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Tag:New England Patriots
Posted on: January 14, 2012 11:35 pm
Edited on: January 15, 2012 12:55 am
 

Is Tebow guaranteed to be Broncos starter in '12?

Tebow's season ends ingloriously in New England. (AP)

By Ryan Wilson

We joked last week, days after Tim Tebow threw for 316 yards (including an 80-yard pitch-and-catch to Demaryius Thomas on the first play of overtime to beat the Steelers in the wild-card matchup), that the big losers coming out of that game were John Fox and John Elway. Because given the way Tebow threw the ball, there was no way either could go back on their earlier promise that he would be the team's starter in 2012.

New England throttles Denver
And while neither Fox nor Elway has explicitly said that they'd prefer a conventional quarterback running a convention offense, neither has come out and fully supported the guy Josh McDaniels selected in the first round of the 2010 draft, some seven months before he was fired.

Complicating matters, at least in terms of Tebow's tenuous hold of the starting gig: the option isn't quite the novelty of the wildcat, but it's also taken less time to crack. Whereas the wildcat required an offseason of film study before defenses were keen to what was going on, the read-option's run has been much briefer.

Denver decided to abandon their original playbook in favor of the offense that made Tebow a high school phenom and a Heisman Trophy winner. The results: a six-game winning streak to get the Broncos to 8-5. And then they ran into the Patriots before the Bills and Chiefs had seen enough film of the option to properly defend it. Denver scored 17 points in the final two weeks of the regular season and even the hardcore Tebow supporters were having doubts.

But then Pittsburgh happened; the Broncos' offense manhandled the NFL's top-rated defense and Tebow looked like a real live passing quarterback. His performance solidified his spot on the depth chart heading into 2012, especially since a) Denver had a playoff win for the first time since 2005, and b) Tebow would have the entire offseason to work with coaches on everything from reading defense to improving his footwork and accuracy.


Tom Brady threw six touchdowns passes, five in the first half, and put the New England Patriots into the AFC championship game after roughing up Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos 45-10. CBS Sports' Jim Nantz and Phil Simms have the recap.

Then Tebow reverted to his old form, throwing late and wildly in a lopsided loss in the divisional playoffs against the Patriots. By the time it was over, Tebow was 9 for 26 and suffered five sacks. And while he wasn't solely responsible for another sputtering offensive performance, he is the quarterback; if the running game isn't working, he has to make something happen through the air … except that if the Broncos aren't facing the Steelers, that's a problematic proposition.

Which leads us to this: will Elway and Fox reconsider their quarterback situation this offseason? We're guessing they have to. In fact, we've previously speculated that the next few months will go something like this: Tebow will be promised "a chance to win the job," the front office will sign a veteran quarterback to compete for the starting gig, and come training camp, there's a decent chance that said veteran will be given every opportunity to start.

We've seen this movie before -- last August. Tebow thought he'd enter 2011 as the starter -- the Broncos seemed to confirm as much -- right up until training camp when Kyle Orton was again atop the depth chart. Tebow didn't help himself with abysmal preseason efforts, but that's not his forte. He's at his best when he can improvise, something that doesn't translate well during meaningless preseason snaps against third- and fourth-teamers.

So, who are some early QB candidates? Here's the list of soon-to-be free agents:

* Matt Flynn. We've called him the next Kevin Kolb, which is wholly unfair because Flynn has actually played well as a backup. We can't imagine the Broncos go after him although if they do it's a clear indication that Tebow Time was a one-year deal.

* Alex Smith. Dude's benefitted from Jim Harbaugh's presence and the 49ers head coach says he wants Smith back in San Francisco. Smith will probably get some interest in free agency should he hit the market but his best chance at success is if he stays put.

* Jason Campbell. This seems reasonable. So much so that Campbell could return to Oakland and supplant Carson Palmer as the starter there.

* Kyle Orton. Stranger things have not happened.

* Drew Brees. If he doesn't get a new deal he's getting franchised, but we wonder if Tebow's most ardent supporters would concede that Brees would be a better choice.

