Belichick says Tebow can wing it

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Belichick says Tebow can wing it

FOXBORO -- Tim Tebow's completion percentage is 48.5 percent so far this season. That puts him squarely at 32nd in the NFL. If, as Bill Belichick so often says, a quarterback's accuracy is the most important attribute he can have in the passing game, Tebow would have to be downgraded as a thrower, right? Wrong. On Wednesday, the Patriots head coach stemmed a question about Tebow's inconsistent aim by breaking in with, "I don't agree with any of that. I think his passing is good. He was good in college, a very productive passer in college and he throws it well in this league. Throws it good short, throws it intermediate, throws it deep. He's got some very good throws, as good as anybody you want to put in there."Yeah. No. Not as good as anyone you want to put in there unless Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees were just on a plane that went down in the Andes. But there are elements thatat least mitigate Tebow's inaccuracy. One is his ability to run with the football. He's got 517 yards on 94 carries (5.5 average), so that at least somewhat offsets the facthe doesn't make gobs of yards on passing alone. The other element?He is third -- THIRD -- in the NFL infourth-quarter passing. Check this: Tebow is 96-for-198 overall, throwing for 1,290 yards and (a very impressive) 11 touchdowns and two picks. In the fourth quarter, he is 49 for 80 for 732 yards, six touchdowns and one pick. He is completing passes at 61.3 percent in the fourth quarter. His 55-for-118completion percentage (46 percent) for 558 yards (4.72 yards per attempt) in the first three quarters would get him hooked every time if he wasn't so damn effective late. Which has been the story of the NFL. Asked if Tebow can throw as well in the pocket as he does on the move, Belichick said, "He can hit 'em in the pocket, he can hit 'em out of the pocket, there's plenty of examples of both."

Garoppolo: Not pressured by Patriots to return last Thursday

Garoppolo: Not pressured by Patriots to return last Thursday

FOXBORO -- Jimmy Garoppolo spoke Wednesday for the first time since getting his shoulder separated by the Dolphins’ Kiko Alonso. Standing by his locker, Garoppolo was predictably vague about the status of his arm, unless you consider, “Getting better day by day,” as being insightful. 

The only two responses offered that were worth a damn came when asked if he could have done anything different when he got squished by Alonso while retreating and buying time.  

“Just have to be smart I guess,” said Garoppolo. “I mean, it’s football and stuff’s gonna happen like that, but have to be smart in those situations.”

Asked if he regretted holding the ball as long as he did on a third-down play with the Patriots up 21-0, Garoppolo replied, “After it’s all said and done it’s easy to say that, but it’s one of those things, you’re in the heat of the game. But bottom line I have to be smarter than that.”

Agreed.  

Meanwhile, as he worked last week to get back for Thursday night’s game against Houston, The Boston Herald reported that the Patriots were “putting pressure” on Garoppolo to be ready for the game. Working hard to get key players ready for upcoming games is standard operating procedure for a medical staff. Trying to force a player to perform is not. 

I asked Garoppolo if he felt unduly pressured. He replied, “No.” 
 

Wednesday's Red Sox-Yankees lineups: Second try at clinching A.L. East

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Wednesday's Red Sox-Yankees lineups: Second try at clinching A.L. East

The Red Sox try again to nail down the A.L. East crown tonight, sending Clay Buchholz to the mound against the Yankees while needed just one victory -- or one Toronto defeat -- to clinch the division.

Tonight's lineups:

RED SOX:
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Brock Holt 3B
Andrew Benintendi LF
Sandy Leon C
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Clay Buchholz P

YANKEES:
Brett Gardner LF
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Gary Sanchez C
Brian McCann DH
Starlin Castro 2B
Didi Gregorious SS
Mark Texeira 1B
Chase Headley 3B
Mason Williams RF
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Bryan Mitchell P