Ryan Mallett an intriguing asset for Patriots

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If anyone is to blame for Tebowmania arriving in New England, it’s Ryan Mallett.

“Blame” might be too harsh, but Mallett, the Patriots’ enigmatic third-year quarterback, is a big reason why the Patriots are willing to take a gamble on Tim Tebow.

Obviously, the presence of Tom Brady quashes any conversation about Tebow getting on the field this year. But Mallett’s performance this spring, and development as the clear No. 2, also allows the Patriots to take a long-term approach with Tebow. Heaven forbid Brady goes down this year, the Patriots can roll with the strong-armed Mallett instead of having to change the whole offense for Tebow.

“I just felt like I’ve continued to improve, get my body in shape better,” Mallett said after Wednesday’s minicamp practice.

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