Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tebow content to watch, learn

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tebowmania, Tebow-palooza and Tebowing have not followed the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner to the Patriots.

Buried on the depth chart in all categories, including celebrity, behind starter Tom Brady, Tim Tebow bides his time on the sideline during most practices as the No. 3 quarterback.

"It's going well," Tebow said Wednesday. "Just trying to work hard every day, improve. Every time you get a rep, learn from it. When you don't, get mental reps. I'm watching the great one out there, so you've got to get a lot of good mental reps.

"I'm trying to do everything that the other guys are doing, and obviously, I'm learning as we go. But I'm feeling more comfortable every day."

These days, Tebow, who turned 26 Wednesday, talks as if he is studying the Patriots playbook as much as the good book.

Even the most devout Tebow fans were curious why New England, well-armed at quarterback with Brady and Ryan Mallett, would want to try to salvage the NFL career of the former University of Florida star, who saw little action while with the Jets in 2012 after two seasons in Denver.

Theories include coach Bill Belichick's close association with former Florida coach Urban Meyer and giving offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who drafted Tebow in the first round in 2010 while Broncos head coach, a chance of being proved right.

"I've loved the offense," said Tebow, who led the Broncos to the playoffs in 2011. "Being able to learn from a great quarterback, one of the best that ever played, being able to learn from Coach McDaniels and … everybody who has been in this offense, it's a pleasure for me.

"My mind-set is just getting better every day and enjoying the process; having a lot of fun doing it. I'm blessed to be out here."

So far, Belichick is resisting the Tim-tation to make Tebow anything other than a No. 3 quarterback.

He has, however put in a package of spread option plays to emphasize Tebow's strengths as a runner. Tebow time came early in last week's preseason game against the Eagles when Mallett sustained a head injury during the first half. Tebow responded by going 4-of-12 for 55 yards with four rushes for 31 yards.

Brady's knee injury Wednesday gave Tebow an opportunity to get more reps in practice. He responded with a few successful two-minute drives, including a strike to receiver Julian Edelman in the back of the end zone.

Belichick sees improvement in Tebow.

"I think the big thing is just the familiarity of the offense, the way we do things, the play-calling, the reads, the formations and in general all the things that we do," Belichick said. "The quarterback has got to have a good understanding of all that. And the more you do it, the more you get comfortable with it and the better you can execute it. I think that's no different than any quarterback or any young quarterback coming into a new system."

One thing is certain: Tebow will be ready for his next chance.

"Absolutely, you've got to be ready to go in this league, and you never know when your number is called," Tebow said. "You've got to get loose fast and get ready to go."

Rick Stroud can be reached at stroud @tampabay.com.

Comments
NFL owners approve team-by-team anthem policy, will allow players to remain in locker room

NFL owners approve team-by-team anthem policy, will allow players to remain in locker room

ATLANTA — NFL owners approved a new national anthem policy Wednesday that gives individual teams the authority to set their own anthem-related rules and permits players to remain in the locker room during the playing of the anthem, the Washington Pos...
Updated: 1 hour ago
NFL policy: Players can stay inside during anthem if they won’t stand

NFL policy: Players can stay inside during anthem if they won’t stand

NFL owners passed a new policy Wednesday with the hopes of moving on from boycotts and political turmoil related to some players protesting by not standing during the national anthem before games.Under the new policy, NFL players are not required to ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
New Super Bowls: Arizona in 2023, New Orleans in 2024

New Super Bowls: Arizona in 2023, New Orleans in 2024

And you thought our headline would be "Mariota hosts NFL draft before Winston."The NFL owners are meeting in Atlanta this week, and that means a new batch of future Super Bowls getting announced for their homes.A year ago, Tampa got the huge news, an...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Winston: Bucs’ Ryan Jensen ‘one of the toughest, meanest, baddest centers’

Winston: Bucs’ Ryan Jensen ‘one of the toughest, meanest, baddest centers’

It's hard to miss new Bucs center Ryan Jensen at OTA workouts this week, with his long red hair visible from across the field even when he's wearing a helmet."Any recommendations for anti frizz shampoo and conditioner?" Jensen wrote on Twitter with a...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Gerald McCoy appreciates help on D-line, but knows it will take more than names on paper

Gerald McCoy appreciates help on D-line, but knows it will take more than names on paper

TAMPA — He's 30."I know. I'm getting old," Gerald McCoy said Tuesday, shaking his head.He's still a young man, of course. But in football years, McCoy has finally reached a black balloon birthday. This is his ninth season with the Bucs, which i...
Published: 05/22/18
HBO: Ex-Buc Scot Brantley battling Alzheimer’s, claim denied by NFL

HBO: Ex-Buc Scot Brantley battling Alzheimer’s, claim denied by NFL

Former Gators and Bucs linebacker Scot Brantley, also once a popular sports radio host in Tampa, is battling Alzheimer's Disease and has been rejected from the NFL's concussion settlement, according to tonight's episode of HBO's "Real Sports with Bry...
Published: 05/22/18
Bucs’ Mike Evans: Yards after catch must improve in 2018

Bucs’ Mike Evans: Yards after catch must improve in 2018

Mike Evans is one of just three receivers in NFL history to open his career with four straight 1,000-yard seasons, but he understands one area where he can make a big improvement in 2018: yards after the catch."I think last year was my worst year in ...
Published: 05/22/18
Gerald McCoy: Sorry, but Vita Vea is Maui from Moana

Gerald McCoy: Sorry, but Vita Vea is Maui from Moana

If you've been dipping your toes in the "Gosh, Vita Vea looks a lot like the guy from Disney's Moana" pool, Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has jumped in all the way.The Bucs' 347-pound rookie is massive, has a family history on the Pacific island...
Published: 05/22/18
Jason Pierre-Paul, Brent Grimes absent as Bucs open OTA practices

Jason Pierre-Paul, Brent Grimes absent as Bucs open OTA practices

The Bucs started another chapter of their offseason Tuesday with the first OTA (organized team activity) practice at One Buc Place, with veterans Jason Pierre-Paul and Brent Grimes as the only healthy players absent from what is officially a voluntar...
Published: 05/22/18
Bucs Jameis Winston gets engaged to long-time girlfriend Breion Allen who says, ‘Well, it’s about damn time’

Bucs Jameis Winston gets engaged to long-time girlfriend Breion Allen who says, ‘Well, it’s about damn time’

On a day when the Royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was taking place across the pond, Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston proposed marriage to his long-time girlfriend Breion Allen Saturday in New York City.She said yes.The proposal to...
Published: 05/21/18