Football is back, in training camp form. After a long offseason, we'll take it. On Friday, the world got its first look at Tim Tebow playing something besides quarterback, Chip Kelly's mystery offense, bad news for the Jets and a hostage situation.
Tim Tebow, utility player
Tim Tebow just caught a pass. ESPN special likely following soon. #Patriots— Derek Havens (@PatriotsHaven) July 26, 2013
Everyone got most of the Aaron Hernandez questions out of their system on Wednesday. On Friday, Tim Tebow assumed his place in the spotlight as the Patriots opened training camp. He did a little bit of everything, working with the quarterbacks as well as the fullbacks and tight ends.
Belichick was his usual tight-lipped self. Plans for Tebow remain as vague as they were in June. With Gronkowski hurting and Hernandez no longer with the team, Belichick has nothing to lose by giving Tebow a look at tight end. I've got a nagging suspicion that we'll be hearing more, plenty more, about Tebow in the days and weeks ahead. Oh boy.
J-E-T-S running backs grounded and pounded
Speaking of Tebow, it sounds like the Jets miss their top draw.
Crowd at Jets camp just as big as last year with Tebow, no? (Ira from Staten Island here, tho - lower left). pic.twitter.com/2o1xYopw7m— Bob Glauber (@BobGlauber) July 26, 2013
The Jets don't need Tebow's absence to turn fans off. It's already looking like it could be a tough year for a team in transition, a really strange transition.
On Friday, it was running back troubles.
Chris Ivory tweaked hamstring, held out as a precaution, said he doesn't want more made about it than it is. Expects to be back in few days.— Jane McManus (@janesports) July 26, 2013
Santonio Holmes is struggling to get healthy, and the depth chart at receiver gets thin behind him. And there's the quarterback situation. The one thing Jets offense has going for it is the running game. Between Goodson's legal woes and Ivory's ongoing health issues, that looks dicey.
Chip Kelly trolls the media
This is the start of something beautiful, people. The Eagles' new head coach had the audacity to make the press wait in the media room. Indignant tweets shot skyward in a cry for help.
We're still bunkered in the media room of the NovaCare. Must be some covert stuff going on out there -- for only fans to see.— Geoff Mosher (@GeoffMosherCSN) July 26, 2013
At Eagles camp today, but so far media being held hostage in media room with no sight of field. Kelly rules?— Don Banks (@DonBanks) July 26, 2013
Listen, Chip, this is the N-F-L, not the sedate environs of the Pac-12.
But wait, CBS Sports' Mike Freeman detected something else, some deep-seeded existential fact about Kelly that maybe we didn't know about when he made the jump to the NFL.
Chip Kelly closing training camp practice is bush league. Shows he's scared.— mike freeman (@realfreemancbs) July 26, 2013
[does Bluth family chicken dance]
Soon enough, the media assumed its rightful place on the field. All was right with the world again. As for Freeman, well ...
Calm down Eagles fans. I was being sarcastic. And watch your language.— mike freeman (@realfreemancbs) July 26, 2013
As far as Twitter excuses go, we prefer to used the old "hacked" defense. But, no worries, at least that explains the string of ha-ha funny tweets complaining about Kelly in between these two.
About that Eagles offense
There was actually more happening at the Eagles' camp on Friday than the media being imprisoned by a frightened Chip Kelly. Up-tempo, no-huddle offenses are a staple of Kelly's approach. And things were moving fast, fast, fast on the field.
From Bleeding Green Nation's Jimmy Kempski:
Timed 8 plays during 11-on-11 team drills from whistle until offense was set on next play: Average was 12.35 secs. Best was 9.8, twice.— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) July 26, 2013
Because it's the first day of camp and nobody's sick of practice yet, a few counted the attempts and completions for the quarterbacks. There wasn't a lot of consensus on which player looked the best, but an unscientific survey of seems to give Foles the edge.
Again, reps were fairly evenly split between Foles and Vick. Most importantly, Foles looked significantly sharper today.— Reuben Frank (@RoobCSN) July 26, 2013
The year of the Muscle Hamster
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin happens to be pretty good at football. As a rookie, he ran for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns, with an impressive 4.6 yards per carry last season. The Muscle Hamster could be in for an even bigger year, according to Pete Prisco, who was on the scene.
Martin is running even better than a year ago. His patience is better. He is setting up his blocks better. The Bucs have a star back on their roster. Expect him to be even more involved in the passing game too.
Martin caught 49 passes for 472 yards and a touchdown last year.
Training camp etc.
Even the kickers are working on tackling techniques. pic.twitter.com/SmWFedbKCh— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) July 26, 2013
Steelers (@btsteelcurtain) July 26, 2013