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The Anti-Tebow/Patriots Backlash Begins



Pete Prisco, CBS - This is what the Tim Tebow signing in New England says to me: 1. Bill Belichick is doing a favor for his buddy Urban Meyer.  2.The Patriots‘ arrogance is in full force. It’s more of this: “We can make anything work. We’re the Patriots. We don’t deal with distractions, just football players. We’re the Patriots.” … As for the Patriots’ arrogance, this reeks of it. They’ll show the other teams again that distractions don’t matter in New England. Tebow may be a cult figure, but it won’t be an issue in their locker room. Good luck with that. How long before the Tebow cult starts calling for him to replace Brady? Don’t laugh. It’s coming.

James Walker, ESPNThe Patriots signing quarterback Tim Tebow off the scrap heap isn’t the answer to New England’s offensive woes. If anything, it shows an unexpected sign of desperation for a New England offense searching for answers. This is yet another sign that New England’s run of Super Bowl appearances and NFL dominance is coming to an end… To put it bluntly, New England simply is not good enough to win a Super Bowl this year. Last year’s team was better, especially on offense. Brady, who will be 36 in August, is a year older and has less firepower. Adding Tebow to the mix doesn’t fix anything. It simply brings more media and a huge distraction, which is something Belichick usually tries to avoid.

You’d think a team picking up a zero risk flyer 25 year old quarterback with starting experience in the league- a guy whom their offensive coordinator drafted in the 1st round and who led the exact same Denver roster to more playoff wins (1) than Peyton Manning (0) – would be universally seen as a good thing.  You’d think the pundits would call it a shrewd move.  Maybe they’d cite the advanced statistics that show Tebow was better than all but 13 starting QBs in the league last year.  Perhaps they’d talk to the quarterback coaches who’ve seen Tebow throw and are saying his delivery has gotten way better.  Or maybe they’d just acknowledge that Belichick is one of the great football minds to ever bestride the narrow Earth, he’s known Tebow since he was a teenager, practically raised him from a pup, believes he can work with the guy and worst case scenario sees him as an upgrade over Mike Kafka as his 3rd string QB.  You might look at all this and conclude that the Pats deserve the benefit of the doubt on this one from the football media.  But that would mean you haven’t been paying attention all these years.

Make no mistake: there is not another established coach in the league who’d take grief over this move.  The anti-Belichick jihadists have such an axe to grind that even the no-cost addition of a guy they’ve fawned over for years isn’t enough to put aside their hatred and evaluate this purely as a football decision.  Like everything else that happens with the Patriots, it’s a reflection of the moral failings of the head coach.  Gronk gets hurt, they lose a playoff game, Welker leaves, they trade down in the draft, they pick up Tebow… they’re all caused by Belichick’s arrogance and desperation. You think for one second a demagoguing asshat like Pete Prisco would be calling it “arrogance” if Tebow signed with a media darling like Mike Holmgren or Pete Carroll? Would some ESPN slapdick call it “desperation” and a sign the party’s over if Tebow got picked up by a flavor-of-the-month Harbaugh brother?  The difference is, with Belichick it’s personal.  They can’t get over the fact that he doesn’t grabass with them and fill their column space with pithy quotes and hate his success like they hate soiling their pants.  So even a simple addition of a backup QB/possible hybrid H-back or whatever reveals a flaw in his character.  The personal vendetta here would be amusing if it wasn’t so painfully obvious.  Someone is being “arrogant” and “desperate” here alright, and it’s not the guy in the hoodie.

PS.  Nothing proves this is a football town like the fact that the Bruins four wins from the Cup and the Sox are on a roll, but the Patriots are dominating the news cycle by signing a guy who’ll be lucky to make the 53 man roster.

PPS.  Is it too obscure for the Barstool crowd if I say Kafka woke up this morning and he’d turned into a giant bug? @JerryThornton1