By Sterling Pingree
I was listening to Barstool Sports’ podcast Pardon My Take this morning. The hosts, Big Cat and PFT (Pro Football Talk) Commenter were interviewing former Notre Dame qb and NFL journeyman, Brady Quinn. While Quinn was talking about what didn’t work out for him in Denver with Josh McDaniels, he casually mentioned the notion that perhaps the Broncos selected Tim Tebow in 2010 to keep him away from the Patriots.
Huh? Tim Tebow? A Patriots first round pick in 2010? Let’s tease this out.
At the time of the 2010 NFL Draft, the Patriots hadn’t won a playoff game since the 2007 AFC Championship game vs San Diego. The Pats missed the playoffs without Brady in 2008 and got run over by the Ravens in the Wild Card game in 2009. Would the Patriots have been seriously thinking about grooming a back up to Brady as early as 2010? It’s not that far fetched; in 2009 Brady was coming off of a torn ACL and for a quarterback who never ran well in the first place, there had to be some thought to finding the eventual successor to TB12. But I don’t think that was the motivation for the notion of spreading the rumor that the Patriots would take Tim Tebow with their top pick.
Josh McDaniels and the Broncos selected Tebow with the 25th pick in the draft with the thoughts of using much the same way that New Orleans uses Taysom Hill now. Doesn’t that seem like a lot of draft capital to spend on a gimmicky addition to your offense?
The Patriots were the owners of the 27th pick, but the Broncos had to trade back into the first round to take the 2007 Heisman winner, Denver had already used it’s own first rounder to take receiver Demaryius Thomas. So why did the Broncos have to jump two spots ahead of the Patriots unless they thought that Arizona at 26 or New England at 27 would take Tebow?
I’ll tell you why, it was a red herring. Belichick never wanted to draft Tebow in the first round. Can you imagine Bill Belichick taking a quarterback in the first round, even if they needed one? If he did, I would imagine the results would be the white smoke when they name a new pope or the scene from Lion King where they dangle the lion cub over the cliff. (Elton will absolutely be singing “Circle of Life” when this moment comes.)
If we can agree that it seems unlikely that Bill Belichick would draft a back up quarterback with the 27th pick, who was he trying to keep his former offensive coordinator from drafting? Well the answer could be their 27th pick, Rutgers cornerback Devin McCourty. Maybe Belichick knew that McDaniels would covet members of the Scarlet Knights secondary as much as he does. But maybe, just maybe, Belichick was playing the ultimate game of Chess. With the 42nd pick, 3 spots ahead of the Denver Broncos in the 2nd round, the Patriots selected Rob Gronkowski.
Therefore, it is my contention that Bill Belichick duped Josh McDaniels into drafting Tim Tebow instead of Rob Gronkowski.
We all know how things have worked out: McDaniels was fired after a 3-9 start in his second season in Denver (not playing Tebow, Tebow-mania didn’t run wild until 2011 when McDaniels was OC for the St. Louis Rams, who have since moved to Los Angeles where they played the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII) and he returned to New England as offensive coordinator and wound up winning 3 Super Bowls with Rob Gronkowski at tight end. Devin McCourty started on all 3 of those teams as well.
Tim Tebow is a miracle worker.
Sterling Pingree (@SterlingPingree on Twitter) is a co-host of The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at DriveShowMaine.com. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like” us on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.