Other names (courtesy of Footballsfuture.com):

Chris Redman (ATL)

Derek Anderson (CAR)

Shaun Hill (DET)

Drew Stanton (DET)

Brady Quinn (DEN)

Luke McCown (JAC)

Chad Henne (MIA)

Sage Rosenfels (MIA)

David Carr (NYG)

Mark Brunell (NYJ)

Kevin O'Connell (NYJ)

Kyle Boller (OAK)

Vince Young (PHI)

Charlie Batch (PIT)

Dennis Dixon (PIT)

Byron Leftwich (PIT)

Charlie Whitehurst (SEA)

A.J. Feeley (STL)

Josh Johnson (TB)

Rex Grossman (WAS)

The Broncos' offseason begins now and how things unfold in the next eight months are anyone's guess. But whatever fate awaits Tebow, it's worth remembering that he helped lead this team to the division title and a playoff win. That doesn't guarantee him the starting job, but despite his unconventional style, he's done something right.

"I was really proud with where (Tebow) started and where he brought this team," Fox said after the Patriots game. "You know, we're a work in progress -- we've got a lot of work to do, that hasn't changed for some time. And as I mentioned earlier, the two matchups we had against the New England Patriots it's evident we have work to do."

Fox was then asked if he'd bring back the read-option in 2012. 

"I think every year has its own personality," he said. "We're officially starting our offseason now and we'll do whatever it takes to get better."

And we believe Fox when he says this.

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Posted on: January 14, 2012 9:58 pm
 

Brady breaks TD record in first-half blowout

Brady throws five first-half touchdowns, three to his tight end. (US PRESSWIRE)
By Will Brinson

All week long, there were rumblings that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was as focused and as intense as he's ever been. After watching him toss an NFL record five touchdowns in the first half of a 35-7 beatdown of Denver in New England, that sounds about right.

Brady's hasn't been entirely flawless, going "only" 18 of 25 with a pick, but 246 yards and five touchdowns are numbers you'd love to see from a quarterback over the course of a game, much less a half.

Denver's got no answer for the Patriots on defense, and haven't gotten a sniff of pressure on Brady throughout the first half. So with plenty of time to throw, he spent 30 minutes of football time breaking records and getting Rob Gronkowski a playoff-record three touchdowns in the first half as well.

Tim Tebow's not having quite as much success, going 3/10 for 28 yards and rushing five times for 13 yards.

It's not that he's just not showing up in the coldest game of his career though; the Patriots defense is playing at a surprisingly high level. Even if the Broncos aren't the most potent offensive team, it's a friendly reminder what can happen if a defense has a superstar on the other side of the ball and starts clicking at the right time.

Although if Brady plays like he did in the first half for the rest of the playoffs, the defense can probably do whatever it wants. As CBS Sports Dan Marino pointed out at halftime, the only way the Broncos are coming back is if they convince Brady to swap uniforms.

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Posted on: January 14, 2012 7:55 pm
 

Patriots' Mankins, Chung active vs. Broncos


After an impressive overtime win over the Steelers last week, Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos will face off against the New England Patriots on Saturday. Jason Horowitz and NFL.com's Pat Kirwan have the preview. Watch the game on CBS at 8 PM ET. 

By Ryan Wilson

One of the benefits to having a first-round bye: injured players have two weeks to get healthy, and for the Patriots, that means left guard Logan Mankins and safety Patrick Chung will be available Saturday against the Broncos. Both players have been declared active, according to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Greg Bedard who adds that "Chung is more of a key to the team's success in this game because of the weakness of the defense. The Patriots could get by without Mankins [because] the Broncos don't have much of an interior line."

Which might explain why tackle Sebastian Vollmer is down. Rookie Nate Solder will start in his place.

In addition to Mankins and Chung, wide receiver Wes Welker (questionable) and linebacker Brandon Spikes also will play.

Other New England inactives: Ryan Mallett, Nate Jones, Shane Vereen, Gary Guyton, Donald Thomas and Ron Brace.

