Tebow’s accuracy is lacking during workout

 
 

It was just like old times for Tim Tebow during organized team activities for the Eagles Thursday at the NovaCare Complex: It was not very good.

Tebow, a Heisman Trophy winner and a two-time college football champion at Florida, showed explosiveness as a runner. But even though Eagles coach Chip Kelly raved about his improvement as a passer before the workout, that was not immediately evident.

Thursday was the Eagles’ third workout and the first witnessed by the media. At first glance, the new and improved Tebow, who has spent more than a year working on his throwing motion with former major-league pitcher Tom House, looked a lot like the quarterback who completed just 47.9 percent of his NFL passes. He didn’t show great accuracy, especially downfield, and often held the ball too long. One tipped Tebow pass was intercepted by 6-foot-9 Brian Mihalik.

Tebow is expected to battle Matt Barkley for the Eagles’ third quarterback spot. Although others have suggested he also could help at special teams, one of those people is not Kelly.

 “He’s a quarterback,” Kelly said during his pre-workout news conference.

 Another thing that hasn’t changed about Tebow is that he remains highly popular. He signed with the Eagles on April 20, but Thursday was his first time talking to the Philadelphia media and he had a captive audience.

“I am glad to be here and it is a lot of fun,” Tebow said. “I have really enjoyed everybody in that locker room and the coaches and everybody in the building.”

A 6-foot-3, 245-pound lefthander, Tebow led the Denver Broncos to the playoffs in 2011. Denver brought in Peyton Manning the next year and traded Tebow to the New York Jets, where he attempted just eight passes while serving as a backup to current Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez in 2012.

Tebow went to training camp in 2013 with the New England Patriots but was cut before the regular season. He was working for ESPN and ABC before Kelly called.

“I think he’s improved,” Kelly said. “He spent a lot of time the last two years in terms of working on his game. We wanted to have a fourth quarterback here. You’re not going to go through with three.”

With Sam Bradford limited at practice while rehabilitating from a left knee injury, Sanchez worked with the first unit, Barkley the second and Tebow the third.

Barkley, now in his third season with the Eagles, looked confident. If Tebow’s presence bothers him, he’s not letting on.

Tebow “hasn’t taken away my reps. It is Mark and I for now until everybody is healthy,” Barkley said. “We’re going back and forth competing with each other, making each other better every day.”

Tebow is grateful for the chance to compete for a roster spot. He said several times that his main goal is to get better every day. Yet Tebow did say that his prolonged absence has fueled his hunger ever more.

“I think sometimes when things are taken away, then you don’t realize how much fun it is to come out here and play this game,” he said. “You can’t play it forever, so I am going to enjoy it.”

mnarducci@phillynews.com

Tebow makes first appearance with Eagles

 

He's back. After working as a college football analyst for ESPN, Tim Tebow will make his long-awaited NFL return with the Philadelphia Eagles. Here's a look back at some of the signature moments of his career.

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PHILADELPHIA — Tim Tebow’s newest helmet may be a dark shade of jade, but he certainly isn’t.The NFL’s most scrutinized backup quarterback seemed as sincere, hopeful and upbeat as ever Thursday after making his first comments to the media since signing a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles last month.

And after nearly two years out of the league, Tebow is more than grateful just to have an opportunity.

“I think sometimes when things are taken away, then you don’t realize how much fun it is to come out here and play this game,” a beaming Tebow said on a sunny day in Philadelphia after organized team activities.

“You can’t play it forever, so I’m going to enjoy it.”

Until joining the Eagles, Tebow had not been on an NFL roster in two years (New England Patriots during the 2013 preseason), is three years removed from any regular-season action (New York Jets in 2012) and hasn’t started at quarterback since he was a member of the 2011 Denver Broncos.

He needed this opportunity to slake the competitive juices that were still roiling.

“I still competed. I trained every single day,” Tebow said of his NFL hiatus.

“You should have seen the Tebow Turkey Bowl. It was the craziest thing ever,” he laughed. “I’m serious. We had uniforms.”

Tebow was in a red No. 11 jersey Thursday — his customary No. 15 forever belongs to Eagles Hall of Famer Steve Van Buren — and mostly ran with the third team behind fellow quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley.

Presumptive starter Sam Bradford is still working his way back from an anterior cruciate ligament tear suffered in the 2014 preseason when he was still a member of the St. Louis Rams.

Tim Tebow #11 and Sam Bradford #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles participate in OTA's on May 28, 2015 at the NovaCare Complex in Philadelphia.© Mitchell Leff/Getty Images Tim Tebow #11 and Sam Bradford #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles participate in OTA’s on May 28, 2015 at the NovaCare Complex in Philadelphia.

At times, Tebow’s release looked somewhat quicker, and his ball seemed to have better rotation after months spent working with quarterback whisperer Tom House.

