Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has seemingly always held Tim Tebow in high regard.
Not only did he use a Denver first round draft pick on the lightning-rod of a quarterback in 2010, he more or less created Tebow-mania in the Mile High City. In the 2010 preseason, McDaniels let Tebow do his thing as Brady Quinn and Kyle Orton also battled for Broncos snaps.
In the fourth preseason game that year against the Vikings, Tebow passed 16 times and completed 12 for 167 yards, a touchdown and one interception. Not a shabby performance. Quinn that day went 14 for 21 for 149 yards and a touchdown and Orton went 5-for-8 for 56 yards. Tebow also ran the ball four times for 21 yards, including a 14-yard rush.
Orton had been named the starter months earlier but Tebow's performance got people excited, for sure, as Orton was not seen as any sort of long-term solution at the QB position at the time.
We all know how it eventually played out: McDaniels was canned, Tebow got his big break the next season, Tebow won a playoff game against Pittsburgh, Tebow was traded to the Jets, Tebow flamed out with the Jets and McDaniels helped bring Tebow to New England.
That brings us to tonight's game in Foxboro between the Pats and Giants (7:30 p.m., WBZ). This really could be it for Tebow in the NFL if he doesn't show something (anything). It is certainly possible he's gotten worse since that 2010 preseason game against Minnesota as he's had plenty of different coaches barking different things at him over the past three years.
But McDaniels continues to see something in him. Can he coax one more 12-for-16 performance out of the former Heisman Trophy winner? It's possible. The bigger question for Bill Belichick, of course the final say in this whole deal, is whether or not a solid Tebow performance will be too little, too late.