COMMENTARY | His name came up again the other day as it's destined to at just about every opportunity. When word came down that Sam Bradford wouldn't be playing any more quarterback for the St. Louis Rams this season because of a torn knee ligament, opportunity knocked.
What about Tim Tebow?
The Rams have since discounted the idea of bringing in the former Heisman Trophy winner, who failed to make the New England Patriots as a backup this summer. No other teams have come calling since. It's true he is universally castigated for lacking sufficient passing skills to succeed in the NFL. It's also true he led the Denver Broncos to the 2011 playoffs and won a postseason game with a touchdown pass in overtime.
And then he went to the New York Jets as a backup and arrived with more ballyhoo than had ever been afforded a backup player in any sport. That was pretty much his highlight in New York. He played next to never before getting released.
But to his credit and often to his detriment, everyone likes Tim Tebow. He seems like a genuinely decent man. He's never ripped anyone publicly, even if they've ripped him first. You don't have to share his religious convictions to admire his dedication to them. Since his days at the University of Florida where he was part of two national championship teams, he's developed a cult following - it's come to be known as Tebowmania. A lot of America seems to want Tim Tebow to play on Sundays for somebody.
But where could he go? It seems unlikely he will ever be able to become a drop-back passer in an NFL offense. Logic would indicate his best chance would be in a spread offense similar to what he ran in college…
… perhaps something like the Philadelphia Eagles offense under new head coach Chip Kelly.
Okay, okay, I know Kelly's Eagles offense isn't exactly a replica of what made him famous at the University of Oregon. Maybe part of the problem is he's had to entrust it to an aging and fragile running quarterback in Michael Vick and two more conventional quarterbacks in Nick Foles and Matt Barkley. At Oregon, Kelly flourished with excellent running quarterbacks who could also pass. Vick certainly can run and has had moments passing, but he's 33 and his best days are behind him. Neither Foles nor Barkley will ever be an effective running quarterback.
Tebow is 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds. Running is the strength of his game. He has limited speed, but he has shown he can run like some of the better power backs in the league. He's large and durable, a real plus for a running quarterback.
But will he ever pass well enough? He's had major struggles throwing the ball with any consistency in the NFL. He's never been known for throwing deep in college or the pros. Additionally, he would need to make quick decisions in Kelly's lightning offense. But he did flourish in Florida's spread attack, one would think he'd be fine under Kelly in that regard.
If you really think about it, it's kind of intriguing. He's out there. He's run the spread. He would certainly be a low-risk option to consider. Is there a downside?
Tebow does come with distractions just because he's Tebow. They had a press conference in New York for this guy like he was the second coming, and he was only going to be a second-stringer. He was interviewed often in Patriots training camp, where he was trying to stick as a third-stringer. People want to know what's up with Tebow. That's part of the package when you take him on.
But if it could work, you'd have a natural leader who, at age 26, would be around a long time. Let's also remember one important factor when considering this guy - every place where Tebow has been given a chance to play, he's won.
Tim Tebow may not be the answer for the Philadelphia Eagles. He hasn't been anywhere else to date. But considering his spread background and considering how the Eagles don't really have a long-term answer at quarterback for Kelly's system right now, is it really that far-fetched an idea?
Ted Williams lives in Emmaus, PA and is a lifetime Eagles follower. He spent 20 years in print journalism, winning state and national awards.
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