Your Twitter feed may have blown up when the Philadelphia Eagles signed Tim Tebow on Monday, but whether you love or hate the former Heisman Trophy winner – and odds are you fall into one of those categories – this is all very likely much ado about nothing.
Tebow has had some nice moments in the NFL, but virtually every team in the league does not want him on its roster – whether for lack of talent, or a term we’ll call “circus aversion.” Either way, is Tebow’s signing anything more than a fourth-string quarterback joining a team in April?
“No, it’s not,” CBS Sports NFL insider Will Brinson told Damon Amendolara, who was filling in as host of CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “Brady Quinn, who’s a really nice guy and a very good analyst as well – just like Tim Tebow, who hasn’t been able to cut it in the NFL – if he was signed, would we be talking about (him) trending on Twitter? And would we be having pretzels made up in his liking? No, it’s just because it’s Tim Tebow.”
All this for a guy who is unlikely to even make the team. The Eagles have Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley, among others, vying for roster spots – and at least two of those three are practically assured of one.
“The odds came out,” Brinson said. “(Tebow is) 3-to-1 to even make the team, so we’re not talking about a guy that’s unlikely to make the team. If this were anyone other than the Eagles, I don’t think we would be quite as interested in it. But there is some idea, I think, that Chip Kelly – who is very innovative offensively – could potentially find a way to utilize Tim Tebow.”
The plot will thicken considerably if the NFL changes its extra-point rule, which could allow teams to go for two points from the one-and-a-half yard line following a touchdown.
“Maybe you bring in Tebow as your quarterback who’s going to carry the rock and help you find success in the red zone to score two-point conversions,” Brinson said. “I have a theory – this is just my theory, I don’t have any sources on this – but I think Tebow called Uncle Phil (Phil Knight) at Nike and said, ‘Hey, can you pull some strings and get me a tryout with the Eagles?’ And Phil called his old buddy Chip and said, ‘Hey, come on, man. Hook it up.’ I just think there has to be more to it than Chip Kelly really thinking that Tim Tebow can magically turn into a quarterback with a new throwing motion.”
Tebow, who won a playoff game as a starter – in fact, he threw the game-winning 80-yard touchdown pass to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime in January 2012 – has struggled with accuracy throughout his career. In fact, he has completed less than 50 percent of his passes since getting drafted 25th overall in 2010.
This tidbit does not bode well for making the Week 1 roster.
“This guy is not an accurate quarterback,” Brinson said. “He is a running quarterback who’s not necessarily fast but more strong. He’s a fullback with a decent arm and no accuracy. And to think that he’s suddenly changed things around and is going to be able to become this accurate, quick-thinking, quick decision-making quarterback is virtually an impossible idea to grasp.
“Now, at the same time, Chip Kelly did some nice things with Mark Sanchez last year,” Brinson continued. “Mark Sanchez is a much better quarterback than Tim Tebow, but Chip Kelly’s done nice things with quarterbacks. It’s possible that Tim Tebow could have some success there. I just think that literally the odds are against him. This is a guy who’s never been a good practice quarterback. I just don’t see him becoming one right now.”