CHIP KELLY nearly broke the Internet for a wild hour or so yesterday afternoon.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Eagles had worked out Tim Tebow. A team source confirmed the workout, and confirmed that Tebow worked out as a quarterback, though some observers have thought the 6-2, 236-pound 2007 Heisman Trophy-winning QB from Florida might be better suited to play fullback, tight end or safety.
Alas, after sounding the nationwide Tebow alarm, Schefter then unrang the bell, reporting that Tebow had left Philly yesterday and that the Birds had decided not to sign him at this time.
Tebow, who briefly was the Denver Broncos' starting quarterback after they drafted him in the first round in 2010, hasn't played in the NFL since he spent the 2013 preseason with New England. If he were to sign with the Eagles, he would be reunited with Mark Sanchez, who as the Jets' quarterback struggled through Tebowmania in 2012, and with Riley Cooper, a roommate at Florida. And the Eagles' offseason soap opera would take yet another twist.
The high-water mark of Tebow's NFL career was when he led the Broncos into the 2011 playoffs and actually won a game, upsetting the Steelers. But subsequently, the widespread judgment has been that his passing mechanics just aren't going to sustain NFL success. With the Jets in 2012, Tebow completed six of eight passes for 39 yards and played on special teams.
Tebow worked as a college football analyst for ESPN last season. Several reports indicate he has been working on his mechanics with former major league pitcher Tom House, who also had worked with Tom Brady and Drew Brees.
House is the most recent of several coaches who have worked with Tebow on his passing mechanics. As is so often the case with someone who is getting paid to do something, he seems certain he has helped make Tebow a more NFL-ready passer.
"I honestly believe that everybody who was trying to help Tim, everybody who thought they 'fixed' him, they probably did temporarily fix him. But Tim didn't have enough repetition for it to become autonomic," House told Bleacher Report's Mike Tanier. "When he got into competition, with the stresses and anxieties that come with the competitive situation, he fell back to his old habits.
"The difference now is that he has put in the reps. There have been 10,000-plus reps. If he gets a chance to play again and gets back to competition, it's hard-wired now. He doesn't have to think about it."
Of course, unless or until Tebow plays in NFL games again, we'll have no way of verifying any of that. And permanently changing the delivery a QB has been using all his life is pretty rare.
"I think that Tim has found his efficient throwing motion," House told Tanier. "He did all the work. We just showed him the drills specific to his strength and mechanical requirements. He did the work to reinforce it."
Apparently, the Eagles did not find the changes all that profound, but Kelly certainly helped lend validity to the idea of a Tebow comeback.