The Eagles held their first round of OTA's this week at the NovaCare Complex and one of the biggest topics of conversation gravitated around the quarterback situation. It was assumed by just about anyone who follows this team that when head coach Chip Kelly traded quarterback Nick Foles to St. Louis for Sam Bradford that these two teams simply exchanged one starter for the other. As far as I can tell, Foles is firmly in place as the Rams' starter heading into training camp, but I cannot say the same thing about Bradford with a great deal of confidence.
It was reported this week that the former No. 1 overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft is still a long way from being 100 percent after undergoing surgery for a torn ACL he sustained before the start of last season. Add in the fact that Kelly has appeared to leave the door open for Mark Sanchez to be his starter on opening day and we should have a full-blown quarterback controversy on our hands when the Birds open camp in late July.
If you really want to stir the pot you might as well throw Tim Tebow into the mix after Kelly decided to give the former Heisman Trophy cast-off a chance to revitalize his sketchy NFL career. The Eagles still have Matt Barkley on the roster and GJ Kinne is there to round-out a fivesome of signal-callers that are all fighting for position in one of the most interesting depth charts on the team.
My gut feeling is that if Bradford is healthy and ready to go he will get the start against Atlanta in the season opener, but given his past history with injuries that becomes a very big "if". You do not get drafted first overall for the fun of it and, when healthy, Bradford has been able to live up to all the hype. While I cannot turn a blind eye to all the injuries he has sustained in his first five seasons in the league, I also have to be optimistic that he can stay on the field all 16 games and hopefully into the playoffs.
Sanchez has already had his turn to run Kelly's fast-paced, up-tempo offense when he took over for an injured Foles last season. On paper, he surprisingly played rather well; however gaudy stats do not win games. I just cannot see this former No. 1 pick leading the Eagles back to the NFC East Division title they won in 2013 after finishing two games behind the Cowboys under his watch last season. He still fills a huge role as a viable backup in a league filled with quite a few mediocre players at his position, but Sanchez is not the long-term answer and as already mentioned the short-term one either.
Could Tebow actually be reborn as a legitimate starting NFL quarterback after taking the past two seasons off to work on his game? If you believe in miracles then you might want to say yes. I actually do believe in miracles but this one would have to be seen to be believed. I love the fact that Kelly decided to go way out on a limb to see what a new and improved Tebow can add to his team, but I am not about to jump on that bandwagon site unseen. Still, I can picture a scenario where Bradford goes down and Sanchez starts stinking up the joint in a losing cause at the Linc only to hear the entire crowd start chanting TEBOW, TEBOW, TEBOW!