This just might be my favorite signing of the offseason. I’ve always loved Tim Tebow, no matter your religious beliefs, you can’t hate on a man who works hard, does the right things and loves the game of football.
In an interview by UFC fighter Brendan Schaub with Urban Meyer for The Fighter and the Kid podcast, Meyer said that “he has never seen a person train like Tim Tebow did” during his time at Florida. He says that Tebow and John Simon who is a linebacker for the Houston Texans are the two hardest workers he’s ever met in his 28 years of coaching. He said, he has never met anyone like Tebow or Simon. To this statement, Schaub agreed that in all of his years playing football at the University of Colorado to his days in the UFC, he has never met anyone like Tim Tebow.
Over the last two years, since the Patriots cut him after the 2013 training camp, Tom House has been Tebow’s throwing coach. House works with Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Carson Palmer, along with “12 or 13” current quarterbacks. House then reiterated the point made by Meyer and Schaub saying to Albert Breer, “What amazes me is this young man, with no job prospects, has prepared just as hard as he would if he were the No. 1 quarterback for an NFL team. He’s busted his butt. He spins the ball better than he did and he’s much more accurate than he was. I think he’s ready.”
He went on to say that he’s helped Tebow with his throwing as he came to him after he was released by the Patriots because Tom Brady recommended him. He stated, “he had trouble spinning the ball and he wasn’t very accurate. We didn’t do much conditioning or route trees or run many defenses against him. We honestly felt we could help him with his throwing like everyone else, but this time, he got enough reps where the change was made.”
What we are about to see is a man who worked his ass off finally get an opportunity to prove himself in the NFL in a system that fits his talents. While we know that Sam Bradford is slated to be their starter and they could still make a move for Marcus Mariota, Tebow has a real opportunity to show what he can do in the read-option style offense that Chip Kelly ran at Oregon and would still like to run in the NFL.
During that magical 2011 season with the Broncos, Tebow went 7-4 in 11 starts, passing for 1729 yards with 12 touchdowns to 6 interceptions, but with only a 46.5% completion percentage. He was a threat on the ground running for 660 yards and 6 touchdowns at 5.4 yards per carry. In that playoff win against the Steelers, he threw for 316 yards with two touchdowns and 50 yards on the ground with a rushing TD. He has shown he can play in the NFL, but he isn’t the prototypical passer, so he hasn’t been able to find a home in the NFL.
Thankfully for him, and something that is true for every player, you only need one team to like you. You only need to fit into the system of one team and you will have an opportunity to play.
While he didn’t fit into many team’s systems the last few years, I also believe that part of the reason he was out of the NFL because no one wants their third string quarterback to bring the circus to town with him with the way the media covered him. A large part of the reason he was out of the NFL is that he is unlike any other player in the NFL, especially being a lefty. Maybe you could have him back-up Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, or Cam Newton, but Wilson and Newton had capable back-ups already. The big thing is, you can’t have a system quarterback as your back-up because then it creates a real issue if your QB goes down, in Philadelphia, he won’t have that problem.
On the Eagles side of this, they just got a player who fits their system very nicely, a former first-round pick, so a guy we know is talented and could be a major player in the right system, for the veteran minimum. On top of that, they got a guy who has spent the last two years perfecting his throwing motion and, while he hasn’t played a snap in the NFL since 2012, he is certainly healthy and well rested for a 16 game season. With DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles in the backfield, they could have an incredible read-option, rushing attack with Tebow back there. Chip Kelly would love the creativity he could bring to the offense with that backfield.
This could end up being a long-term proposition, who knows. If we go back and look at when Michael Vick signed with the Eagles in 2009, he didn’t play much that first season, he got acclimated to the game that year after two full seasons out of the game and then exploded for an MVP level 2010 campaign.
Unlike Vick, Tebow was still involved in the game, still training like the mad man that he is, working on TV in positions that forced him to continue to watch film and study the game.
Sure, it might take him a little bit of time to get into form and who knows what form that will be, but this could be an incredible signing for the Eagles. It’s a low-risk, high-reward deal and, at the least, they are getting themselves a hard worker, a great person and a world-class leader in that locker room.
I applaud Tim Tebow, it takes a lot of heart to stay dedicated to your vision and work hard at something that no one thinks you can accomplish. No one deserves this opportunity more than Tebow and he’s living out a dream inspiring people along the way, just like he wants to. If he pulls off this comeback story, he’s going to show all of us that anything is possible if you believe in yourself and you’re willing to put the work in.
And frankly, if you don’t like Tim Tebow, it says a lot more about you, than it does about him.
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