots think they can use Tebow at a position other than QB, this might have been one of the first times Belichick would have had to address the issue with him. Because let's face it, on visits to The Swamp, Bill's not going to have the kind of time to get into that philosophical discussion. So, the Patriots brass could have been trying to gauge Tebow's interest in playing in another spot.

And if they do think he can be an heir-apparent for Tom Brady, they may have needed time to explain how he would go through his development and learning process over the next few years.

Of all the coaches in football, no one is ever more prepared than Bill Belichick. Especially when it comes to a rare or unknown situation. Tebow certainly fits in that category.
~ ES

Andy Hart says, "No …"

Call it a smokescreen. Call it a dog and pony show. Call it whatever you want, but I'm not really buying the Patriots recent public praising and parading of Tebow.

I have a very unscientific smell test that I live my life by, and this doesn't come anywhere near passing. It stinks, worse than a frat house the day after the annual chili cook-off.

Let me get this straight. Bill Belichick has known Tebow throughout his entire career at Florida. Visited with him seemingly each and every spring. Probably saw him at the Combine. Likely has seen every play of his college career, some more than once. May have even shared a practice field with him. And understanding g all that, Belichick needed a very out-in-the-open dinner in the North End to get to know God's gift to college football a little bit better?

There were even reports that Tebow brought along a football and was standing outside the North End eatery talking to fans. Does that really feel like the Patriots, clandestine way of doing business? Or a Vince McMahon production?

If you're buying this recent Tebow-based media tour by Belichick and Co., you should probably pick up a Sham-Wow! on your way home today to soak up the foot of water that's flooded your basement.

I won't pretend to understand the exact reason for the recent events. Maybe Belichick is trying to pull the wool over other NFL teams and get them to draft Tebow higher than they otherwise might. Maybe he's doing his pal Tebow a favor by trying to pump his draft stock. Maybe he's doing coaching bud Urban Meyer a favor by trying to get his player drafted higher in light of the perception that the Florida head coach didn't get his quarterback NFL-ready in his time in Gainesville.

I'll admit I'm not smart enough to know why Belichick and the Patriots are handling the Tebow situation as they have in recent weeks. But I'm also nowhere near dumb enough to take it at face value. By the way, that's all the time I have for today as I need to go put in my daily six-minute workout that will have me looking like a Greek God in just two weeks. What? That's what the infomercial promised.
~ AH

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