With the Philadelphia Eagle's second lop-sided preseason victory Baltimore Ravens last Saturday, 40-17, the spotlight is once again focused on Tim Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner and vying for the third quarterback position with the Eagles.
Tebow is one of the most popular players in the National Football League (NFL). In addition to his playing activities, he received considerable press attention for his public displays of religious faith, both on and off the field. His devotion to his faith largely influenced the controversial NCAA rule introduced in 2010 that banned messages on eye paint. This rule was dubbed "The Tebow Rule" by media because it would have affected him.
Since his college football career, Tebow frequently wore references to biblical verses on his eye black. In the 2009 BCS Championship Game, he wore John 3:16 on his eye black; the verse was the highest-ranked Google search term over the next 24 hours, generating over 90 million searches. Additionally, later, when Tebow switched to another verse, there were 3.43 million searches of "Tim Tebow" and "Proverbs 3:5-6" together. Tebow stated of the searches "It just goes to show you the influence and the platform that you have as a student-athlete and as a quarterback at Florida".
Before Saturday's game against the Ravens, NJ.com conducted a survey involving sports columnists and industry experts to ask about Tebow's prospects with the Philadelphia Eagles. The majority opinion is that, yes, Tebow will make coach Chip Kelly's 53-man squad.
Here are the result of the survey:
Merrill Reese, WIP play-by-play man: "Yes, because of his versatility.''
Mike Quick, WIP color analyst and former star WR: "Yes, he's the X factor.''
Sal Paolantonio, ESPN NFL reporter: "Yes, Chip (Kelly) likes him.''
Ray Didinger, Hall of Fame writer: "Yes, for the same reason why they brought him here, he expands the playbook.''
Adam Caplan, ESPN NFL Insider: "No, if they go with the best quarterback.''
Derek Gunn, Comcast: "Yes, he brings a different look to the offense, especially in the red zone.''
Ike Reese, WIP talk-show host and former Eagle: "Yes, Chip wants him here.''
Jon Runyan, Former Eagles player, former New Jersey Congressman and current WIP host: "No, (Matt) Barkley is the better quarterback.''
There are others who believe that keeping Tebow as its third quarterback will give Chip Kelly's Eagles an advantage under the new extra point scoring rules. According to the Inquistr, the tandem of Tebow and Sam Bradford could actually make the Philadelphia Eagles the most dangerous offensive team in the league because of Bradford's accuracy and Tebow's versatility that could send the team to the playoffs again.
And judging from the two previous Philadelphia Eagle's impressive preseason wins, having have outscored two AFC playoff teams 76-27 in a pair of routs, Chip Kelly may really be on their way there.