The Patriots couldn’t keep Tim Tebow completely off limits to the media after Tuesday’s minicamp practice, but did the best they could to shut down the Tebow Media Circus.
After working with coaches for about 10 minutes after practice, Tebow greeted a throng of at least 50 media members with a statement about joining the Patriots. He even showed a little humility and humor in his answer, mentioning that his teams haven’t had much success against the Patriots in his first three NFL seasons, but he did not answer any questions.
“I’ll speak loudly. Relax, guys,” he said to the reporters as they jostled for position.
“First and foremost I just want to thank the Patriots for giving me an opportunity. I’m very thankful. It’s such an honor to be a Patriot and play for coach (Bill) Belichick and coach (Josh) McDaniels and learn under Tom (Brady) and be part of this great franchise and a part of a very successful franchise. I found that out first-hand, lost to them several times, so it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
“I’m looking forward to working hard every single day and getting a lot better and learning under some great people. That’s all I got. Thank you all so much and God bless. I’m sure we’ll be talking more soon.”
As for the actual football part of practice, Tebow was mostly a bystander as he tries to learn a new playbook and a new offense. He worked with Brady and Ryan Mallett during individual drills, and threw passes with his new teammates in drills in which there was no defense involved.
But when the Patriots broke into 11-on-11 drills, Tebow was strictly an observer for 95 percent of practice as Brady and Mallett took all of the repetitions. Tebow mostly stood next to McDaniels, the team’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, and occasionally next to his old college teammate, Aaron Hernandez, who is rehabbing a shoulder injury. Tebow also spent a few minutes speaking with team owner Robert Kraft on the field toward the end of practice.
Tebow finally got some action in the final 10 minutes of practice, quarterbacking the third-team offense against the third-team defense. He completed 4-of-7 passes overall with a couple of drops, but Tebow also held the ball too long on several plays and likely would have been sacked in a real game.
The breakdown of his performance:
• Swing pass complete to the fullback.
• (Shotgun) Held the ball a long time, finally scrambled and rolled out to his left, threw a deep wobbly pass incomplete.
• Threw a deep fade pass to Matthew Slater incomplete down the left sideline.
• Completed a play-action slant pass for 15 yards.
• Held the ball a long time again, finally threw a crossing pattern that was low but still hit Gaffney in the numbers, which he dropped.
• Held the ball a long time yet again, threw all the way across the field complete to the tight end in the right flat.
• Completed a 10-yard dig pass.
Then the horn sounded, and Tebow’s first day of practice was in the books.
Correction: Because of a reporting error, it was mistakenly reported in a previous version that Jabar Gaffney was catching passes from Tebow.