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August 17, 2015

Breakfast with the Birds: Eagles receive positive reviews after win over Colts

Eagles NFL

It was only the first game of the preseason, but there wasn’t much to complain about the Eagles’ performance on a sweltering Sunday afternoon at The Linc against the Indianapolis Colts. Whether or not the 36-10 victory is a sign of things to come is up for interpretation, but it certainly didn’t hurt matters.

National writers and analysts definitely took notice. For example, a couple of them noted that the Eagles backups dominated their Colts counterparts:

Next, there was the “Nelson Agholor looks pretty darn good!” category. A crazy sentiment, I know:

And finally, pretty much everybody chimed in on the most exhilarating fourth-string quarterbacking performance in the history of preseason football. For example, here is what’s Conor Orr wrote about Tim Tebow:

While examining his night will inevitably lead to rolled eyes -- he faced the Colts' third and fourth string -- it's hard not to still be a tad bit intrigued despite the obvious flaws that have always been picked apart in his game.

A couple of writers focused their attention on the battle for the final quarterback spot on the 53-man roster, particularly after Matt Barkley had a strong day in the passing game against Indy. First, here is Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports:

Tebow went just 1-of-7 for seven yards and two sacks in the one full quarter he played (the fourth) and also rumbled for 15 yards on four carries in the game. It remains to be seen how far it goes to ending this latest, and one would think, final, comeback attempt, with three more of these exhibitions remaining and Bradford allegedly about to begin starting soon.

Kelly doesn't sound like a man ready to give up just yet, and if he's as committed to this as his words would indicate then Tebow will be lining up with some higher caliber teammates soon enough. Otherwise, the broadcast booth awaits.

As did Mike Sielski of the Philadelphia Inquirer:

They did not chant his name, or give him a standing ovation, or stay out in the heat for an extra two hours just to say they saw him rumble into the end zone against a defense loaded with hangers-on and roster fodder. They did all those things for the man who followed him. Matt Barkley jogged onto Lincoln Financial Field in relative silence, his entrance into the Eagles' 36-10 preseason victory over the Colts just the opening act for Tim Tebow's return to the NFL, as if Barkley were an acoustic singer-songwriter warming up the crowd for the E Street Band.

Even as someone who is very skeptical of Tebow as an NFL quarterback, I have to admit that watching him run around in the fourth quarter was a lot of fun.

Sunday recap

1. Ten Awards: You know football is back when you see this column make its triumphant return.

2. Rooks shine: Good day for the 2015 draft class, which means it was a good day for the Eagles overall.

Bradford playing badminton

Over at The MMQB, Peter King wrote an Eagles-centric Monday Morning Quarterback. This quote from Sam Bradford about badminton’s important role in his rehab process particularly stood out:

“There’s standard rehab, where you have a sheet of what you have to accomplish every day in terms of exercise and rehab. Bill Knowles’ deal is, ‘Let’s play games.’ One day he said, ‘Let’s play badminton.’ We warmed up playing badminton. And then every day we were out here playing badminton. No net. He would hit it high and make me change directions and run. He throws all these PE games at you. You don’t think about it being rehab until you look and see the positions your body’s been in, and you think, That’s pretty close to the positions and movements you’ve got to make as a quarterback. I’m sure people up in the offices are looking out and wondering what in the world are they doing playing badminton? But, you know, you spend a year and a half doing the same exercises, and you get so tired of doing the same thing over and over, and [Knowles] came in and said, Let’s change it up—let’s play some games. I mean, I loved it. And that’s when I really felt the rehab took a big jump.”

On Saturday, we'll finally get to see how Bradford looks against a pass rush.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann