BOSTON (CBS) – It was a mixed bag for Tim Tebow in his New England Patriots debut on Friday night in Philadelphia, and the third-string quarterback knows he needs to get much better.
“I think I’ve got room for improvement,” Tebow told reporters following the Patriots 31-22 win over the Eagles. “I did some things well, there are some other things I’d like to do better. That’s what these games are for; I definitely want to learn from it and improve and next week do a little bit better.”
“It felt good, just playing the game that we all love, it’s a lot of fun,” he said. “It felt really good.”
Tebow went just 4-for-12 in the game for 55 passing yards. He also ran the ball four times for 31 yards.
The popular backup made his debut a little earlier than expected, entering the game near the end of the second quarter after second-stringer Ryan Mallett suffered a head injury. And although he entered to a rousing cheer by the crowd, he got off to a very shaky start.
Tebow overthrew rookie receiver Aaron Dobson on his first pass of the game, and then missed rookie tight end Zach Sudfeld over the middle on what could have been a big gain. He was then hit by a slew of Eagles for a 10-yard loss. He got the ball one more time before the half, hitting Leon Washington on a screen that ended up going for 15 yards as the clock expired.
He looked better in the second half, but still shaky. The Patriots tried a different approach offensively, with run plays and read options, and at times it worked. (Continued…)
Tebow picked up a first down on a 3rd-and-8 with a 12-yard run on the first drive of the half — a drive that ended with a LeGarrette Blount touchdown run.
Tebow ran for another first with a 14-yard run on a 2nd-and-9 play. He hit Kamar Aiken on the next play for 15-yards on a nice play-action pass, buying time by running out of the pocket, but the drive stalled when he overthrew Aaron Dobson heading for the end zone a few plays later.
He finished the night just like he started, going 1-for-4 on pass attempts.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked about Tebow following the game, but used it as an opportunity to talk about how the team as a whole can improve.
“Really, I think it’s all about the same for everybody,” said Belichick. “We did some good things out there but it was far from perfect. We can all learn from it. We’re going to learn from it, and we’ll all improve.”
While Tebow said he got more comfortable as the game went on, he’ll be hitting the film room hard on Saturday.