The Philadelphia Eagles were rumored to be using the last preseason game as an audition of sorts for Tim Tebow and Matt Barkley, giving both the quarterbacks a final chance to make their case for the No. 3 position.
If that’s the case, then it appears Tim Tebow may have just won the job.
Tebow showed off his multi-faceted skill set in the team’s closing preseason game, rushing and throwing his way through the New York Jets defense. Tebow threw for two touchdowns and an interception and ran for 32 yards, while Barkley threw one interception in more abbreviated work.
Rumors surrounding the Philadelphia Eagles suggest that coach Chip Kelly was leaning toward Tim Tebow for the third quarterback slot because of the extra dimension he brings to the game. While Barkley has been considered a safer bet — especially given Tebow’s struggles with accuracy — Kelly seems intrigued with Tebow’s rushing abilities and his effectiveness in short-yardage situations.
Going into Thursday’s game, both Barkley and Tebow said they weren’t nervous about what was likely their final chance to make the roster.
“I don’t feel any pressure at all,” Barkley said, via USA Today. “I don’t think it’s anything except an exciting opportunity. I’ve been in this place before to have to impress and move the ball down the field.”
“I wouldn’t say [I’m] more nervous,” Tebow added. “I always get excited, nervous for every time I step foot on the field for practice or a game.”
If Tebow does make the roster, it will mark quite a comeback. After leading the Denver Broncos to the playoffs and an upset of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card round in 2011, Tebow went to the Jets the next season but saw little playing time. He was out of the league one year later, and appeared to be settling into a new career as a college football analyst when Chip Kelly came calling this offseason.
But Tebow said his spark for the game was always there, even when he was away from the NFL.
“I don’t know if this rekindled it, beacause I think I always had it,” Tebow said after Thursday’s game, via ESPN. “Sometimes when things are taken away, you realize how much you really do love it.”
The Philadelphia Eagles rumors will be solved shortly. The team must decide by Saturday’s 4 p.m. roster deadline if Tim Tebow or Matt Barkley holds the final quarterback slot.
[Image via Getty Images]