There are two big storylines at Patriots training camp, which started Friday, and the Pats are trying to put at least one of those behind them. The process of putting the Aaron Hernandez story in the rearview started Friday when practice got underway, and Tim Tebow will likely help that transition.
The quarterback is a lightning rod for controversy and debate, albeit for far different reasons than say, Hernandez. Tebow’s squeaky-clean image and the media circus that follows him around may actually be just what the doctor ordered for the Patriots, who are trying to put the focus back on the gridiron.
Still, that’s more of a happy coincidence more than anything else. Tebow was brought to New England before Hernandez was arrested and charged with murder, so it’s not like he was brought into take the focus off the Hernandez debacle. Patriots owner Robert Kraft explained the decision to sign Tebow on Friday morning as camp got going.
“We’re trying to collect as many good people as we can in all our businesses,” Kraft said on ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike program. “Here’s a young man who’s hard working, puts his team first. Everyone who meets him likes him. We didn’t have a third- string quarterback so this was our chance to go out and get a very special guy and make him part of our team.
“I think sometimes our fans also forget that the person who runs the scout team is usually second or third quarterback. He’s a running quarterback, he’s mobile and I think he does whatever the coaches ask him can do and he works hard.”
Kraft then transitioned back to Tebow’s makeup.
“The more good people you can have in your life, the better things are going to be.”
Of course, that might sound a little odd given the Hernandez situation. On that, Kraft — who has already said he felt “duped” by Hernandez — vaguely touched on that as well in the interview.
“I thought about how our fans felt,” he said on the show. “I know how I felt. I was overseas when this all happened, and I felt we did what we did by telephone conference, which was shocked. We know our fans were shocked. We thought about all the little kids. I remember my kids, I remember when I was young and how you had a jersey … and we just decided to act fast and do the right thing under very difficult circumstances.
“We’ve had a couple thousand players come through our system since we owned the team and we’re a microcosm of the world. we’re sad about what has potentially happened. We have to face problems head on, make the best decision with the information we have at the time and move on. I know our brand is very important to our community, it’s very important to my family. We want our fans to know that sometimes we’ve gotta do some difficult things and we’ll stand up by it.”
Listen to the entire interview below via ESPN.com.