By Michael LeCompte
Tebowmania is back. After being out of the NFL since a 2013 preseason stint with New England, Tebow signed a contract with Philadelphia on Monday. The much-analyzed and often scrutinized quarterback has finally made it back to the promised land.
Although Philadelphia may be his last shot at the NFL (career numbers of 17 TD’s, 9 INT’s and a 47.9% completion rate don’t exactly inspire confidence), the Eagles are also his best chance for success.
Denver’s offense called for a traditional pocket-passing quarterback and after some limited success realized Tebow didn’t fit there. The Jets were never quite sure what to do with him and as a result he didn’t make it on the field enough to contribute and in New England, with its disciplined and regimented style, there was never quite a place for him with the offense.
Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly’s high-powered, up-tempo offensive system is exactly the kind that could utilize Tebow and his unique skill set. Kelly’s offense is similar to the type Tebow ran to perfection in college at Florida and the Eagles could benefit from having 15-20 plays designed for Tebow, either at quarterback or with the ball in his hands at some other position, such as running back or receiver.
Kelly is not afraid of making big moves and Tebow is the latest. He sent Lesean McCoy to Buffalo and has brought in Byron Maxwell and Demarco Murray this offseason.
Tebow is a high-character guy who will work hard and give the Eagles everything he has, thankful for the opportunity they have given him. However, it will be hard for him to crack the 53 man roster at quarterback unless he proves himself indispensable. Sam Bradford is the projected starter in 2015 and he is backed up by the inconsistent Mark Sanchez and the overrated Matt Barkley (both of whom probably only have NFL careers because they quarterbacked at USC).
It will be fun to watch Tebow compete for a roster spot this offseason. Whether we believe he can ever be an NFL quarterback or not, there is something relatable about his story. Tebow is a man who has been told multiple times that his NFL career was over, yet he kept the dream alive, even as he has found success as an SEC broadcaster and contributor for Good Morning America. Over the past two years away from the game he has been working with a quarterbacks coach to refine his mechanics and is now apparently throwing better than he ever has. His workman-like effort to get back to the NFL is laudable.
Regardless of whether Tebowmania runs wild during the 2015 season or if he fails to make Philadelphia’s 53 man roster, the NFL should keep Tebow around in some official capacity. Tebow is good for the NFL’s image. He is the anti-Ray Rice. Who knows, perhaps he could run an NFL mentoring program for other young quarterbacks whose game’s are not really compatible to the NFL and who struggle with off-field issues, such as Johnny Manziel or the about-to-be drafted Jameis Winston.