Who’s in the Lead for the Third QB Position After First Preseason Game?
While Tim Tebow might have been the top trend on twitter following the Eagles win over the Colts, Matt Barkley completed 12-of-20 passes for 192 yards and one interception in the Eagles' preseason opener Sunday.
Tebow completed 6-of-12 passes for 69 yards and rushed for 15 yards and a garbage-time touchdown late in the fourth quarter and had fans in a frenzy when he entered the game. Tebow got off to a hot start, showing good accuracy on his first series, but took a number of sacks.
“I think there were some things that were decent and some things that we have to work on," Tebow acknowledged.
"Just try to be more consistent and improve communication with the offensive line and receivers. That’s a big key, especially when you’re running a fast tempo in this offense. Everybody being on the same page is huge. It’s never as good as it seems and it’s never as bad as it seems. It’s one more day to try to improve and try to get a little bit better tomorrow.”
Eagles head coach Chip Kelly explained that while Tebow had some struggles, that not everything was his fault, a lot of it had to do with some of the personnel he was working with.
"There's a couple of those where Timmy held the ball and looks like, ‘Why is he doing that?’ Well, the receiver ran the wrong route," Eagles head coach Chip Kelly explained.
"He's looking for a receiver to run a shallow cross and we didn't get a shallow cross. We don't get that a lot in training sessions where if the receiver doesn't run the right route, now what do we do?
Meanwhile Barkley's looked good, showing a quick release and better arm strength, but also had a blemish, throwing an interception on a ball tipped at the line of scrimmage.
“I just wanted to play good football," Barkley stated. "If I made a statement, so be it. But I wanted to come in and make plays. I think the important thing with this offense is to get the ball rolling, get completions and get yards right away. Once drives start moving, plays open up. I think we did that tonight.”
So who has the initial leg up in the battle for the No. 3 quarterback position - Barkley or Tebow?
The coach was non-committal, but did offer some insight and what he is looking for in the competition.
"They have to be able to do it all," explained Kelly. "But you also have to look at who is in with who. You know what I mean? I think there's a different set of receivers in with Matt than Timmy had and really a different line at times."
One thing's for sure, even Barkley seems to be aware that he is a underdog at least to the fans.
“He’s a fan favorite and he’s a good teammate," Barkley acknowledged. "He played well today. He did a good job. It’s pretty funny to see their reaction. It happens wherever he goes, as it should. He’s a good person. I love him as a teammate. It was a good showing.”
Only one of these guys will be here when the Eagles cut down to their final 53 men, if the fans had their say, Tebow would be the choice.
Right now, I would think Tebow offers something more than Barkley, but might have to clearly distance himself from in the game against the Ravens this week.