Signing of Tim Tebow Adds to Eagles’ Abundance of Quarterbacks

 The New York Times

By VICTOR MATHER

Inside

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Tim Tebow led the Broncos to the playoffs in the 2011-12 season. The Eagles signed him Monday. Credit Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
 
The Philadelphia Eagles’ signing of Tim Tebow raises a host of questions: How will Tebow fare after two years away from the game? What role does Coach Chip Kelly see for him? Will he be embraced by the tough fans?

But the most conspicuous is this: Just how many quarterbacks do the Eagles need?

It is one thing to stockpile receivers or defensive backs. But teams can use only one quarterback at a time, and sometimes having even two candidates for starter can lead to a controversy that eats up a team. Now the Eagles have five quarterbacks, three of whom have started N.F.L. games.

But in another twist, precisely zero of the five could be considered proven, successful N.F.L. starters.

Tebow’s signing, announced Monday, is another of the curious, news-making moves made this off-season by Kelly, including his letting go of the team’s starting quarterback, best running back and best receiver.

The nominal starter at this point is Sam Bradford, acquired in March from the St. Louis Rams in a surprising trade for the Eagles’ 2014 starter, Nick Foles.

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Sam Bradford in 2103. He was the top overall pick in the 2010 draft. Credit Bob Leverone/Associated Press

Bradford was the No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft out of Oklahoma. His rookie season was a success, as he led a team that had been 1-15 to a 7-9 record and, crucially, played all 16 games. After two weaker seasons, Bradford began to have injury problems: He played just seven games in 2013 and none last year.

In his career, he has averaged 6.3 yards per pass attempt, ranking him at the back of the pack among active quarterbacks. Rams fans have been underwhelmed, and there was hardly an outcry when he was shipped to Philadelphia.

His status as the starter there, and even his roster spot, may not be locked up. Though jerseys of the Eagles’ other new acquisitions are readily available, Bradford jerseys were not in stock at local stores, NJ.com reported last week.

Backing up Bradford at this point will be Mark Sanchez. A No. 5 overall pick out of Southern California, Sanchez spent four years as the Jets’ starter, putting up average numbers at best. The highlight was an 11-5 record and a trip to the conference finals in his second season, 2010. But things turned sour shortly after.

No matter what Sanchez accomplishes the rest of his career, he will be remembered for a play that joins Leon Lett’s Super Bowl fumble, Scott Norwood’s “Wide Right” field-goal attempt and the Miracle at the Meadowlands in N.F.L. infamy. In the so-called butt fumble in November 2012, Sanchez simply ran into a teammate’s backside, leading to a fumble recovery for a touchdown by the Patriots.

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Mark Sanchez joined the Eagles after a mostly disappointing tenure with the Jets. Credit Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The play quickly came to be seen as symbolic of Sanchez’s failed tenure with the Jets. He missed all of the next season with an injury and then was cut, before being signed by Philadelphia, where he rehabilitated his image somewhat last season, playing fairly well in place of an injured Foles.

That brings us to Tebow.

Drawing an outsize amount of attention for his college success, rushing ability and overt Christian faith, Tebow has an N.F.L. career that essentially boils down to one season, 2011 with the Denver Broncos. Replacing an ineffective Kyle Orton after five games, Tebow began an attention-getting pattern of performances. He repeatedly seemed to underachieve for three quarters, while the Broncos’ stout defense kept the team close, and then he would pull off a miracle in the last minutes. Opinions were sharply divided over whether these heroics were the result of a gritty winning mentality or just luck.

Tebow’s apotheosis came in a playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He barely threw the ball until the first play of overtime, when he unexpectedly launched an 80-yard touchdown pass that won the game.

Despite the team’s success, his season numbers were subpar by any standard. When the Broncos then signed Peyton Manning, Tebow’s time was up.

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Tim Tebow threw 12 touchdowns for the Broncos in 2011. Credit Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

His next team was the Jets, and his arrival, coupled with Sanchez’s unpopularity, led to a news media frenzy that threatened to overwhelm the season. In the end, Tebow threw just eight passes as Sanchez’s backup, and he has not played since. He moved on to broadcasting, and it seemed as if his playing career might be over.

(Tebow has a history with Bradford, too. His Florida team beat Bradford and Oklahoma in the 2009 N.C.A.A. title game.)

Now Tebow may be competing with Matt Barkley for the Eagles’ third-string slot. A once highly regarded star at Southern California, Barkley has an N.F.L. career consisting of four relief appearances over the past two seasons.

The most vulnerable of the five Eagles quarterbacks is probably G. J. Kinne, who has been on rosters of the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League, the San Antonio Talons of Arena Football and the Jets.

So the Eagles have a full house of quarterbacks. And they might not be done. Speculation is still swirling that Kelly covets Marcus Mariota, who was recruited by Kelly at Oregon and started for Kelly as a freshman there. Perhaps Bradford can be packaged with other picks to allow the Eagles to move up toward the top of the first round next week and grab Mariota.

Eagles fans have experienced a roller-coaster off-season, and the fun, and perhaps nausea, may continue.

 
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25 Responses to “Signing of Tim Tebow Adds to Eagles’ Abundance of Quarterbacks”

  1. Andrea says:

    Looks like the cheating New England Patriots got away with it again.

    Hope Tebow and the Eagles do not have to face those cheaters in the Super Bowl.

    Just when you think the NFL can not embarrass you anymore

    • Sage says:

      Gotta disagree. Tebow facing the Patriots in the Super Bowl would be *great*, ’cause if Tebow gets to the SB he’s going to win it.

