Mark Sanchez: Tim Tebow is just ‘another guy’ as Sam Bradford recovers

By Des Bieler April 27 at 12:40 AM Follow @DesBieler

Tim Tebow (15) and quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) are shown with the Jets in 2012. (Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press)

Tim Tebow’s signing by the Eagles sparked an Internet frenzy, with plenty of speculation about what, if any, role the quarterback might have in Philadelphia. However, according to Mark Sanchez, the hullabaloo over the former Heisman Trophy winner, who hasn’t played in the NFL since 2012, amounts to much ado about not much at all.

“He’s obviously a great guy, he works hard, and we needed another guy to throw while Sam [Bradford] is still recovering,” Sanchez told CSN Philly.

“So, that’s kind of the reason there [for Tebow’s signing], at least as it was explained to me, so we’re excited about the upcoming year, and I think we have a great group.”

Okay, well then, Tebow’s just around to make sure someone can throw the ball to Eagles receivers during offseason training activities, while Bradford recovers from a torn knee ligament. Nothing to see here!

But plenty to talk about, of course. Sanchez is hardly a neutral observer in all this; not only is he vying with Bradford (assuming the latter doesn’t get traded) for the starting quarterback job, he was Tebow’s teammate in 2012.

That year, Sanchez and Tebow were both on the Jets, who had traded for Tebow from the Broncos. Sanchez had struggled during his first three years in New York, but if Tebow had been brought in to compete for that job, you’d never know from how the season played out.

Sanchez struggled again in 2012, but when he was finally benched, the Jets opted to promote Greg McElroy, who was almost immediately injured and replaced by Sanchez. During all of this, a healthy Tebow stood on the sidelines, and he would account for just eight pass attempts, as well as 32 rushing attempts, for the whole season.

So it’s understandable that Sanchez, who played the best football of his NFL career last year under Coach Chip Kelly, would not view Tebow as a legitimate threat for playing time. But you don’t have to read too far between the lines to infer that Sanchez is basically saying that Tebow won’t even make the Eagles’ roster, and he might be gone the instant Bradford is fully healthy.

However, as Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports pointed out, if the Eagles simply wanted someone around to help their receivers run pass routes, they could have found a better option than Tebow, whose main drawback as a quarterback was his inaccuracy (a slow delivery didn’t help, either), as he posted a dismal completion percentage of .479. Just to pick one name for comparison, 29-year-old Matt Flynn, who is still waiting to sign with a team, has a career completion percentage of .613.

Kelly is known as an unorthodox thinker and offensive innovator, and it would be somewhat surprising if he wasn’t envisioning some sort of package for Tebow based on the quarterback’s current skill set. That doesn’t guarantee the comeback-minded former Gator anything, and we don’t know exactly what was said to Sanchez about the signing, but it seems likely that the Eagles want Tebow around for more than just his arm.

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3 Responses to “Mark Sanchez: Tim Tebow is just ‘another guy’ as Sam Bradford recovers”

  1. bubbaelvis says:

    Last year, I kind of felt sorry for Sanchez. I actually was glad for him when he had some success with the Eagles. Not so much now. Even if he dislikes Tebow or resents him, he didn’t have to say that. He could have left it at “he’s a good guy and hard worker”. The guy is insecure. When they were with the Jets Sanchez always made it a point to say He was the starter and Tebow had a role but it was limited. After all Rex told him so. If you have to continually convince people you are the leader, you are not the leader. Sanchez is going to find out Chip ain’t Rex. I believe character counts with Chip and Sanchez hurt himself with this statement. I can’t wait till the completion begins. One Eagle’s tight end is already saying Tim has improved. It is just a matter of time (Tebow time).

    • ck says:

      Bubbaelvis: Agree about the character issue and he will not win against T2 that is for sure…wonder if he still has that tat? The Jets got rid of some of the problems; i.e., Rotten Ryan and flawed Sanchez, ha, ha!

  2. Mrs. Crosby says:

    Chip Kelly: Eagles didn’t sign Tim Tebow just to have him practice

    Speaking on the NFL Network, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly refuted statements made by quarterback Mark Sanchez last month that Tebow was signed solely as a practice arm.

    “No. I think everybody here that we bring to our organization is here to compete for a job. That’s what Timmy is going to do,” Kelly said. “He’s an unbelievable competitor.”

    Sanchez seemed to indicate that he didn’t believe Tebow had a real shot at a job.

    “We needed another guy to throw while Sam’s (Bradford) still recovering,” Sanchez said, according to CSN Philadelphia. “So that’s the reason (for the signing), at least as explained to me.”

    There may be some truth to that, because Bradford is not expected to be ready for the beginning of OTA’s next month.

    But if Sanchez thought Tebow wasn’t going to be competing for a job, it sounds like he was mistaken.

    “If we were just going to have guys throw drills,” Kelly said, “we’d take [Mike] Mayock in the offseason and bring him down here and let him throw to them.”

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