- Associated Press - Thursday, May 28, 2015

PHILADELPHIA — A slimmer Tim Tebow threw passes in shorts while a horde of reporters critiqued his mechanics and analyzed his arm motion.

Welcome to Philly, Tim.

The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner spoke to a large gathering of media for the first time on Thursday since signing a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles last month.

Tebow praised coach Chip Kelly and teammates, explained his new appreciation for football after being out of the NFL for two years and emphasized he is a quarterback.

“I think you just go out and you compete and you try to earn whatever you can,” Tebow said. “It’s just about competing, trying to get better every day and that’s the goal.”

A former first-round pick by the Denver Broncos, Tebow is hoping to earn a roster spot on his fourth team. Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez are the team’s two top quarterbacks, so Tebow will battle Matt Barkley for the No. 3 job.

Tebow was 9-7 as a starter with the Broncos in 2010, including a playoff win. He was traded to the New York Jets after Denver signed Peyton Manning and threw just eight passes in 2012.

Released after the season, the New England Patriots signed him to take part in training camp in 2013, then cut him. He did not play last season.

“Sometimes when things get taken away, you don’t realize how much fun it is to come out here and play this game,” Tebow said. “You can’t play it forever, so I’m going to enjoy it. It’s a blessing.”

Tebow worked as a television analyst last year with SEC Network and ESPN. He also spent time the past two years with former major league pitcher Tom House working on improving his mechanics.

“I think he’s improved,” Kelly said. “He spent a lot of time the last two years in terms of working on his game.”

The knock against Tebow has been his passing. He has a 47.9 career completion percentage.

“It was very helpful,” Tebow said about working with House. “When you get an opportunity to really just dig deep and train to get better, it’s always helpful. You figure out what you want to work on and work on it every single day and really have a process, not just one day or one week, but a process of going through it.”

Kelly’s up-tempo offense suits Tebow’s athleticism. Tebow ran for 2,947 yards and 57 touchdowns at Florida, where he led the Gators to two national championships. He has 989 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns in the NFL.

“I really like him,” Tebow said about Kelly. “He’s an innovator. Wherever he’s been, he’s changed how the game has been played in a lot of different ways. It’s fun to play for someone like that.

“I’ve done some similar stuff in the past. I really enjoy it. It’s an offense that really keeps defenses on their heels in a lot of different ways with tempo, with formations, playing fast. There’s a lot of different ways that you can take advantage of certain things in this offense.”

Many have wondered if Kelly brought Tebow to the team to be a situational player. He could take advantage of his dual-threat skills on short-yardage plays or the two-point conversion.

“I’ll do whatever I can to help the team,” Tebow said.

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