Analysis and thoughts on Tim Tebow’s chance at making the Eagles

Walking off the field on Tuesday following a rain-filled practice, it was made known to the media that Eagles quarterback Tim Tebow would not be taking questions.

Mark that down as one of the first, if any, times the third-string quarterback hasn’t jumped at the chance to talk.

Then again, Tebow isn’t any other quarterback, and his battle to make the roster isn’t just another bottom-of-the roster quarterback battle.

After spending the past two seasons out of the NFL and working on his throwing motion, it is easy to understand why their is so much intrigue about Tebow.

So after getting the chance to watch two practices, here are some thoughts on Tebow, and his chances of making the roster.

He looks improved

Tebow was not in the NFL the past two seasons because of two things — his accuracy and his throwing motion. The two are tied together, and through two practices, Tebow looks to have improved from the last time he played in the NFL with the New England Patriots two years ago.

Breaking down the mechanics of Tebow’s throwing motion is a job for a quarterback’s coach, not a beat reporter, but to the naked eye, nothing stands out about Tebow’s throwing motion. He gets the ball out as quickly as the three other quarterbacks on the roster and doesn’t stand out whatsoever when all four throw the ball during drills.

Whether Tebow can keep his quick release in live game action remains to be seen, but it looks like the two years that Tebow spent on his throwing motion was time well spent.

He has a strong arm

Tebow has the build and shoulders of a linebacker, and he throws like one too. Tebow doesn’t have the strongest arm on the team (that title belongs to Sam Bradford), but he is pretty close. Last week, while casually running from one drill to another, Tebow flicked the ball while running about 40 yards in a perfect spiral. Again, this isn’t in a game, but Tebow doesn’t seem like he’ll have any trouble getting the ball down the field should he make the roster and get some action.

Bad throws

Tebow has been running with the third team in seven-on-seven drills, and his play has been up-and-down. Tebow has made a few questionable decisions. On Tuesday, he threw the ball down the field and it was nearly picked off by cornerback Jaylen Watkins. Last week he had a pass nearly picked off as well.

There is danger in giving a strong opinion on seven-on-seven performances this early on, however. For example, Sam Bradford had an interception dropped by safety Malcolm Jenkins on Tuesday. With both Bradford and Tebow learning the offense, there are bound to be bad throws and plenty of hesitation.


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Matt Barkley

Tebow’s chances of making the Eagles are directly tied to the team’s long-term feelings on Matt Barkley. A third-year player, Barkley has seen the field sparingly during his first two season, and hasn’t been that impressive when he did play (granted, he was thrown into some tough spots). Barkley’s poor play caused offseason speculation that he might be traded.

Barkley is in camp, however, and has looked good so far. He looks in great shape and it’s clear he has a better control of the offense at this point than Tebow does.

The question with Barkley is, will the Eagles view his strong play as a positive development for them, or a chance to trade him? If Barkley lights it up in preseason, and the Eagles get some interest, it wouldn’t be surprising if they moved him. Especially if Tebow is playing strong as well.

Threat to run

Tebow might be on the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to being a pure passer among the Eagles’ quarterbacks, but he is far-and-away on the top when it comes to being a threat with his legs. Head coach Chip Kelly has said he doesn’t care if he has a mobile quarterback, but each week he plays one, he is clear to point out the problems it causes for defenses.

Tebow has tucked the ball away and run plenty of times during practices, which isn’t great in seven-on-seven drills, but did give him a chance to show off his speed. Tebow is surprisingly quick for a guy his size, and when he has a full head of steam going, is going to be tough to bring down.

Something you can’t even pretend to say about the other Eagles’ quarterbacks.

Experience

One thing Tebow has that very few third-string quarterbacks can put on their resume? A playoff win.

Barkley showed during his few brief appearances that coming off of the bench and being thrown into the action doesn’t seem to be his strong suit. There is no shame in that, but it is worth keeping in mind when deciding who will be the team’s emergency quarterback.

As a third-string quarterback, Tebow has experience playing, a track record of being able to make it late happen in games, a low turnover rate and the ability to run the ball.

Add that all up, and after two practices, Tebow is off to a good start in his attempt to make the roster.

Eliot Shorr-Parks may be reached at eshorrpa@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @EliotShorrParks. Find NJ.com Sports on Facebook.

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2 Responses to “Analysis and thoughts on Tim Tebow’s chance at making the Eagles”

  1. David Oliver says:

    I thought this was a fair early on review of Tim Tebow and his
    overall potential and what he uniquely has to offer as THE Eagle’s
    QB.. STAY TUNED… GO TEBOW !!

  2. David Oliver says:

    Philadelphia Eagles: Predicting Winners of 5 Key Camp Positional
    Battles – Third Quarterback: Tim Tebow vs. Matt Barkley

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2479682-philadelphia-eagles-predicting-winners-of-5-key-camp-positional-battles/page/2

    By Cody Swartz , Featured Columnist
    May 28, 2015

    The battle for the third quarterback spot isn’t usually so noteworthy, except this one features one Tim Tebow, a former first-round pick, Heisman Trophy winner and ESPN favorite whose every move in camp will be debated on Twitter.

    He will be competing head-to-head with Matt Barkley, a 2013 fourth-round pick of Chip Kelly’s who has highly disappointed in two NFL seasons. Granted, Barkley has participated in limited snaps, but he has done nothing in practice to dispel a horrendous 44.6 lifetime passer rating on 49 pass attempts.

    The new extra-point role may allow for Tebow’s particular skill set to serve a purpose. According to Albert Breer of NFL Media, he’s also reportedly corrected his throwing motion by working with former pitcher Tom House. Then again, maybe he hasn’t.

    The fact that Tebow didn’t play well in practice Thursday, per the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane, doesn’t mean much in the long haul. It will come down to countless repetitions over the next three months, and Barkley certainly doesn’t have the edge based on his previous experience.

    Predicted Winner: Tim Tebow

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