Learning Corner: Halfback, Fullback, Tight End
Social media erupted into a craze Monday evening as it was announced that former New York Jets and Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow would be signing with the New England Patriots. But one question appeared: with the Patriots quarterback position fairly well occupied by Tom Brady, where will Tebow play?
Tebow may take his talents to a different position for the Pats, whether that is at halfback, fullback or tight end. Here’s a look at why Tebow could be successful at any of these.
A halfback is primarily responsible for carrying the ball on all running plays after a quarterback hands the ball off to him. He must be a quick and agile runner and also have secure hands. Occasionally, he helps the offensive linemen in blocking, and sometimes, during trick plays, he is responsible for passing the ball. Tebow has the size (6-foot-3, 235 pounds) to withstand defensive pressure, and he has very good running ability — he set the SEC record for rushing touchdowns in his time at the University of Florida. Tebow had more rushing touchdowns in his first two NFL seasons (12) than Tom Brady had in his first 10 seasons. With his quarterback experience, he would be able to pass the ball very well in any sort of trick play.
For the most part, fullbacks do not handle the ball; rather, they serve as a main blocker. A fullback generally leads the halfback on running plays, blocking potential tacklers. Tebow is roughly the same height and weight as most NFL fullbacks, so he has the size to block for the halfback. It would be smart for the Patriots to take advantage of Tebow’s size by placing him in this position, but his strong ball-handling skills would not be used as much. Tebow definitely has the skill set to play at the fullback position, but he would probably be more likely to play a position where the team could take full advantage of his speed and rushing abilities.
The tight end is a mixture of an offensive linesman and receiver. A tight end lines up at the end of the offensive line and is big enough to be an effective blocker but also must have the speed to break past linebackers and serve as another receiving option for the quarterback. With Tebow’s aforementioned speed and physicality, he could transition into the tight end position very well. A tight end does not need to necessarily be the best blocker or the fastest player on the field, but he should be above average in both, which Tebow certainly is.