FOXBOROUGH -- Patriots quarterback Tim Tebow’s participation in a run-after-the-catch drill over the first three days of training camp drew the attention of onlookers, sparking thoughts that perhaps the team was considering using Tebow in a role other than quarterback.
In the drill, a player catches a short pass from a quarterback and then attempts to elude a defender within a 15-yard rectangular "box" created by orange markers.
Some have described Tebow's participation in the drill as "catching passes", which is technically true, although McDaniels explained that is not the main purpose of the work.
“Anybody that is a potential runner, that can actually do something with the ball in his hands -- something good -- we always put them [in the drill],” McDaniels said. “I think Matt Cassel and [Doug] Flutie and some of those other guys that I’ve had a chance to coach, I think we did the same types of things with them.
“Again, certainly we know Tim has a skill set that some of these other guys don’t possess in terms of his ability to run with it, or scramble with it when he has it in his hands. He’s just practicing his open-field running [and] I know the defensive guys enjoy the challenge of trying to get him to the ground. I think it’s good for everybody and a normal procedure that we go through in training camp.”
McDaniels added that some defensive backs who are part of the return game have also taken part in the same drill.