- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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It resurfaced Monday in the worst possible place -- the New England Patriots.
Nothing good can come out of this for the Jets. Truth is, it sets up potential embarrassment. If Tebow enjoys a hint of success with his new team, it'll make the Jets look bad.
Actually, they did a pretty good job of making themselves look bad last season, flaunting the Tebow acquisition and proceeding to mess it up by having absolutely no plan on how to use him. It was a debacle that underscored dysfunction in the organization. Heads rolled, important heads.
But now he lands with the model organization, and Bill Belichick gets another chance to show he's smarter than the Jets. The Patriots like to play the "Anything you can do, we can do better" game. Most of the time, they're successful.
The Patriots did it in 2010, when they picked through the Jets' trash and discovered Danny Woodhead, who went from castoff to local icon. You can go back to 2000, when they moved heaven and earth -- and a first-round draft pick -- for the rights to hire Belichick.
Now the Patriots get a chance to pull the ultimate one-up on the Jets. Of course, it won't be easy.
The Patriots haven't commented on their plans for Tebow. They reportedly plan to make him a backup quarterback -- and that's it. No tight end, no Wildcat, no gimmicks. That's the word for now, anyway.
If Tebow is used exclusively as a backup quarterback, he'll never get on the field unless there's an injury to Tom Brady. Ostensibly, that would eliminate any chance of Tebow haunting the Jets in Week 2, when the two division rivals meet in a Thursday night game in Foxborough, Mass.
Of course, if Tebow is active for the game, does anybody really believe the ever-creative (and spiteful) Belichick wouldn't try something to make the Jets look bad? Instead of throwing on fourth down, he can run up the score by letting Tebow run a Wildcat play near the goal line.
What would be worse, a Tebow touchdown or the Butt Fumble?
Then again, Rex Ryan has the perfect plan for containing Tebow: Keep him on the sideline. Worked like a charm last season. Unfortunately for the Jets, that game plan won't work anymore.
Tebow to the Patriots is about more than two games on the schedule. It's a chance for Belichick to flaunt the Patriot Way, showing everybody he won't let Tebow Mania disrupt the culture he created.
Here's betting there won't be a Super Bowl-sized news conference to introduce him.
And, just a hunch, but you can expect he won't be conducting twice-a-week news conferences during the season, which would be one more than Brady.
Belichick will try to tame the circus, turning Tebow into just another backup. It'll be a clash of two great forces, must-see TV -- that is, if Belichick allows any TV cameras to witness it.
From a football standpoint, the move doesn't make much sense for the Patriots. Why risk so much for a player who may not see the field? Sure, Tebow is a great guy to have in the locker room, but smiles and "I'm excited to be here" quotes won't win any games.
No, this smacks of Belichick wanting to prove to everyone that he can accomplish what the Jets couldn't.
Yes, the circus is heading to Foxborough, but the three-ring master won't be as welcoming as his New York counterpart.
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