      • ck says:

        Sage: Think if anyone can expose Brady, it would be T2 b/c he will have the team built around him and WIN IT! But have to admit, would like to see him over take PM (Mr. PJ Pizza guy) FIRST!!! The look on Elrot’s face would be PRICELESS!!! NOW THAT IS DIVINE INTERVENTION AT ITS BEST!!:D

      • LuitLipton says:

        Right on Sage!

    • ck says:

      Andrea: Only in the NFL do the “CHEATERS” PROSPER!!!:(

  2. ck says:

    At least this article tried to get it right and T2 is better than all of them imho!!:)

  3. Andrea says:

    When Tim Tebow gets his team to the Super Bowl next Febraury 2016, I would like him to face an opposing team that at least has the appearance of playing the game with honor and integrity.

    I’m just having a hard time of thinking of a team that acts in such a manner.

  4. TheMascotArmy says:

    I think the punishment for the patriots was fair considering what previous punishments were. And they could have avoided being punished had they instead inflated the balls to the minimum in a sauna and let nature take it’s course after inspection.
    Tebow winning a superbowl would be just another (major) log on the pile of things his detractors were convinced would never happen. Tebow is a human crow-eating inducing machine.

    • David Oliver says:

      Question – why does the premise seem to exist that this was a
      one time / one game instance of Brady and his “inflate-gate”?

      I did hear a commentator on XM / Sirius Fantasy Football channel:

      His presentation was that Since He and Peyton Manning headed up the
      effort that brought the control of the footballs to the individual
      teams and QBs for “checking and breaking in”..

      There was a very significant change (according to him) in Tom Brady’s
      success as a QB and his stats. He said something like for 7 years
      he was an average QB and right after obtaining control of the
      footballs he became a MUCH BETTER QB??

      I have no idea whether this history is close to being true.

      But the 2 men who confessed to being involved of the Patriots
      have supposedly been with the Patriots since they took over
      control of the footballs.

      Many are dismissing this cheating as not being important because
      they won this particular game by a large margin..

      But who knows HOW MANY Games they have Played this Cheating Deflation
      of the footballs card?

      • Andrea says:

        I believe the Wells report dealt with the AFC Championship game.

        But you are right David Oliver – the Colts complained about deflated Patriot footballs in their October 2014 regular season matchup.

        There’s talk going around Baltimore that the Patriots used deflated footballs in thier playoff game match-up against the Pats.

        Plus the unlikely statistic that the Patriots fumble the football on average much less than the other 31 teams.

        I think the Patriots have been cheating with a deflated football for years.

        • TheMascotArmy says:

          I think they’ve been doing it regularly too. If Brady has an off year this year, he’ll never hear the end of it, and his legacy will be severely tarnished.

          • Sage says:

            It’s the extremely low fumbles that are most interesting. Some people think Belicheck is coaching that, but I question how much you can control fumbles through mere discipline and tactics. If discipline and tactics could control fumbling, wouldn’t everyone try harder?

          • ck says:

            TheMascotArmy: Believe this to be true and it will be interesting to see how it shows up in stats!

        • ck says:

          You are absolutely right, Andrea, and they gave him the right name…”Belicheat!” Can’t wait for the stats to come out, like you stated.

      • ck says:

        David O.: Thanks for the info on PM and Brady doing what they do best…”The ends justify the means!” No wonder they didn’t want to deal w/Tebow…TOO HONEST!!! THANK GOD FOR TEBOW AND THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER COMING OUT, FINALLY!!!

    • Sage says:

      I’m unconscerned about the Patriots or any penalties.

      However, I think any tears they are shedding are crocodile tears. At 37, Tom Brady should welcome a 12-game regular season. The team, meanwhile, should welcome a chance to showcase their backup, Garrapolo (sp), and give him valuable experience. If he wins even 2 games, they’ll be in as good a position as last season. And they can get all the whole leage twittering about how Garrapolo’s trade value.

      Still further, a 4 game suspension creates just the degree of tension on which Belicheck thrives. The team will have to focus early instead of doing the post-SB strut.

      My guess is the league knows this, and it was happy for this chance to issue a largely cosmetic sanction that gives the appearance of preserving the integrity of the game.

      Granted, a similar sanction against any other team might well be damaging. Just not the Patriots.

    • ck says:

      TheMascotArmy: Credit for “Human crow-eating inducing machine”…PRICELESS, LOL! 🙂

  5. Bigfan says:

    Two scripture verses come to mind..

    “You’re always proudest before a fall”

    “Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord”

  6. Sam says:

    When will we get to see footage of the patriots in training?

  7. Sam says:

    Woops, eagles offcourse!

  8. DeLVen says:

    The NFL and integrity should not be used in the same sentence. When a billion dollar sports entertainment industry charges the government (taxpayer) to promote honor displays for our military, give big contracts to college players who “more probably than not” raped a young woman and is getting away with it because of poor investigative techniques and NFL officials talk about protecting the integrity of the game that is unmitigated gall.

    It is a sign of the corruption of our times that government leaders violate laws with impunity and the general public is outraged and willing to punish teams and individuals on the basis that they more than likely violated a game rule. God help us we are lost.

    • ck says:

      DeLVen: Watched O’Reilly and Miller stated what you have that The NFL Culture b/c of Goodell being so terrible at his job is rife w/wrong doing and, yes, “God help us we are lost!” Especially, when it comes to bad behavior being rewarded it would appear!

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