Tim Tebow is a "valuable" player for the Jets. So says Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
"Yeah, of course he’s a valuable guy," Belichick said Tuesday on a conference call with the Boston media. "There’s no doubt about that."
Belichick is familiar with Tebow. He scouted him before the 2010 draft, he beat him last season in the playoffs and his current offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels, drafted Tebow in the first round of the '10 draft for the Broncos.
After giving reporters a long breakdown of Tebow's various jobs for the Jets, Belichick seemed at a loss on how to define his position, finally calling him "a whatever you want to call him." Eventually, Belichick decided "to some degree, he's a running back."
Belichick praised Tebow.
"Offensively, they’ve pretty much used him at every spot," he said. "He’s played more quarterback than anything else. He’s also played running back, he’s played what I would say is tight end, (and) he’s also played a little bit of receiver. They’ve put him in some different spots. When he’s the quarterback, he’s the quarterback: He can run, he can throw, he can run the option, he can run their regular offense or they can run Tebow-type plays there that Denver ran last year or that (Tony) Sparano ran when he was at Miami."
Naturally, Belichick has seen Tebow's impact on special teams -- i.e the fake punts.
"In the kicking game, he’s dangerous because of his versatility, but it’s really no different than any other punting situation in that you have to cover the eligible receivers," he said. "You have to be alert for them to snap the ball to the personal protector. Whether he runs up the middle or goes in a sweep or however they do it, those are things you have to prepare for every week with your punt return unit. Again, the fact that it’s him and he’s a big strong guy that’s a good runner and can throw the ball, he can do a little bit more than a lot of guys that are back there."