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Don't worry about Tim Tebow, just trust Chip Kelly

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The Eagles signed a third-string QB. This will not make or break the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Eagles have signed Tim Tebow. People have opinions about this.

The Tim Tebow fans of the world obviously see this as a great sign, the start of the road to Tebow's eventual emergence on top of the NFL.

Others are using this as an opportunity to ridicule Chip Kelly. Tebow has flunked out of the NFL, and Kelly has made a series of confounding moves this offseason. Is the Eagles coach completely off his rocker?

But all things considered, this probably isn't that big a deal either way. Even in the best-case scenario, Tim Tebow isn't supposed to be the team's primary QB -- not by a long shot. We're getting incredibly worked up about a player who most likely won't play a major role even if he does make an NFL team.

But if anybody has the potential to help him turn around his career, wouldn't it be Kelly, a guy with a history of QB successes?

No third- or fourth-string QB signing will make or break a team

The Eagles have Sam Bradford, who was established as the Rams' starting QB before an ACL tear in 2013 ended the best season of his career. They have Mark Sanchez, who boasted a completion percentage of better than 60 percent and threw for 7 yards per attempt for the first time in his career last year under Kelly. They have Matt Barkley, who has been on the Eagles under Chip Kelly for two years and has found playing time filling in for injured players.

Meanwhile, Tim Tebow spent last season as a commentator for the SEC Network, only played in the preseason in 2013 (and did quite poorly, going 11-for-30 passing against opponents' third-stringers) and played primarily as a special teamer in 2012 for the Jets.

The odds that Tebow, who has not had a meaningful role in the NFL for several years, beats out three established quarterbacks are incredibly slim. He failed to beat out Mark Sanchez for a spot with the Jets already, and Sanchez probably isn't even going to be the Eagles starter.

The realistic best-case scenario is that Tebow beats out Barkley and makes the roster as the third-string QB.  And the realistic best-case scenario for any third-string QB is that they play a handful of snaps in a given season. If all goes well for an NFL team, their third-string QB will never play.

Yes, Tebow could bring more than your average third-string QB -- he can help on special teams or TE, he could be great running the scout team, he could be hugely influential as a motivational presence -- but even if everything goes right for him, he is most likely a third-string QB. Third-string QBs don't have a big effect on a team's on-field product.

The Jets were not bad in 2012 because of Tim Tebow's presence as the third-string QB or because he was a huge distraction. They were bad because they were bad. The Patriots in 2013 were a good team after giving Tim Tebow a shot in training camp. They weren't good because of his brief time on the team.

If the Eagles are good, they will be good with or without Tim Tebow. If the Eagles are bad, they will be bad with or without Tim Tebow.

Chip Kelly tends to make mountains out of molehills

So far, Chip Kelly's career has been a string of successes in unlikely places:

-- When Chip Kelly took over as New Hampshire's offensive coordinator, they had been to the FCS tournament twice. They went in his final three seasons before he got hired at Oregon.

-- When Chip Kelly took over Oregon, they hadn't won a conference title in eight years and only three since 1960. They won three in his first three years and played for a national title.

-- When Chip Kelly took over the Eagles, they went 4-12 the year before. They're 20-12 with one playoff appearance in two seasons under Kelly (with an aged Michael Vick, a castoff Mark Sanchez, and third- and fourth-round picks Nick Foles and Matt Barkley at QB).

Chip Kelly has done good things with players and teams that weren't supposed to do good things. He's been particularly helpful with quarterbacks. Mark Sanchez looked good for the Eagles last year. Mark Sanchez!

Who knows if anything will come of Tebow. He's spent a long time out of the league and had tangible flaws with his game. But the only thing Kelly is risking is a preseason roster spot. If Kelly thinks there's a reward, he deserves some benefit of the doubt.