Tim Tebow, never shy of the spotlight, was one of the biggest focuses of Eagles training camp practice on Thursday. As detailed in my practices notes, the 27-year-old quarterback made quite a few impressive throws. While he is still very far from perfect, and very much only a third string quarterback, there's no question Tebow has shown signs of progress since the spring. Does Tebow himself see the improvement?
"I think so, yes sir," he said, before going a little bit more into specifics. "Learning the offense, getting the ball out quicker, fundamentals, mechanics, all those things. Decision making."
Another area where Tebow has shown improvement is his accuracy. After really struggling to put passes on target in the spring, Tebow has done a better job of getting the ball to the receiver in the summer. His three consecutive completions during Thursday's sessions were a perfect example of this. Tebow says the improvement in accuracy is due to his preparation.
"I think I just have great coaching here and the people I was working with, Tom House and Adam Dedeaux, in the offseason," he explained. "Just continuing to try and improve my mechanics every day and get better. I know it sounds like a cliche, especially probably to most of y’all, but it’s real. It’s something I’ve been trying to do for a while."
Another area where Tebow really stands out is as a runner. His mobility separates himself from the likes of Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez, and Matt Barkley. Chip Kelly recently spoke on this aspect of Tebow's game.
"Tim obviously has a lot of skills that other quarterbacks don't have because of his ability to run the football," said Kelly. But the Eagles coach also stated he hasn't planned any specific role to utilize those skills yet.
Defenders obviously aren't allowed to touch Tebow in practice, but it's clear his threat to run opens things up with read option at times. There was a play on Thursday where a defender on the edge cheated towards Tebow after the mesh point before realizing he made a mistake and the ball went to the running back instead. Tebow talked about his familiarity with the spread offense.
"It’s something that I’ve done more of," he admitted. "So when you’ve done it more, I think you feel a little bit more comfortable every time you get a rep at something. You understand it a little bit better."
"I enjoy doing that. I think it’s fun. It’s something I’ve done a lot of and I think it can sometimes make defense play a little bit slower so I think it gives the offense opportunity to play in space, which is a good thing."
Before the Tebow hype gets too out of control here, let's call a spade a spade: Tebow is not going to be much more than a third string quarterback on this Eagles team. He might not even be active on game day if he even does make the roster.
But it's looking more and more like he will be that third guy. Not only has he improved, but he brings a unique skill set to the table due to his running ability. Meanwhile, Barkley has seemingly fallen out of favor in Philadelphia, which is completely understandable. The 2013 fourth round pick has just not done much to impress.
After being out of the league for two years, it looks like it could be Tebow Time again in the NFL.