Tim Tebow's 'spirituality' appeals to Patriots' owner
The Patriots have said almost nothing about Tim Tebow's football skills -- or lack thereof -- and where he might fit in on the field.
But Wednesday the team's owner, Robert Kraft, said he was drawn to Tebow in part because of his "spirituality,'' using that term three times to reporters.
"You can't have enough good people around you,'' Kraft said after a ceremony to honor 26 winners of the Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards, named for his late wife. "He has the added dimension of spirituality being so important to him, and that personally appeals to me a lot.''
Tebow long has been known for his strong Christian faith. Kraft, who is Jewish, added, "Every interaction I've seen and watched, whether he's in college or when I met him in the draft process, he handles himself in a first-class way. I don't know anyone who has ever said anything that is not positive about him -- people who are objective.''
Kraft was less specific when questions turned to Tebow the football player, as was quarterback Tom Brady. Brady welcomed Tebow but avoided specifics about his ability or role. Finally, a reporter from New York asked how he would react to coming off the field in favor of Tebow, as the Jets had Mark Sanchez do last year. "I have no idea,'' he said.
Would he be OK with it? "That's a very hypothetical question. Maybe we'll deal with it if it happens.''
Kraft indicated he has no interest in that happening. "In my mind, we have the greatest quarterback of all time on our team and every time he has the ball in his hands, we have a chance to do something great.''
The man in charge of such decisions, coach Bill Belichick, offered no clues in another evasive news conference before the second minicamp practice. What did he think of Tebow's performance Tuesday?
"I don't think evaluating players on a couple plays is really a good practice,'' Belichick said. "We will wait until we have a little bit more information and make our evaluations as a staff . . . after we've had a chance to see things.''
Then the team practiced again, and there was little more for the casual observer to go on. Tebow completed six of nine passes in drills with and against fellow reserves. Most were short throws, and three likely would have ended in sacks in a game.
What did Kraft think of Tebow's mechanics after watching him Tuesday?
"He's a lot better than I am,'' the owner said. "I was just out there for a short period, but to me he looked pretty good. It's fun having him here.''
Kraft called the addition of Tebow an example of "depth management.'' But for now Tebow is third on the depth chart at quarterback with little apparent chance of moving up. When asked specifically what impresses him about Tebow on the field, Kraft said: "I think he's hard-working and very cooperative.''
As Belichick did Tuesday, Kraft eventually tried to steer the conversation away from Tebow, saying, "He's just one of 90 people right now. I wonder if we haven't talked enough about him.''
As with Belichick, it didn't work.
Brady said it had been "a fun couple of days'' but he insisted he is not concerned about the team being distracted by the attention Tebow attracts.
"I don't worry about much these days,'' Brady said. "I think everyone is prepared to deal with some level of different things that happen on a daily basis. To be mentally tough enough to push through and still be able to do your job at a high level is most important.''