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

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3 Responses to “Tebow makes first appearance with Eagles”

  1. Sam says:

    Aren’t there any video footages of Tim throwing?

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