“I’ve spent hours and hours,” Tebow said of time dedicated to his delivery.

“Hopefully when you dedicate that much time, you do get better,” he added, saying he was focused on his balance, posture and timing.

Still, he threw some short and some well beyond the reach of his intended receivers.

But optimism runs high in May.

“I think he’s improved,” Eagles coach Chip Kelly said of Tebow. “He’s had a lot of time the last two years working at his game. (We) wanted to have a fourth quarterback here.”

And that may be the rub.

Acquired in a pre-draft trade for previous starter Nick Foles and two draft picks, Kelly clearly expects Bradford to be the guy. Meanwhile, Sanchez and Barkley are far more accustomed to the playbook.

Tebow apparently won’t be asked to switch positions — “He’s a quarterback,” Kelly said flatly — and may not assume any role as a two-point conversion specialist after the NFL failed to adopt the Eagles’ proposal to move that play from the 2-yard line to the 1 at the recently completed league meetings.

But Tebow, who said he feels lean and mean at just under 250 pounds, is ready to scratch out whatever role he can and could find a niche in Kelly’s system.

“I really like him,” Tebow said of Kelly. “I think he’s an innovator. He’s someone that, wherever he’s been, he’s changed how the game has been played. It’s really fun to play for someone like that.

“It’s a lot of fun. I’ve done some similar stuff in the past, and I really enjoy it. It’s an offense that really keeps defenses on their heels in a lot of different ways — with tempo, with formation, playing fast.”

His athleticism, effectiveness in short-yardage situations and ease running the read option could certainly distinguish Tebow from a player such Barkley once Kelly begins winnowing down the roster.

“You just go out and compete and try to earn whatever you can,” Tebow said. “I’m looking to get better every single day I set foot on this field.”

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Follow Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis

Tebow Looking To Make Most Of Opportunity( Tims Presser )

He changed his mechanics and his body. Tim Tebow hopes it now pays off with a spot on the Eagles’ roster. Learn about his development …
 

Tim Tebow says his opportunity with Eagles is ‘a blessing’

 
 

NFL, Philadelphia Eagles

 

 
 
 
PHILADELPHIA — The stage is set for Tim Tebow. If the former Heisman Trophy winner is going to earn a spot on the Philadelphia Eagles roster, he couldn’t ask for better circumstances.

“I think about it as, what a blessing,” Tebow said after Thursday’s practice. “What a great opportunity. I work extremely hard every day, try to be the best teammate I can, the best player. Try to make everybody else around me better as well. All of us are just trying to improve.”

QB Sam Bradford, the other Heisman winner acquired by Eagles coach Chip Kelly this offseason, has not been cleared to take part in team drills. Bradford tore his left anterior cruciate ligament last August. He can take part in limited drills, but not in many of the practice periods.

QB Mark Sanchez, Tebow’s former New York Jets teammate, is working with the first-team offense. Matt Barkley, Tebow’s prime competition for a roster spot, is also in camp.

For Tebow, this opportunity came after two seasons of being out of the league. He did some college football analysis for ESPN last season. He has appeared on “Good Morning America.” But the whole time, Tebow was working with throwing coach Tom House to try to improve his mechanics and get another chance in the NFL.

“I still competed,” Tebow said. “I trained every single day. You should have seen the Tebow Turkey Bowl. That was the craziest thing ever. You try to compete at everything you do. I’m a competitive person.

“Whether that’s training every day, whether it’s going to play hoops, throwing a ball, whether it’s what I was doing on TV with ESPN and GMA and everything, I enjoyed that and competed at it. You always want to do your best. Whatever you find to do, do it with all your might. That’s something I believe in.”

Now that he is back on the field, Tebow has a new appreciation for the game.

“All I know is that I’m enjoying this process,” Tebow said. “I’m going to take it day by day and try to get better. And also enjoy the opportunities. I think sometimes when things get taken away, you don’t realize how much fun it is to come out here and play this game. You can’t play it forever. I’m going to enjoy it.”

He has a chance with the Eagles. Kelly has seemed lukewarm about Barkley, choosing not to let the third-year quarterback from USC start the Eagles’ final regular-season game. Even though the Eagles were officially eliminated from playoff contention, Sanchez started that game against the New York Giants.

Kelly signed Tebow to a one-year contract on April 20, so the coach’s interest in Tebow is more apparent. With Bradford sidelined, Tebow will have plenty of practice opportunities to impress Kelly and the other coaches.

“I’ve always loved it,” Tebow said. “I think you appreciate it more now. I appreciate every opportunity that I get, every day of being able to come out here — no matter how hot it is, no matter how much you’ve been running, no matter how the workout was. You embrace it. You embrace that grind even more. You find joy in it, especially the hard stuff.”

 

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