When push comes to shove and reality sets in, the winner of the Eagles’ third-string quarterback sweepstakes will have so little impact on what happens this season that no one should spend a single second wondering or worrying about who it will be.
Matt Barkley … Tim Tebow … does it even matter?
No, it doesn’t.
Yet, here we are in Birds Country the debate raging over the aforementioned as if the three most important off-season acquisitions, and likely the three most important players on the roster, don’t even matter, regardless of any health risks they may present.
Think about it … Kiko Alonso was brought in to ignite the defense, DeMarco Murray to bolster the running game, Sam Bradford to supercharge and stabilize the offense, they all have woeful injury histories, they all have either new or lingering effects from them, and we’re talking about who will be the guy two guys removed from Bradford.
In short, our main concern it seems these days is who will be able to take snaps once the season is over, and, c’mon, if Bradford goes down, the season likely is over. But even if it isn’t, that third QB is still, STILL, a guy removed from actually stepping on the field … and if No. 2 Mark Sanchez goes down, the reason definitely is over anyway.
If it actually mattered and I had to pick, to me it’s easy: Tebow in a heartbeat. That has nothing to do with QBing talents as they relate to classic NFL standards. Frankly, if you ask me, Barkley has the tools to start in the league with a different team. For whatever reason, he’s been buried here in Philly by everyone from the head coach to the least-informed of fans without so much as a single legit opportunity to play being offered. He’s the Eagles version of Darin Ruf … as in, in this town, you’re never going to know what the guy actually can do. You may think you do, but you don’t … and you won’t. Not here.
No, what Tebow offers is exactly the opposite – non-classic NFL QB skills. Forget the spiritual-fueled leadership that most blow way out of proportion. The guy is a physical anomaly for the position, offering a bull-in-a-china-shop effort and a CrossFit-ish strength/speed combo behind center that, well, never has been before in this league.
Point blank, Tebow moves the needle. He draws interest to himself and the team even when he isn’t playing. Barkley doesn’t even nudge the needle, and wouldn’t unless he became a star … as a first-stringer, not third-stringer.
FUTURE FACTOR? While Philly sports fans turn a blind eye to the tender limbs and battered brain mass of the Big 3 of new Eagles, the focus remains Sixers center Joel Embiid and his ailing foot. The team took a chance with drafting the gifted big man last summer, then watched him sit out the entire 2014-15 season to recover only to determine he needed more surgery if he hoped to ever play in the NBA.
Bye-bye, 2015-16 …
After hemming and hawing as to whether or not surgery was the right thing for him to do, Embiid finally accepted his fate and underwent a procedure Tuesday … that required five doctors. Upon awakening, the youngster reached out through social media to let everyone know that everything went OK and that he was “excited for the future.”
FUTURE HOME? Temple University extended its lease with the Philadelphia Eagles so they could continue playing home football games at Lincoln Financial Field. Prior to doing so, the Owls were looking at needing a new home after the 2017 season. Now, they have the option of remaining at the Linc through 2019.
The thinking at Temple is that this buys it some time to determine if it can build an on-campus stadium. For a program that struggles to draw even at an NFL-quality venue, though, it can’t be claiming any more “moral victories” or “near misses” against the likes of Penn State and Notre Dame if it hopes to do so, which means home games Sept. 5 and Oct. 31 loom even larger for the Owls than most realize.
- Jack Kerwin | email@example.com