I have this play in my mind: Sam Bradford takes the snap and hands off to DeMarco Murray. Finding no hole, Murray laterals to Tim Tebow, who hurls one downfield to Miles Austin. Sprung by a block from Ryan Matthews, Austin scores a game winner for the Eagles.
And there shall be mass Tewbowing in the end zone.
Crazy, right? Couldn’t even occur in the most souped-up mode of Madden. Except the scenario has probably run through the mind of every Eagles fan since Sunday, when Chip Kelly signed Tim Tebow to a one-year deal.
The question is, what the hell is Big Balls Chip thinking here? Is he so arrogant he believes he can develop Tebow into a NFL quarterback when three prior coaches – including The Great Belichick – have failed? Does he regard Tebow as a viable Plan B if he can’t reach up for Marcus Mariota in next week’s draft? Is Chip such a Joe College guy that he foresees Tebow duplicating what he did at Florida – ignoring that he is the NFL’s lowest-ranked quarterback since 2010?
I don’t think so. In fact, despite the frenzy that blew up Twitter and sent ESPN’s bloviaters into paroxysms of ecstasy, the signing is no big deal. What Tebow might be is a small but useful addition to the Eagles.
Think of it this way: Tebow is an athlete and a football player. He’s just not much of a quarterback (although I’d argue he’s probably more a quarterback than Matt Barkley). Kelly’s innovative enough to figure a situation to employ those skills – hmm, let’s say fourth-and-goal from the one. Tim Tebow might be useful a half-dozen times a game as an H-back, fullback, punt protector, Swiss Army knife, something.
No one (except maybe Tebow and the braying ninny Skip Bayless) still harbors visions of Tebow (who will wear No. 11) as an NFL starter. But that doesn’t mean he can’t serve a purpose on a 53-man roster. You just need to separate all the history and the hooey to see it.
You may say that’s impossible. You may say that the Heisman and the religious symbolism and the divisiveness that accompany this charismatic young man can’t be separated out. The key word, of course, is “distraction,” as in, “the Eagles are going through so much change that they don’t need another distraction.”
Sure, training camp will be abuzz with the national drop-in media guys. The Eagles, for better or worse, will be the NFL’s biggest story through the summer. But distraction? Truth be told, most NFL players are so myopic about keeping their jobs that they don’t see anything beyond the guy lined up against them on the line of scrimmage. Even in a three-ring circus, the guy shoveling up behind the elephant sees only Jumbo’s butt.
The football world will survive if Tim Tebow makes the team – or he doesn’t. Maybe, just maybe, he’s a worthwhile addition. Hey, I’m rooting for the guy.