- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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During his weekly interview on sports radio WEEI, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick touched on one of the noticeable differences in the team's offense, depending on who is playing quarterback.
When it's Tim Tebow, it looks like almost a completely different attack, more run-based.
The contrast showed up in Friday's preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, and Belichick was asked on the Salk & and Holley Show about how he balances the two.
"It's something that you have to look at with time management. The decisions that you make are important there; you don't want to waste a lot of time on something that doesn't benefit you," Belichick said on the program.
"At the same time, you want to try to be prepared for, and take advantage of, some of the players' skills that you have. I don't think it's uncommon. We've had those types of things in our offense before. This is a little bit different, but we're not trying to reinvent the game or anything. We're just trying to take advantage of a particular player's skill, and that's no different than something we would do with a tight end, or a receiver or running back who has a skill that we want to try to take advantage of.
"I'd say Tim -- you're right -- is the first kind of running quarterback that we've really had here since [Matt] Cassel. As we know, Cassel gained a lot of yards in 2008 -- and he was a quarterback as a runner -- and we had a very good rushing offense that year. A big part of it was due to the  yards that he gained. I think that we're hopefully flexible enough offensively to try to take advantage of whoever we have in the game. Tim is certainly a good runner, so when he's in there, we'll probably let him carry the ball a few times."
Belichick then touched on Tebow's effectiveness as a running quarterback when operating out of an option-type attack.
"Tim has had a lot of experience making those decisions -- whether to give the ball to the back or keep it, or pitch it, all those kinds of things. It's not really like we're trying to teach him those things. He's done it a lot. He has to refine the timing and so forth, but it creates just another thing to put pressure on the defense," Belichick said.