There is no better place that Tim Tebow could have landed than Foxborough, Massachusetts. He has found shelter from the media storm. The Internet might be electric about his sudden move, opinions landing in a fury, like so many hailstones on so many automobile roofs, pinging and dinging, bouncing all over the place from "Hallelujah, great move" to "Ugh-yuck, what a joke," to every stop in-between, but he will be away from all of that when he joins the New England Patriots.
He will be in a place where football is all that matters.
"Tebow, Tebow, Tebow-Tebow-Tebow?" the excited representatives of the outside celebrity world will shout, no, demand at first in their fine, frenzied TMZ way. "Tebow! Tebow! Tebow! Tebow-Tebow-Tebow-Tebow-Tebow? Tebow! Tebow … Tebow?"
This will be met by the sleepy-eyed resistance of Mr. Bill Belichick. The experience will be like asking questions to a bowl of pudding.
"Tim Tebow is another player trying to make our football team," the coach of the Patriots will say, something like this. "We will give him every opportunity to do that. Next?"
That will be that.
There will be no Tebowmania because Mr. Bill will not let it exist. Boredom will be his trump card to all controversy. He will deliver his answers to all questions with the enthusiasm of a cost accountant reading the annual report to the stockholders. All the people he employs will speak the same way.
This has been the Belichick approach, the Patriots approach, forever. Think about starting quarterback Tom Brady ("Tom-Tom-Tom-Tom?") married to the most famous model in the world, Gisele Bundchen ("Giselle-Giselle-Giselle-Giselle?"). They live the lives of international jet-setters, mansions here, mansions there, fashion shows, movie premieres and headlines, yet there is no distraction in Foxborough. Never has been.
"Tom is working on areas where he can improve," Mr. Bill says. "The same way everybody else is working on areas where he can improve."
The Patriots will offer this much different situation for Tebow than he had either in Denver with the Broncos or certainly last year in his virtual non-season with the New York Jets. He will not be a No. 1 draft choice, as he was in Denver, brought to town to begin the reconstruction of a troubled franchise. He will not be a possible alternative, a controversial No.1-A behind a struggling No. 1 starter as he was in New York. He will be a football player.
With Brady still in charge, healthy, entering his 14th season, there will be no controversy about who is No. 1 and who is No. 1-A. At the start at least there will be little controversy about who is No. 2 because Ryan Mallet has had that job for two years. Tebow will be looking for a place where he can fit. The Patriots also will be looking for that place.
Is there a chance that Tebow could be used as an option quarterback, a change of pace here and there to give the offense a different wrinkle? Perhaps. The college game has trended toward that hurry-up style. Chip Kelly in Philadelphia is bringing it to the pros and Belichick has introduced hurry-up components to Patriots' game plans. Would the coach expand that a little bit, use Tebow in situations? Perhaps.
Could he convert Tebow to another position? Perhaps. The Jets were fooling around with the idea of having him as a running back. He has the size to be a tight end on a team with a heavy tight end dimension in its offense. Could he play defense? He has the size to be a linebacker. At 6-feet-3, 250 pounds, he has the size to do a lot of things on a football field.
He even could be the Patriots' quarterback of the future. Not out of the question. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, previously the head coach in Denver, pushed to have Tebow drafted in the first round by the Broncos. Does McDaniels still have those thoughts? Could Tebow develop into the player that McDaniels once thought he could be? Is that still possible? Working every day with Brady would help a little bit, wouldn't it?
For Belichick and the Pats, bringing Tebow to camp was an easy football decision. Belichick has a history of importing pieces to Foxborough that didn't fit elsewhere. Sometimes with success. (Randy Moss, Corey Dillon.) Sometimes with little success. (Chad Ochocinco, Albert Haynesworth.) Sometimes even at quarterback. (Doug Flutie, Vinny Testaverde.)
Tebow was an obvious choice. Here is a guy who won the Heisman Trophy when he was a sophomore. Here is a guy who won two national championships at the University of Florida. Here is a guy who won the Sullivan Award as the best amateur athlete in the country. Isn't it worth looking at someone who has done all that? No athlete on the entire roster has those credentials.
He will have a chance here to show what he can do in this professional version of football. This is what he has said that he wanted. This is what he will receive, fair and square, and quiet. His curious trip across the game board, all the Jesus talk, all the notoriety, all that fan babble, has somehow landed him on a fresh start.
"Tebow, Tebow, Tebow-Tebow-Tebow?" the excited voices from the outside can shout all they want. "Tebow! Tebow! Tebow! Tebow? Tebow .."
They won't get past the pudding.