Tim Tebow seems to be trailing Matt Barkley in Eagles No. 3 quarterback battle … And it isn’t close

Matt Lombardo | For NJ Advance Media By Matt Lombardo | For NJ Advance Media South Jersey Newspapers
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on June 02, 2015 at 3:10 PM, updated June 02, 2015 at 3:46 PM

Take everything you are about to read with a grain of salt knowing that the calendar just turned to June and the Eagles won’t be playing a regular season game until Monday, September 14 in Atlanta against the Falcons.

Between now and then Tim Tebow has another week of OTAs, mandatory minicamp, training camp and four preseason games to overtake Matt Barkley for the Eagles’ third quarterback job.

From the looks of it, he’ll need to be perfect on every snap.

That isn’t to say that Barkley, the Eagles’ 2012 fourth-round draft pick with all of 50 NFL throws to his name, looks like Joe Montana out there. Tebow just seems to be struggling in many areas in his introduction to Chip Kelly’s offense.

Last week Tebow held the ball, held the ball and held the ball some more during seven-on-seven drills, struggling to go through his progressions against a skeleton defense. The ball hit the ground more times than you would expect in such a drill. On one pass, Tebow actually fluttered a ball over the shrubs that line the Novacare Complex practice fields from traffic on South Broad Street.

The Philadelphia media’s first glimpse of Tebow wearing a midnight green helmet was a clear reminder of why he is the owner of a 47.9 completion percentage.

Tuesday wasn’t all that much better.

On one particularly worrisome set of reps, Tebow threw behind a receiver on one play followed by under-throwing a running back on a five-yard out pattern on the very next pass.

Later, Tebow badly under-threw first-round pick Nelson Agholor along the sidelines, forcing the rookie to come back to the ball and break up a would be Jaylen Watkins interception.

While Barkley hasn’t been perfect by any stretch he at least has had some flashes during the two practices the media has been able to watch so far this spring. The same thing can’t be said for Tebow.

After putting together four straight throws that looked to be perhaps the best four of his Eagles’ practice career, Barkley later threw a pass off his back foot intended for Jordan Matthews that was intercepted by cornerback Byron Maxwell, almost to remind everyone that we were watching a competition for the third quarterback job and not the starting job.

Speaking of the starter, Sam Bradford threw during seven-on-sevens and appeared to show no ill effects from his twice-torn left ACL. Watching Bradford’s smooth, fluid throwing motion and what looks like an effortless flick of the wrist upon release is a stark contrast to watching Tebow trying to get the ball downfield.

There’s no denying Tebow’s athleticism. He can scramble out of the pocket and may very well be a bear to tackle should the Eagles in fact utilize him as a weapon on two-point conversions as some have speculated since his signing.

But, as a quarterback … Tebow has a long way to go.

One area where Tebow has a clear advantage over Barkley is the fact that it was Kelly who took a chance and signed him after a two-year absence from the league. Meanwhile, Barkley’s name has been the subject of persistent trade rumors throughout the offseason.

What kind of edge does Kelly’s faith in Tebow give him over Barkley? Only time will tell. But, right now the position battle doesn’t seem all that close.

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16 Responses to “Tim Tebow seems to be trailing Matt Barkley in Eagles No. 3 quarterback battle … And it isn’t close”

  1. brandi says:

    What matters is does Chip Kelly think he’s seeing out of Tim Tebow what he wants to see. As for Barkely, good for him. Keep pushing. But the most likely scenario a good Matt Barkley showing brings, is an increased possibility of that trade Kelly’s been looking for to finally happen. If some Team isn’t happy with what they’ve got going into Camp and Matt’s looking good and looking like he wants to compete maybe someone will take the eagles phone call and offer up a provisional pick or something. For now, my guess is the Eagles need to see how Bradford feels as he’s starting to put strain on that knee before they think about depleting the corps.
    Buzzy Says : Yes they may be selling Barkely.

    • David Oliver says:

      I wonder what affect having an historical, experiential knowledge
      of the Eagle playbook and the players you are interacting with has on
      the appearance and judgement put on a newbie because of these

      I think there is a comparative initial major mis-match in these
      variables between Newbie Tim and Matt Bark (3 YEARS DIRECT EXPERIENCE)

      This gives the “Haters” a foundational reference point to attack, and
      ignore any and all positive indicators..

      Hopefully Tim with time will overcome this initial disadvantage!

      GO TIM TEBOW !!

      • David Oliver says:

        sorry editing dropped “Barkley”

      • ck says:

        David O.: Well said!:D

      • tawk2 says:

        Tebow is the only qb in the NFL who never gets a chance to learn the offense of a new team, but any other qb that is the first excuse out of reporters mouths that they are new and need time to learn! So tired of all the double standards when it comes to Tim!

  2. Wow says:

    I know this is just one guys opinion but I just read another article trashing Tebow. I wasn’t there, I didn’t see the practice so I don’t know, but it’s amazing the over reaction from people. Yeah, he looks hesitant trying to learn the offense, and he’s not the most accurate thrower. BUT.. did anyone ever watch the games? Game on the line, late 4th quarter, need a field goal to tie and TD to win.. which Eagles qb do you want? An honest answer sure as heck isn’t going to find Barkley ahead of Tebow there.

    Let’s slow down with the over reactions and wait until the preseason to see what happens when actual football games are being played. My bet is that Tebow makes the roster as a QB primarily because of his running ability / threat as a running qb and clutch play.

    • ck says:

      Wow: Agree w/u about preseason as he will definitely be in his element and then Coach Kelly will realize if he hasn’t already what an asset T2 is when it comes to WINNING/LEADERSHIP!!! Guess there will be no competition after that, lol!!!

  3. ck says:

    Besides, he is working w/third string rookies and Barkley is working w/2nds and therein lies a HUGE DIFFERENCE IMO!!! Not worried b/c he has overcome obstacles before!!!

  4. Kim says:

    They need to let Tim work with the first string or second string aim so worried about Tim not making it it’s not fair at all can someone take a poll Tim does better in real games

    • ck says:

      Kim: It would be nice if he had all the advantages others receive, but he just uses it to motivate him more or so he states…GO TEBOW!!! 🙂

  5. TheMascotArmy says:

    The competition is close enough that when you consider that it’s one guy with 3 years in the system playing with 1s and 2s vs another guy with 3 weeks in the system playing with 3s, there really is no contest…Tebow wins.

    • ck says:

      TheMascotArmy: You are right as it makes him look like the winner he is no matter the disadvantage or obstacles they throw his way and no wonder Sanchez & Barkley are feeling “angst”!

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