By Tim Graham
Mike Pettine, the former New York Jets defensive coordinator, claimed Tim Tebow was beneficial to their locker room and is good enough to be an NFL starting quarterback.
As the Buffalo Bills' defensive boss, Pettine might need to game plan for Tebow on opening day. The Bills will play the New England Patriots in Ralph Wilson Stadium.
The Patriots signed Tebow this week. In case you hadn't heard.
"I certainly wouldn't spend any time thinking about it until we saw basically what their roster looked like," Pettine said after today's mandatory minicamp session at One Bills Drive. "They certainly wouldn't tip anything that he's going to do.
"So if that situation does occur, I just think you have a comprehensive plan and have enough calls up that can handle those types of situations."
Tebow is practicing as a quarterback now, but many wonder if Patriots coach Bill Belichick will shift him to tight end or H-back or some hybrid role to utilize the Heisman Trophy winner's size and running ability.
Although it seems like a moronic idea to take the ball out of Tom Brady's hands, there's also a chance Tebow could give the Patriots a Wildcat-type option.
"I coached against him with the Jets when he was at Denver, and he beat us on a two-minute drive," Pettine said. "And then I went against him in practice.
"He's a unique athlete, not the most orthodox NFL quarterback, but he finds a way to get it done. Those guys that are changeup types are the ones that give you some trouble."
Pettine was asked if Tebow can be a NFL starter.
"I always did," he replied.
Does Pettine still?
"I do," Pettine said.
As for the Jets' chaotic locker room last year and Tebow's influence on it, Pettine didn't see him as a problem.
"You'll have to ask the players that, but for me, I always thought it was a positive thing," Pettine said.
"I got to know Tim in New York. I enjoyed being around him. He's a great competitor, and he's a great person."