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Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Belichick's history of positional flexibility

By John McTigue, ESPN Stats & Information

Tim Tebow is extremely unlikely to see the field as a quarterback anytime soon, at least as long as Tom Brady is healthy.

But Bill Belichick has a tendency to use players out of position, so Tebow might be an option elsewhere, assuming he makes the final roster. Of Tebow’s 71 offensive snaps last season, 18 were either at running back or wide receiver.

Here’s a sampling of how Belichick has used other key players in different spots across the field:

Aaron Hernandez: TE to RB (2010-12)
* Hernandez has played 139 snaps at running back since joining the Patriots
* Hernandez has 97 rush yards since 2010, 74 more than the next highest tight end

Julian Edelman: WR to DB (2011)
* Edelman played 88 defensive snaps in 2011 and 114 snaps on offense
* Edelman recorded 18 tackles in 2011

Wes Welker: WR to K (2010)
* After an injury to Stephen Gostkowski in Week 9 against the Browns, Welker assumed kicking duties
* Welker was 1-1 on extra points and had a 45-yard kickoff

Mike Vrabel: LB to TE (2002-08)
* Vrabel had 10 career receptions with the Patriots including playoffs, all for touchdowns
* In his last season in New England, Vrabel played 29 snaps on the offensive side of the ball

Troy Brown: WR to DB (2004)
* Brown most notably played defense in 2004, although he made appearances in other seasons
* Brown recorded 3 interceptions in 2004

Other Patriots to play out of position
* WR Matthew Slater: Played 53 snaps at DB in 2011 and 2008 combined
* LB Dane Fletcher: Played 13 snaps at RB in 2011
* QB Doug Flutie: Recorded first dropkick extra point since 1941 in Week 17 of 2005 season
* DT Dan Klecko: Lined up as FB in short-yardage situations (2 rushes, 5 yards in 2003)