Tim Tebow will probably make Eagles – And Play Too

tim-tebow-eaglesTim Tebow hasn’t played a regular-season down in the NFL since 2012. And when he entered the broadcasting booth, it was looking more and more like he wouldn’t play in the NFL again. But Tebow decided to give it another shot with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015, and it seems like he might actually be able to make the team.

Head coach Chip Kelly has been pleased with Tebow’s preseason so far, which gives hope that the former Heisman Trophy winner can make the 53-man roster when it’s decided in a week and a half.

Assuming he does make the team, Tebow would definitely be the third-string quarterback behind Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez. However, if he did make the Eagles, the 28-year-old would likely play in some short-yardage, goal-line and extra-point situations.

The latter is key because the NFL has moved the extra-point line back so that teams will think more about going for two-point conversions. With Tebow, the Eagles would have a dual-threat quarterback who can run it in from 3 yards out just as easily as he can throw.

Another plus to putting Tebow on the roster is that he can take some pressure off Bradford in certain situations. Bradford has suffered two ACL tears in his career, so if Kelly can get him off the field at times, it would be nice.

tim-tebow-eagles-1So far Tebow has looked decent in his preseason games, completing 6-of-12 passes for 69 yards in his debut and rushing for another 15 yards and a touchdown. And it looks like the year and a half that he spent fine tuning his passing abilities with a quarterback guru have paid off.

However, this certainly isn’t to say that Tebow making the Eagles is any sort of guarantee. The 4-year veteran will have to beat out Matt Barkley for the third and final QB spot. Barkley, who was highly touted at USC, until stumbling to a fourth-round pick in the 2013 Draft, is a pocket passer who played in three games last year. And he’s only 24 years old, meaning he has plenty of time to develop.

But there are trade rumors circulating around Barkley, and he could be shipped to another team if Philadelphia ultimately decides to keep Tebow.

The decision will come down to measuring Barkley’s potential versus Tebow’s unique skill set. Philadelphia already has two pocket passers in Bradford and Sanchez; but if Bradford goes down, Sanchez is not exactly a Pro Bowler. So the hope would be that Barkley could eventually develop into a serviceable number two.

On the other hand, Tebow’s ability to run and throw gives him a dimension that the Eagles don’t currently have under center. Furthermore, with his improved passing ability, perhaps there’s still hope for Tebow to become a legitimate pocket passer who can be used in more than just specific situations.

Sam Bradford poised for Breakout 2015 Season with Eagles

sam-bradford-eaglesThe Philadelphia Eagles’ passing yards have been consistently good over the past three years: 4,356 (2014), 4,110 (2013) and 3,791 (2012).

And what’s truly amazing about this is that their last three quarterbacks have been Mark Sanchez (career bust), Nick Foles (inaccurate) and Michael Vick (washed up).

This has been the type of production that head coach Chip Kelly has been able to get out of less-heralded signal callers in his three-year tenure. So we can only imagine that he’s salivating over the prospect of what Sam Bradford can do for the Eagles.

Taken with the first pick out of Oklahoma six years ago, Bradford has always managed to play well…when he’s on the field anyways. The 27-year-old has accumulated 11,065 passing yards, 59 TDs and 38 INTs – all for a respectable 79.3 QBR, despite often having little to work with. But the problem for Bradford has definitely been staying on the field since he’s missed 31 games in his first five seasons, including 25 over the past two years.

Bradford still has the Potential to be a Huge Star in Philadelphia

sam-bradford-eagles-1Despite his injury problems, Bradford still has the talent to be one of the top five quarterbacks in the league. Watching Bradford’s pro day workout at Oklahoma, NFL scouting legend Gil Brandt called it the most-impressive that he’d seen since Troy Aikman (1989). The Eagles themselves were impressed with Bradford’s potential, calling him the best QB in the draft since Peyton Manning (1998).

Former Rams coach¬†Steve Spagnuolo, who coached Bradford from 2009-11, strongly believes that the same potential is still there, regardless of what he’s done so far.

“Trust me when I tell you he’s got all the skills, and I keep going back to the fierce competitor because I believe elite quarterbacks in this league have that,” said Spagnuolo. “You think of them all, the Aaron Rodgers, the Tom Bradys, the Peyton Mannings, Eli Mannings, they’re all very fierce competitors. They love the challenge. They love to rally people around them, and Sam has that. I really believe that.”

Teams placed High Value on Bradford

The praise and press clippings that Bradford once garnered for his abilities aren’t a thing of the past; they’re still here. The Cleveland Browns believed this so much that they were willing to give up a first-round pick for Bradford – despite the QB tearing his ACL in back-to-back seasons. Philly ultimately settled on a swap where the main pieces moving were Nick Foles to the Rams and Bradford to the Eagles.

The things that coaches still love about the 6’4″, 235-pound quarterback, aside from his size of course, are his big arm, pocket instincts, incredible accuracy and strong athleticism – pretty much everything you could want from a top quarterback.

What’s stands in Bradford’s Way of Success?

sam-bradford-eagles-2The obvious roadblock to success with the Eagles would be Bradford’s most-recent ACL tear, which has hampered his ability to practice. And this could make for an interesting QB duel in Philadelphia with Sanchez still hunting for the top spot.

Then of course there’s the fact that Bradford has yet to truly capitalize on his immense talents. His best numbers include his 2012 campaign, where he threw for 3,702 yards, 21 TDs and 13 INTs. These are strong numbers, but they don’t approach the Andrew Luck’s or Drew Brees’ of the world. And his best record with St. Louis is 7-9, which happened twice in his tenure there.

Here’s why Bradford will be Great

Chip Kelly believes in Bradford more than anybody else, identifying him as a “special talent who can make this offense soar.” This essentially means that, even with Sanchez in town, the job is Bradford’s to lose.

Another factor going in Bradford’s favor is that he’ll be playing with stellar weapons for the first time in his life, particularly a deep running attack (DeMarco Murray, Ryan Matthews, Darren Sproles) that will set up all kinds of play-action opportunities for Bradford.

The key will be staying healthy; if this happens, then Bradford could easily put up the best numbers of his career and realize his potential as an elite NFL quarterback.