The New England Patriots reportedly signed polarizing quarterback Tim Tebow because of his “spirituality” and great attitude.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft made the admission on Wednesday at a charity event at Gillette Stadium honoring his late wife, filling the void by tight-lipped coach Bill Belichick regarding the team’s surprise decision to sign the quarterback as a backup to Tom Brady.
“For me personally, having Tim Tebow on this team, he’s someone who believes in spirituality, he’s very competitive, works hard and has a great attitude,” Kraft said. “He’s a winner, and the fact that spirituality is so important to him is very appealing to me.”
Tebow’s openly religious nature was an “added dimension,” Kraft said, and one that helped convince the Patriots to sign him to a two-year deal with no guaranteed money after five weeks on the NFL’s unemployment line.
Kraft even echoed a much-maligned comment by Jets owner Woody Johnson, who said last summer that “you can never have enough Tebow,” despite the fact that the former University of Florida star watched most of last season from the sidelines prior to being released in April.
“You can’t have enough good people around you, and [Tebow] has the added dimension of spirituality being so important to him, and that personally appeals to me a lot,” Kraft said.
Belichick, meanwhile, was mum on Tuesday when asked how Tebow was performing during the first day of the team’s three-day mandatory minicamp.
“We’re not going to get into a minute-by-minute evaluation of a player,” Belichick told reporters. “I don’t think that’s the way to go, especially at this time of year.”
Kraft even compared the atypical, left-handed quarterback favorably to three-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett, a highly-touted rookie backup.
“Watching Tebow throw [Tuesday in a minicamp workout], to me, he looked pretty good,” Kraft said. “It’s fun having him here. It’s nice to have three quarterbacks who can throw it really well.”
All NFL teams are currently allowed to have two players who only have to speak to the media once per week and the Patriots announced on Wednesday that Tebow and Brady were selected.
Kraft has said repeatedly he doesn’t want Brady to come off the field when the Patriots are on offense and downplayed the prospect of Tebow being used at quarterback in a gadget-play situation.
“In my mind, we have the greatest quarterback of all time on our team,” Kraft said. “And every time he has the ball in his hand, we have a chance to do something great. Nothing has changed in that regard for me.”
Brady, meanwhile, didn’t seem too moved by that possibility either.
“That’s a very hypothetical question,” Brady said. “So maybe we’ll deal with it if it happens.”