Tim Tebow was actually performing a lot better as a passer
(Note: This article has been updated to reflect the news that Tim Tebow has been released by the Eagles.)
So, it looked like Tim Tebow might be back in the NFL, following the Eagles trading Matt Barkley to the Cardinals on Friday. Then the news came down Saturday from ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Philadelphia had released him.
Here’s the interesting thing: Tebow had been performing much better as a passer this preseason than he had previously.
Our grades for Tebow from his time as a starter in Denver reflect the typical narrative on him: He’s a poor passer who makes a lot of plays with his legs.
2010: 4.1 overall grade, 1.2 passing, 3.6 running (1-2 record)
2011: -13.7, -16.6, 4.4 (8-5)
2012: 0.2, 0.7, 0.5 (N/A)
Last week I made the point that Tom Brady is better than his actual grades suggest because of the intangible elements he brings to Patriots. The grades are not wrong — they are the most accurate measure of QB production anywhere — but they can never account for, say, the ability to inspire the people around you.
However, while some Tebow supporters may wish to gloss his lack of ability as a passer, the fact remains it’s a pretty important part of his job role. But he’s actually been getting better as a passer. If you look at his performance this preseason, the discrepancy between his passing performance and his running performance has shrunk.
Overall grade: 0.5
Passing grade: -1.2
Running grade: 1.5
His short passing game, his real Achilles heel previously, had been crisper this time around. He has made errors, but his 13 of 16 completion rate (81.3 percent) under 10 yards is indicative of the improvement. In his last full season he was at 68.5 percent at that passing depth.
So yes, Tebow has been better. That turned out not to be enough to earn a spot on the Eagles’ roster. We’ll see if it’s enough for him to land anywhere else.