Tim Tebow was booed at Yankee Stadium

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Tim Tebow was booed at Yankee Stadium

From Comcast SportsNet
NEW YORK (AP) -- Tim Tebow has work to do if he's going to win over New York sports fans. The new backup quarterback for the Jets was booed at Yankee Stadium on Sunday night when he was shown on the giant video board -- even though he was wearing a Yankees cap. Sitting in the third row next to the Los Angeles Angels dugout, Tebow cracked a smile and acknowledged the camera. There was a smattering of cheers, but most of the initial reactions were boos. Tebow was acquired by the New York Jets from Denver in a much-hyped trade last month. He is expected to back up starter Mark Sanchez, even though Tebow rallied the Broncos to the NFL playoffs last season and became a polarizing sensation in the process. "I didn't get a chance to see him," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after his team's 11-5 victory. "I would have loved to get a chance to see him and talk to him. I'm sure he'll be back at some point. Obviously he's going to be around a lot more now. But I'd love to visit with him at some point." Sitting next to Tebow was Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade, also booed when he was shown on the scoreboard earlier in the game. But those boos quickly turned to cheers when Wade held up his Yankees cap. Wade and the Heat beat the New York Knicks 93-85 Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.

Will the Harris signing mean more time on the edge for Hightower?

Will the Harris signing mean more time on the edge for Hightower?

David Harris is expected to be a savvy middle linebacker who will line up his teammates when they help. He's expected to provide some level of leadership, even in his first year in New England, as an accomplished-but-hungry 33-year-old who has not yet reached a Super Bowl. 

What Harris is not expected to do is improve the Patriots pass-rush. He was in on one sack in 900 snaps last season.  

But in a roundabout way he might. 

MORE: How does Derek Carr's new deal impact Jimmy Garoppolo?

There are dominos to fall now that Harris has been added to Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia's defense. How much will Harris play, and whose playing time will he cut into? Those questions don't yet have answers, but one of the more intriguing elements of the Harris acquisition is how he will benefit Dont'a Hightower's game.

If Harris can pick up the Patriots defense quickly -- and all indications are that there should be few issues there -- he could take some of the all-important communication responsibilities off of Hightower's shoulders. 

Ever since taking the reins from Jerod Mayo as the team's signal-caller, Hightower has had to be on top of all requisite pre-snap checks and last-second alignment changes. It's a critical role, and one that Hightower performs well, but those duties place some added stress on the player wearing the green dot. Perhaps if part of that load can be heaped onto Harris' plate, that might allow Hightower to feel as though he's been freed up to focus on his individual assignments.

Harris' presence might also impact where on the field Hightower is used. Hightower may be the most versatile piece on a Patriots defense loaded with them, but with Harris in the middle, Hightower could end up playing more on the edge, where he's proven he can make a major impact (see: Super Bowl LI).

For Belichick and his staff, having the ability to use one of their best pass-rushers -- and one of the most efficient rushers league-wide, per Pro Football Focus -- on the edge more frequently has to be an enticing byproduct of the move to sign Harris. Especially since there are some question marks among the team's end-of-the-line defenders behind Trey Flowers and Rob Ninkovich. 

We'll have to wait for training camp before we have an idea of how exactly Harris fits in with the Patriots defense. But the effect he'll have on his new teammates, and Hightower in particular, will be fascinating to track.