It's Tebow time.
Let's not try to make this anything but what it is; it's all about Tebow. So we'll start there, and we will end there. I'm just warning you.
Bill Belichick was immediately asked about Tebow's development since he's come out school, as Belichick scouted him a lot before he entered the pros.
"It looks about the same as he did in college" Bill state matter-of-factly. "He can run, he can throw, he's got good poise, doesn't turn the ball over, makes good decisions."
He went on to answer questions about being unable to match his skills set, saying:
"I don't know another quarterback in the league who has Tim Tebow's skills. Michael Vick and guys like that there are not a lot of them running around. Yeah, we won't be able to get the same look that we'll get on Sunday, no question."
Perhaps even more importantly, Belichick discussed how he expects Denver's defense to play against Tom Brady and the offense; especially with their pass rush.
"They're very good, yeah, very athletic...The linebackers are fast" Bill said. "Of course [Elvis] Dumervil and Von Miller give great edge pressure. They're both strong. They're not just speed rushers; they can power those tackles back, come inside. Their linebackers are very athletic and fast. They've got [Wesley] Woodyard and of course [D.J.] Williams and they come and blitz and things like that. They're very fast on defense; they cover a lot of ground in a hurry. You've got to get your space while you can and make plays on them, because those holes don't stay open very long and the pass rushers, they're closing on the quarterback. Their defense is very good."
Clearly he is taking the Denver defense seriously, though when asked specifically whether Brian Dawkins and Champ Bailey are still playing at a high level in the secondary, he was characteristically succinct; saying simply, "Yeah, sure."
Also amusingly Belichick-ean was his response to questions regarding playing in Denver, and the Broncos' home field advantage with the thin air.
"Best thing we can do is play well. We've gone out there and played well and won. We've gone out there and not played well and haven't won" he explained, adding "Both teams will be breathing the same air."
When Tom Brady stepped to the podium after his coach, he was predictably immediately bombarded with Tebow. Asked if he could explain in better words than others how Tebow is doing what he is doing, Brady tactfully pointed out the Broncos' skill and success as a team and specifically on defense.
"I think they have a very good team. I think they've obviously got a bunch of guys that play hard and play well together" said Brady. "I think they complement each other very well - offense, defense, special teams. Honestly, I've been focusing on their defense. I haven't watched a lot of Broncos offense this week. I've seen all their games and they have a lot of good players - D.J. Williams, Champ Bailey - obviously I've played against him a bunch. I really have a lot of respect for a lot of those guys on the defensive side of the ball. That's really our challenge this week. We'll let the defensive guys handle their offense."
A more deft question to get Brady talking Tebow was posed in the form of whether he's intrigued by what Tebow has been doing this year. Brady was quick to point out that he is always a fan of good quarterback play.
"I'm always watching around the league, whether it's Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees having phenomenal years" Brady said. "Obviously, Tim is having a great year. You watch guys and the way that they perform under pressure and it says a lot about who they are and the way their teammates feel about them. It's a big challenge."
Something Brady does have in common with Tebow is the ability to be a leader. He was asked if he could identify with Tim Tebow as far as what it takes to be a great leader, especially in the fourth quarter, as a quarterback.
"It's an important part of the position" Brady stressed. "You're the one calling the plays. You're obviously the coach in the huddle. It's a responsibility that I think every quarterback takes very seriously - leading your team and representing what your coaches are trying to put across on the field. Obviously he does a very good job of that."
Brady was a little bit more forthright than his coach about his lack of belief in the altitude advantage in Denver, even injecting a little humor regarding the theory, saying:
"No, I've played out there a bunch. I don't think it has much to do with the outcomes of the games out there. I think the team that plays the best is going to win, more so than the air or the color of the sky or the moon phase or anything like that..."
Even with the success they've had so far this year, he still had some things to say about the many ways in which they can improve, saying they could work on "everything."
"Everything needs to be better" he said. "Our execution of the passing game can be better, our execution of the run game [and] every position. It's just a matter of us committing ourselves on a daily basis to be more mentally tough than what the drain of the season does to you and to overcome fatigue and being tired and mentally being drained a little bit to putting your best foot forward to still going out there and doing whatever it takes to be healthy and prepare mentally and physically to go out there and play your best game."
Of course the big question was regarding the negative energy and doubt that Tebow is currently experiencing, and how Brady handled the same type of skepticism.
"I think you just really have confidence in yourself that you can achieve whatever you think you can achieve, and then you try to work hard at it, and then when you get your opportunity you try to take advantage of it. I think that's what a lot of young players - not everyone is a high pick or not everyone gets a lot of chances right out of the box, but when you do get your opportunity, you really try to take advantage of your opportunity and do your best and give everything you have. If football means a lot to you and it's important, usually good things happen."
Inspirational words from Tom to Tim. For the sake of Patriot Nation, let's hope it comes down to skill rather than self-belief; because it's starting to look like Tebow might be the greatest believer in the NFL.