Mary Paoletti will be previewing each Patriots position up until the start of camp in her daily "Roster Reset". Yesterday, she previewed the running backs. Today, she takes a look at the quarterbacks.
Tom Brady - 14th season
Ryan Mallett - 3rd season
Tim Tebow - 4th season
News of note: Since New England signed Tim Tebow in June, an exorbitant amount of time has been spent on guessing where he'll fit in on the field.
If he makes the roster.
Ryan Mallett has two years of the Patriots offense rattling around in his brain; he'll be the one to step up if Tom Brady goes down. True, the read option is being used more now in the NFL and Tebow is strong in running it where Brady and Mallett are not, but the Patriots probably don't feel pressure to accommodate him after they racked up a league-best 6,846 yards in 2012.
Developing him into an NFL passer or a regular pass-catcher will take time. Is Tebow athletic? Yes. Does that mean you can pull a No. 81 jersey over his head and send him out to play tight end in Week 1? No. Giving him a role on special teams could help his odds of winning a roster spot. It's just that the odds of him being active on game day still aren't very high.
Perhaps New England is willing to stash Tebow and let him watch and learn. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, when head coach of the Broncos in 2010, did like the player enough to draft him in the first round. But this isn't Denver; the Patriots do not run a home for lost boys, they invest with the sole focus of getting wins upon return.