Belichick: Tebow 'absolutely' brings value to Jets

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Belichick: Tebow 'absolutely' brings value to Jets

Somewhere between the folks devoted to covering every breath Tim Tebow takes and the people who would just as soon see him toddle off into football irrelevancy is the truth about Tim.

And Bill Belichick spoke to it on Tuesday. The truth is, there's nobody else like him and -- because of that -- he's got value to the Jets and creates issues for every team he plays. This week, it's the Patriots.

"They've pretty much used him at every spot," Belichick said when asked on a conference call about the difficulty of preparing for the Jets' backup. "He's played more quarterback than anything else but he's also played running back, he's played tight end, he's also been out as a receiver. They've put him in some different spots. As a quarterback, he can run, he can throw, he can run the option, he can run their regular offense or they can run Tebow-type plays that Denver ran last year or that (Tony) Sparano ran when he was at Miami. He gives them a lot of versatility on all those things."

The last thing the Jets needed this season was the chaos that Tebow's presence engenders. And, in the mind of the perpetually football-obtuse Jets owner Woody Johnson, on-field ability runs neck-and-neck with buzz and marketability.

But the ancillary result of having Tebow is that -- in the end -- he does have to be dealt with. And there are layers to that.

"He doesn't always line up at quarterback when he's in there on offense so you have to be able to deal with him at other positions as well," Belichick continued. "He's a good runner, a strong runner. A very strong runner. He's mobile in the pocket, a smart player and he can do a lot of different things. You certainly have to be aware when he's in there.

So far, Tebow's thrown it three times -- including once on a fake punt last week against the Colts -- and completed two for 32 yards. He's run it 18 times for 64 yards and has picked up five first downs.

He must be accounted for.

"In the kicking game, he's dangerous," said Belichick. "It's not different than any other punting situation in that you have to cover the eligible receivers you have to be alert for them to snap the ball to the personal protector and whether he runs up the middle or goes on a sweep or however they do it. Those are things you have to prepare for every week with your punt return unit. But the fact that it's him and he's a big strong guy that's a good runner and can throw the ball, he can do a little bit more than a lot of guys that are back there."

So there's value to having him, Belichick was asked?

"Absolutely. There isn't any question about that. We saw him play last year, he quarterbacked that team to the playoffs. He's comfortable in addition to the quarterbacking things he's a versatile, valuable guy."

Gronkowski nominated for Walter Payton Man of the Year Award

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Gronkowski nominated for Walter Payton Man of the Year Award

FOXBORO -- Rob Gronkowski is up for one of the NFL's most prestigious awards, and it's not simply for what he's done while on the football field. 

The Patriots tight end is the team's nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, it was announced on Wednesday. Each year the award recognizes one player for his excellence on and off the field.

“We’re proud to honor these outstanding men who represent the NFL’s best on and off the field,” said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. “Our players have a unique platform to make a difference far beyond the field of play. We salute these individuals who are exemplary in their commitment to making a positive impact in communities across the globe through their dedicated service and philanthropic efforts.”

The winner will be announced in Houston on the night before Super Bowl LI.

Gostkowski named AFC special teams player of week

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Gostkowski named AFC special teams player of week

FOXBORO -- It's been an uncharacteristically erratic season for Stephen Gostkowski, but on Sunday the Patriots Pro Bowl kicker was dialed in. And his four field-goal performance against Los Angeles earned him AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors. It is the second time this season and the fifth time in his career that Gostkowski has been named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week, having also won the award after the first game of the season at Arizona. 

Gostkowski's missed four field goals so far this season. He hasn't missed four in a year since 2012 when he missed six field goals. He's also missed three extra points. While the Patriots were a little downcast about the inability of their offense to close out drives against the Rams, an ancillary benefit was undoubtedly Gostkowski having a day that should boost his confidence going forward.