Tim Tebow and the Broncos have surprised a lot of people with their six-game win streak and subsequent surge to the top of the AFC West standings.
Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick isn’t one of them.
“We’ve seen Tim perform well many, many times, so I don’t think it’s a surprise,” Belichick said of Tebow’s success in a conference call. “He’s a good football player. He knows how to win, and he takes care of the ball. He makes good decisions.”
Belichick has known Tebow since his collegiate days at Florida and in 2010 he brought Tebow to New England for a pre-draft visit to get to know the quarterback even better.
Now he’s preparing his team to play against Tebow and the streaking Broncos.
“They’re a tough team to defend, a tough team to get ready for,” Belichick said. “They’ve done a great job with (Tebow). He’s done a great job of playing a lot of error-free football, playing really sound and making the plays that they need to make—the critical plays in the game. (Head Coach) John (Fox) and his staff have done an excellent job.”
After their win over the Redskins, Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker said he watched the Broncos-Bears game to get an early look at his Week 15 competition and he saw another impressive Denver comeback unfold.
“Obviously (Tebow) brings an energy to the team that everybody is responding to really well,” Welker said in a conference call. “When it’s a pressure situation, they play really well.”
The Broncos have found ways to win tight games all year long and that continued production under pressure has impressed Belichick.
“They’ve done it a lot of different ways, but whatever they have to do to get it done, they’ve been getting it done,” Belichick said. “That’s the mark of a good football team.”
The New England head coach has also been impressed with what Denver offers defensively, particularly rookie linebacker Von Miller, who has 11.5 sacks on the season.
“He’s really an impressive player. I haven’t seen anybody any better than him on film,” Belichick said. “He does everything well. He plays the run well; he’s strong; he’s very explosive; he’s fast.
“He’s an excellent football player, as good as anybody we’ve faced all year.”
While the Patriots offensive line readies itself to face Miller for the first time, Welker is preparing for a Denver secondary that features 10-time Pro Bowl corner Champ Bailey.
When Welker lines up across Bailey, he said he expects a typically tough battle from one of the game’s elite defensive backs.
“He’s still one of the top cornerbacks out there,” Welker said of Bailey. “He’s smart. Physically, I haven’t seen him lose too much of his stuff at all.”