And for the Broncos, the inactives include: Eric Decker, Brian Dawkins, Lonie Paxton, Julius Thomas, Ryan Harris, Derrick Harvey, and Mike Mohamed.

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Posted on: January 14, 2012 4:07 pm
 

Chad Ochocinco flies Twitter fan to Pats game

Ocho and the Pats hooked a Twitter follower up. (Twitter.com)
By Will Brinson

Two weeks ago, we talked to Chad Ochocinco about a number of different things. One was how he stayed so popular on Twitter in an increasingly saturated social media market.

"Nah, no strategy," Ochocinco said at the time. "Just having no filter. No filter is what makes it what it is."

Ochocinco's latest unfiltered move is just bananas though: he flew one of his Twitter followers to Foxboro for the New England/Denver Divisional Round tilt on Sunday.

The fan, a college student named Victor Gonzalez,

"Been tweeting you for two years and have not ever gotten a response," Gonzalez tweeted at Ocho recently.

"Damn 2 years? My bad," Ocho replied. "Want to come to the game saturday?"

Victor couldn't, because he lives in Florida, so he joked with Chad about flying him to the game. Which, naturally Chad did. What resulted was easily the experience of Victor's young life, as he went out to dinner with Ochocinco, toured Gillette Stadium and picked up a ton of swag from the Patriots store (see: above).

Ocho's gotten ripped at times this year because of his low production, and plenty of people lament his off-field behavior at times, but, man, it's hard to stay too angry at a guy who's this in touch with his fans.

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Posted on: January 14, 2012 3:24 pm
 

Report: NFL to look at coaches swapping teams

The NFL could keep teams from grabbing coaches midseason. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Josh McDaniels, who will reportedly be working from the coaches' box on Saturday, switched teams "midseason" this year when the Patriots hired him to replace departing offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien.

This didn't sit well with a number of teams and Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports that the NFL will look at restricting movement of coaches from one team to another during the same league year.

The Broncos, in particular, didn't appreciate the swap, considering that McDaniels, who has intimate knowledge of their roster and personnel, spent all week helping the Pats prepare to play Denver again. (Probably not helping things: Tom Brady's assertion that McD has "inside information.")

Mortensen reports that "a few clubs lodged complaints" about McDaniels transfer and such complaints could be impetus for a rule preventing coaches from swapping teams midseason.

Implementing such a rule would be a logical move, even if the Patriots have several sound excuses -- O'Brien's already moving towards Penn State, and McDaniels will eventually be the full-time OC -- for bringing in McDaniels right away.

It's clear that having McDaniels on staff gives the Patriots some advantage and it's an unfair leg up on an opponent. It's also a gateway for some team down the road to temporarily hire a fired coach simply for a playoff or late-season matchup.

And that's why the NFL would be wise to nip it in the bud before it becomes a more serious issue.

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Posted on: January 14, 2012 1:36 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2012 1:58 pm
 

Report: McDaniels to sit in Pats coaching booth

Josh McDaniels is back where it all started: New England. (AP)

By Ryan Wilson

After nearly three years, Josh McDaniels has returned to the Patriots. The former New England offensive coordinator's meteoric rise coincided with the team's record-setting performance during the 2007 season, and in 2009 he was named the Broncos head coach. That lasted less than two seasons and McDaniels served as the offensive coordinator of a punchless Rams team in 2011. But now he's returned to Foxboro where it all started.

Will McDaniels make a difference? (Getty Images)
And on Saturday night, when the Patriots host the Broncos, McDaniels, who has been with the team for a week, will watch the game from the Pats' coaching booth, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

That doesn't seem like a particularly controversial proposition … and yet it is.

When New England hired McDaniels last weekend, the immediate reaction from critics went something like this: "Wait, doesn't this give the Pats an unfair advantage? McDaniels has already faced the Steelers, Bengals and Ravens and he drafted Tim Tebow and Demaryius Thomas?!"

