With the news that the Philadelphia Eagles have brought former quarterback, Tim Tebow in for a workout, it prompted me to ask whether Tebow or Jarryd Hayne would be more likely to still be around when NFL teams make their final cuts to lists at the end of the pre-season.
You may remember that Tebow, the 2007 Heisman trophy winner, was drafted in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft by the Denver Broncos and started 14 games. In 2011 he took over at quarterback from Kyle Orton and transformed the Broncos from a 1-4 record to finish 8-8, a Division title and an unlikely overtime playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, when Peyton Manning game to town, Tebow was shipped off to the New York Jets for a fourth round draft selection. Things didn’t work out in New York and Tim soon found himself out of the game.
Eagles’ coach Chip Kelly is currently in the process of reshaping the player list so there is every possibility that Tebow could be signed for the pre-season so that he can show his wares. I doubt Kelly, a former College coach with the Oregon Ducks, is bringing Tebow in for his pocket passing skills but rather for his running and improvisational abilities. If Tebow can make it anywhere, he can make it under a Chip Kelly offence and I rate him as a real chance.
Contrast that with the position of Hayne at the San Francisco 49ers. A person who has not played in the NFL or, for that matter, a competitive game of ‘grid iron’ at all. Although his position on the extended list is apparently guaranteed until the last week of training camp, unlike Tebow, he has no body of work to fall back on or reference point for the 49er coaches. Clearly he will need to come up with performances that have a ‘wow’ factor in order to survive through to the season proper.
Las Vegas doesn’t offer odds on whether players will make a list on the basis that some team officials already know the answer to that question. However, if I could bet, I’d be on Tebow.