What a difference a few years makes. In 2009, looking to add a new dimension to their offense the Philadelphia Eagles signed convicted dog-fighting honcho Mike Vick. Almost six years later, the same team has agreed to terms with another mobile quarterback: Tim Tebow.
The southpaw signal caller will ink a one-year deal with the team. The void might have been the same, but the men selected to fill it couldn’t be more different.
While Vick ran an operation in which dogs were shot, hanged, drowned, electrocuted, and beaten, he was quickly welcomed back to the NFL after serving time in prison. Tebow, on the other hand, hasn’t had a legitimate shot in the NFL since leading the Broncos to an AFC West championship and a playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers following the 2011 NFL season. Despite a winning record and a solid touchdown-to-interception ratio, Tebow has been ostracized. After Peyton Manning took over the reins in the Mile High City, Tebow was ignored by his new team, the New York Jets. Some point to his mechanics and throwing accuracy or lack thereof. Others contend the reasons run deeper. Many firmly believe Tebow was blackballed due to his exuberant display of love for Jesus Christ. Whatever the case, no one wanted one of the greatest college players in history who also demonstrated he could win in the pros.
Tebow had a stint with the New England Patriots in 2013 only to be released before the regular season began. While dozens of quarterbacks far worse than Tebow collected NFL pay checks, the lefty was left waiting, praying, and always training.
He never gave up. Tebow was stubborn. He worked as an analyst on the SEC Network as well as other TV gigs. He did other projects as well, but he never gave up hope that he would get another crack at the big stage. He’s getting that chance.
As of this moment we can’t be sure how the Eagles will attempt to use Tebow but things point to him getting a fair shot at the very least. This will not be a Jets South situation. Chip Kelly will give Tebow every opportunity to contribute to the ball club. Whether a starter, a backup, a change-of-pace WildGator of some sort—Tebow will be a part of the equation. Kelly is stubborn like Tebow. He will want this to work. That’s good news for Tebow.
Any NFL team could have signed Tim Tebow. While 31 of them dropped the ball, the Eagles, the squad that once placed the deplorable Mike Vick under center, now embrace a man who inspires people across the country as a potential new quarterback.
The signing of Tebow is a victory for so many. It’s a victory for Mike Ditka, Urban Meyer, Jon Gruden, Dick Vitale, and all those who spoke out in favor of Tebow when it was not the popular thing to do. It’s a victory for Christians who will once again have a great man to provide his testimony on a huge stage. It’s a victory for commonsense football fans who know it’s about winning and that Tebow can do so no matter what the Merril Hoges of the world say about his arm motion. And above all, it’s a victory for the Eagles who went from a dog killer who only admitted his atrocities because he got caught to a man who spreads a message of faith, hope, and love everywhere he goes.
It’s Tebow Time again and it’s about time.