Belichick: Tebow 'definitely' improving

August, 19, 2013
8/19/13
1:20
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- On the surface, Tim Tebow’s passing stat line in Friday’s preseason win over the Buccaneers reflected a quarterback who is struggling: 1 of 7 for minus-1 yards.

But Bill Belichick doesn’t necessarily view it that way.

When asked Monday if he still sees positive steps from Tebow’s overall body of work as a quarterback, Belichick said: “Oh yeah, definitely.”

“I think if you look at the entire week last week, it would look different than the game did,” Belichick continued. “In some cases, the game looked better for some players, and in some cases the game didn’t look as good as some other things during the week. So we’ll just have to take all that into consideration.”

The Patriots and Buccaneers had three days of practice leading into Friday's game.

Belichick was asked two other questions specific to Tebow. The following is the Q&A:

When you have a running quarterback like Tim Tebow, when you assess his decision-making and accuracy throwing the ball, do you sort of view that on a different curve than maybe a quarterback who wouldn’t be a running quarterback, like a Tom [Brady] or [Ryan] Mallett?
“I think the passing game is still the passing game. But all players have different skill sets. Some guys do some things better than others. You have to look at the total package and what they’re able to do in all areas of the game. I think we see a lot of good quarterbacks in the NFL, they aren’t all maybe the best passers but their ability to run and pass, and make plays however they make them – [inaudible] plays, designed plays, scramble plays, whatever it is – makes them a high-level player. I don’t think there is one specific style you have to have, or don’t have to have. In the end, it’s about production and being able to do enough things to be successful.”

Curious if you’d agree with this thought: In the second game [against the Buccaneers], it seemed like you did less of the pre-snap movements, full-house backfields [with Tebow]. Were the eyes deceiving on that?
“I think for us, the way I look at it, against the Eagles we really had three days [of heavy work] against them, and then a situation kind of day. We had three days against Tampa, and then kind of that situation day the day before the game. So it’s the combination of all three of those days. We got a lot of snaps on Tuesday and Wednesday, in addition to the snaps [during the game] that I think were important snaps for our team. Some of the things we did more on in practice and less in the game. Other things we did more in the game and less of in practice. So I think it’s the entire body of competition against those teams that I look at, rather than what we did on Tuesday, what we did on Wednesday, or what we did on Friday. They’re all significant, but I think it’s kind of a combination of all those things. We ran a lot of things in practice that we ran less of in the game, and vice versa.”

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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