Shutdown Corner - NFL

Bill Belichick can’t duplicate Tim Tebow in practice

If you believe Bill Belichick is afraid of playing Tim Tebow this weekend, then I have a potato chip that looks like Tebow I'd like to sell you. But that's the official party line coming from the New England Patriots head coach and is reminiscent of when he talked up the winless Indianapolis Colts earlier this month.

Surely Belichick isn't taking Tebow and the red hot Denver Broncos lightly, yet one can't help but think that his praise of everyone's favorite quarterback has manipulative undertones. Instead of disrespecting Tebow like other teams that have been left in his righteous path, Belichick is going to talk him up like he's the second coming of Tom Brady.

To that point, Belichick told the New England media this week that the team was having trouble finding someone on the roster to play the role of Tebow in practice. Brady's backup, Brian Hoyer, usually serves as the other team's quarterback during game preparations, but he's shorter, thinner, right-handed and doesn't possess that magical smile that makes the ladies swoon.

"[Finding a Tebow clone for practice] is something we definitely have to talk about,'' Belichick told reporters. "The most important thing for our defense is to get a good look at as close to what the actual plays are going to look like as we can replicate them.

"However we do that, whichever players we use to try to get that look … we'll definitely talk about that and try to do it in the way that gives the defense the best look at it.''

Who should play him in practice? We list some of Tebow's unique qualities and the person ideally suited to play that role.

Left-handedness -- Steve Young

Stubble aptitude -- Don Johnson

Moxie -- Doug Flutie

Inaccuracy -- Mark Sanchez

Intangibles -- J.J. Redick

Resourcefulness -- MacGyver

Smarts -- Guys working at the Hadron Collider

Poise -- Miss Manners

Piousness -- Confucius

Grace under fire -- Brett Butler

Finding all that will be unnecessary, though. Because the Patriots finally bringing Tebow back down to earth (not like that) won't be decided on the field on Sunday. No, it was decided in a New York office building on Monday when Sports Illustrated editors decided to make this the cover of this week's issue:

Bill Belichick can’t duplicate Tim Tebow in practice

Are saviors immune to the SI cover jinx?

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