This is it. The final round of the 2013 Patriots Flag Football Draft. Time to separate the men from the boys, the contenders from the pretenders, and the top of the Oreo Cookie from the bottom of the Oreo Cookie. Rounds 1-5 may be where victories are made, but round 6 is where legends are born.
Before I made my selection, I took a good, long look at my team first. I have a speedster/deep threat/safety in Matthew Slater. I have an elite athlete/shutdown corner/fast receiver in Devin McCourty. I have an option quarterback/running option/slot receiver/cornerback in Julian Edelman. I have a defensive captain/experienced veteran/coverage safety/hybrid linebacker/tight end in Adrian Wilson. And I have an offensive lineman/tight end/goal line threat/pass rusher in Nate Solder. Let's not forget about Tom Brady throwing passes and Jamie Collins holding down the fort as a pass rusher and coverage linebacker. Needless to say, all of my bases are covered. I could send my team out right now, short-handed, and still mop the floor with my competition. But seeing as I have one more selection to make, I may as well add some more versatility, install yet another wrinkle on offense, and lock down another phenomenal athlete with unparalleled leadership, unquestioned heart, and friends in high places.
With my last pick, I'm taking Tim Tebow.
Now we all know what kind of NFL quarterback Tim Tebow is. We all know what can be said about his accuracy, his throwing mechanics, and his on-field awareness. I'm not about to sit here and try to sell Tebow as a legitimate QB option. But you know what the one piece of praise that even the most diehard of Tebow detractors have said about him is? Tim Tebow is a good football player. The man knows the game. And if there's one thing you need in the flag football world, it's good football players. Seeing as I already have all of the major needs on my team filled by now, I'll be able to use Tebow pretty much any way I want to. On offense, Tebow will morph between receiver, tight end, blocker, running back, quarterback - you name it - on every single play. He will be all over the field adopting any number of roles, and at the very least he's someone defenses will have to account for. Primarily, though, I'll be lining Tebow up in the backfield as a constant running/option QB threat. In many ways, he is the perfect flag football player, as whenever he gets the ball in his hands you have absolutely no idea what's coming. Put him next to Tommy B, and every single snap will be a total guessing game for opposing defenses.
Picture this, if you will: Nate Solder has the ball, getting ready to snap it to Tommy B, who is lined up in shotgun. Lined up out wide to his right is Slater, with McCourty out wide to his left. Playing in the slot close to Solder is Wilson, who will be working across the middle and blocking in case of a blitz. Lined up in the backfield, next to Tommy B on the left, is running threat/QB Option #1 Julian Edelman. Seated at the right hand of Brady is running threat/QB Option #2 Tim Tebow. Brady reads the defense, calls his audible, and yells hike.
Who gets the ball? Does Brady take it and completely neutralize half of Rich's team with a simple quick slant route? Does he send Slater deep? Does he keep Tebow close to home and motion Edelman out into the slot? Or does he fake the handoff and send them both out on passing routes? Or maybe just Edelman as Tebow stays in to pass protect? Or is it a direct snap to Edleman? Or to Tebow? Or is it an Edelman-to-Tebow reverse play that is ultimately a brilliantly executed ruse for the dreaded Tom Brady Go Route? The answer is yes, yes, yes, and yes again. Tebow may not be incredibly accurate, but he can throw the deep ball with the best of them, and having him in my backfield along with Tommy B and Edelman makes my offense both unpredictable and unstoppable - and I haven't even had time to touch on my plans for McCourty, Slater, and Wilson.
On defense, Tebow's main job will be to distract and confuse Rob Gronkowski. Whether it be the "you're shoe is untied" approach, the "hey, look over there!" redirect, or the fabled "I got your nose" fakeout, Tebow has enough tricks up his sleeve to hopefully keep Gronk out of commission for as long as possible. I will also be using Tebow to exorcise whatever demon it is that is currently in possession of Nate Ebner, not only as a key to victory, but just for the safety and overall wellbeing of everyone involved in this game. When Tebow isn't exorcising demons or playing a rousing game of distract the meathead, I'll likely use him as my strong safety/hybrid linebacker, adding some size over the middle and some athleticism against the deep ball. Lining Tebow up next to Collins over the middle with Wilson either backing them up or dropping into coverage is a great way to assert my defensive presence. I can also use Tebow as a running back spy, keeping an eye out for the option run and following anyone out of the backfield that may be looking to sneak past the defense. Furthermore, I'm not going to think twice about letting Tebow put his hand on the ground and rushing the passer; if God helped Moses part the Red Sea, I don't think He'll have a problem helping Tebow push some linemen aside.
In Tebow, I have more options than I know what to do with. Plus - and perhaps most importantly - all he does is win.
Devin McCourty. Julian Edelman. Matthew Slater. Adrian Wilson. Nate Solder. Tim Tebow. Boo ya.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go write my victory speech.