BOSTON (CBS) – Every day he takes the field with the New England Patriots, Tim Tebow has one thing in mind: try to get better.

With Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett ahead of him on the New England depth chart that isn’t easy for Tebow, who turns 26 on Wednesday, but the quarterback is determined to improve whether he gets the reps on the field — or off it.

“Every time you get a rep learn from it, and when you don’t, try to get mental reps,” he said on Tuesday following the Patriots first of three joint practices with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Gillette.

Those mental reps are a little easier when watching a guy like Brady go to work.

“You’re watching ‘The Great One’ out there, so you have to get a lot of good mental reps,” he said with a smile. “I’m trying to do everything that the other guys are doing and learn as we go. I’m feeling more comfortable every day.”

Read: Belichick Not Ready To Discuss Tebow Making Roster

Tebow made his Patriots debut last Friday in their preseason win over the Eagles in Philadelphia. He was just 4-for-12 for 55-yards through the air, adding another 31 rushing yards. He entered late in the second quarter after Mallett suffered a head injury, and looked more comfortable in the second half when the Patriots switched to a more Tebow-friendly offense.

“Some things were good, some things i have to work on,” he said of his second quarter performance. “When you’re called in at a time like that the toughest thing is getting physically loose.”

Tebow said he felt better as the game went on and he felt more into the game, but he needs to be prepared to take the ball at any minute.

Now, Tebow awaits his next chance at some preseason action. But first, he’s enjoying his early glimpse of the Tampa Bay defense in his second round of joint practices.

“I love it,” he said of the joint sessions. “It gives us an opportunity to face different fronts, different coverage, different blitzes and get a look at everything. You’re going to see that in the season, a lot of different looks every week. So it’s fun for us to be able to see different teams.”

Tune in to Patriots-Buccaneers Friday night on 98.5 The Sports Hub — the flagship station of the New England Patriots. Pregame coverage begins at 5 p.m. and Bob Socci and Scott Zolak have the call at 8 p.m.!

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