Of course, the Rams were winless against the AFC North teams mentioned above (and were blown out by Baltimore and Pittsburgh), and the reason McDaniels isn't in Denver is because he wasn't very good at his job. Not only that, but the Patriots stomped the Broncos in Week 15, 41-23, without McDaniels.

One more thing: NFL rules don't prohibit teams from hiring assistants at any point during the season. And if the Rams wanted to keep McDaniels in St. Louis, or at the very, least weren't interested in New England grabbing him in time for the playoffs, they could've denied the Pats the opportunity to talk to him. They didn't.

And now McDaniels is free to share all the "inside information" he's collected with New England as they try to stop Air Tebow.

This is a joke. Belichick doesn't need advice from the guy responsible for wrecking the Broncos from the inside. Not only that, the Pats' current offensive coordinator, Bill O'Brien, is still with the team, and he will be on the sidelines calling plays just as he has been on 16 previous occasions this season.


After an impressive overtime win over the Steelers last week, Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos will face off against the New England Patriots on Saturday. Jason Horowitz and NFL.com's Pat Kirwan have the preview. Watch the game on CBS at 8 PM ET. 

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Posted on: January 14, 2012 1:07 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2012 3:03 pm
 

Tim Tebow, 1.4M fans embrace Facebook's Timeline

Tebow's embraces Facebook's 'Timeline' and so do his fans. (Facebook.com)
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By Will Brinson

Tim Tebow is, in many walks of life, conservative. His demeanor at press conferences, his religious beliefs, and his on-field football behavior can all be classified as such. But when it comes to social media, the Broncos quarterback is as progressive as they come, and he's one of the first celebrities to use Facebook's newly-launched "Timeline" feature.

He's also one of Facebook's fastest-growing celebrity profiles, thanks in large part to his recent success on the field.

Broncos vs. Patriots: Tebowmania

Tebow has 1,463,732 subscribers (and growing, natch) on his profile page right now; nearly 500,000 of those have subscribed (subscribe is the new "like") in the past month since Tebow debuted his Timeline.

His most recent post, a celebratory reaction to the Broncos win over Pittsburgh last weekend, currently has 240,345 likes, nearly 30,000 comments and over 7,300 shares.

But here's the cool thing about Timeline, and how it works for an athlete: Tebow's last post came January 9, but his page doesn't feel stagnant in the slightest. The Broncos win is still fresh in everyone's mind, and the cover photo, with Tebow's arms pointed skyward, is a pretty timeless representation of precisely who Tebow is and what he does.

"The profile page you’ve had is really good at representing the present, and it’s really terrible at representing the past," Facebook spokesperson Meredith Chin said at the Timeline launch in December. "Social media is very much about right now, but the story of who people are isn’t just the present."

Scroll down Tebow's page (or that of any active Timeline user) and it's clear how Timeline can change the way people interact with famous users (and their friends): Tebow has a photo of his graduation from Florida in 2009, "The Promise" in 2008, his first jump-pass touchdown in 2006, and even a picture of a toothless Tim in 1993.

If you didn't know who Tim Tebow is (no, really, there are actually still people like this in the world) and you wanted to find out, Facebook is now truly a one-stop shop for a biographical recap of all things Tebow.

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Posted on: January 13, 2012 9:21 am
Edited on: January 13, 2012 11:01 am
 

VIDEO: Jimmy Fallon sings 'Tebowie' skit

By Will Brinson

We've never been huge Jimmy Fallon fans, but some of the stuff he does is absolutely knock-down, drag-out hilarious. Like "Tebowie," which is a Tim Tebow-related skit that Fallon busted out on Thursday night.

This may seem obvious, but we'll set it up anyway: Fallon's doing a David Bowie impersonation. But his version of Bowie is crossbred with Tebow, creating some sort of classic-rock monster.

Fallon sings "Space Oddity" (you may know it as "Ground Control to Major Tom"?) with the lyrics swapped up to focus on the Broncos quarterback.

Kudos to Fallon for his patience: waiting one night gave him the best Tebow skit of all the late-night shows.



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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com