- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 11, 2013

So the New England Patriots now have a left-handed quarterback with a scatter arm, a flair for the dramatic and a feel for leadership.

Yep, Tim Tebow.

He might as well be Frankenstein’s monster, with Patriots coach Bill Belichick in the role of visionary doctor (or mad scientist).

Tebow certainly isn’t going to unseat Tom Brady as the starter, and he probably won’t challenge Ryan Mallett as backup. Hey, Tebow couldn’t even get his favorite number _ 15_ for New England’s three-day minicamp because it belongs to Mallett.

But if the Patriots see any quarterbacking promise in Tebow _ he did, after all, lead the Broncos to a playoff berth in 2011, with a win over Pittsburgh in overtime _ they have the luxury of developing it slowly. They will do it within their system, not with any extravagant shifts to the wildcat or any other funky offenses; the Patriots aren’t about to take their certain Hall of Fame QB off the field for any significant snaps if Brady is healthy.

Belichick likes the idea that Tebow’s skill set could lend itself to using him at a variety of positions: tight end, H-back, fullback, whatever. One thing Belichick can count on is Tebow’s work ethic, something the coach already knows because of his close friendship with Tebow’s college coach, Urban Meyer. Belichick wouldn’t say so, of course, but it’s very likely he consulted Meyer, now at Ohio State, before signing the Heisman winner.

Belichick is enough of a football savant to spot strengths in a player that others have missed; some say that was true when he selected Brady 199th overall in the 2000 draft.

Asked if a position switch was a reasonable assumption, Belichick, naturally, was mum. That’s the way of the world in Foxborough, as Tebow will learn.

After thanking the Patriots for “giving me an opportunity,” which quite possibly is his last in the NFL after last season’s fiasco with the Jets, he told reporters on the field after practice:

“I’m looking forward to working hard every single day, and getting a lot better, and learning under some great people. So, that’s all I got. But thank you so much and God bless. I’m sure we’ll be talking more soon.”

Don’t count on it. Belichick will do his best to prevent the Tebow media circus from pitching its tent in New England and causing distractions.

Count this, too: Belichick will never provide the sounds bites and headlines Rex Ryan did when Tebow was wasting a year with the Jets, and he won’t let his players do it, either.

Unlike the up-and-down performances of Tebow as a pro, Belichick couldn’t be more consistent, or dull, in his news conferences. He rarely gives out any useful information, and he was at his stonewalling best before a huge media contingent Tuesday. He was asked 28 questions relating to what, for now, is his third-string quarterback.

Tebow has reached a crossroads after only three pro seasons. Several teams with quarterbacking needs, including Tebow’s hometown Jacksonville Jaguars, showed no interest in signing him as a free agent. Maybe he needs to bag this QB thing, accept that he maxed out when he won the 2007 Heisman and helped Florida win two national titles.

He probably has mixed feelings about it. His legions of fans believe he got a raw deal, first in Denver, after guiding the Broncos to the AFC West title with spectacular comebacks before being dumped for Peyton Manning. Then in New York.

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