Eagles fans give Tim Tebow standing ovation; QB dives for late TD

PHILADELPHIA -- Tim Tebow made his return to the NFL on Sunday, playing quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles in their preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts.

"It was fun," Tebow said after the Eagles' 36-10 win. "Playing ball. I loved it. You want to be focused on footwork, reads, communication with everybody but also enjoy the moment. You won't always have it."

Tebow entered the game at Lincoln Financial Field with seven minutes left in the third quarter. He received a standing ovation from fans as he took the field for the first time.

"I was thankful," Tebow said, laughing. "But I was also like, 'They [the Eagles offensive players] won't be able to hear me! We'll have to go [to a] silent [count].' It's very humbling. It definitely means a lot."

Tebow earned another ovation late in the fourth quarter. After a turnover gave the Eagles the ball in Colts territory, Tebow ran around right end and dove over Colts safety Winston Guy for a 7-yard touchdown.

"It was fun," Tebow said. "Seeing the end zone and fighting to get in -- I've been blessed to have a few opportunities in my life."

Before that, Tebow had mixed success. He led the Eagles to two field goals, including one at the end of his first possession. But Tebow was sacked twice on third down to end a couple of fourth-quarter possessions.

Eagles coach Chip Kelly pointed out that some of the problems Tebow experienced were a result of playing with third-team offensive linemen and wide receivers.

"You have to look at who's in with who," Kelly said. "A different set of receivers was in when Tim was in, and a different line at times. A couple of those, you're wondering, 'why is he doing that?' Well, the receiver ran the wrong route. There were a couple of busts out there."

Tebow completed six of 12 passes for 69 yards. He carried the ball four times for 15 yards and a touchdown.

"I did some things well," Tebow said. "I think there's some things that we want to work on. For me, it's going back, watching film, looking at everything, trying to make corrections and get better one day at a time."

Tebow was the third Eagles quarterback to play, following Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley.

Sam Bradford, the quarterback obtained in a March trade with the St. Louis Rams, did not play Sunday. Kelly decided to hold Bradford, who is recovering from a torn left ACL, out of the first preseason game. He is expected to play Saturday night against the Baltimore Ravens.

Sanchez completed just two of 7 passes for 52 yards. First-round draft pick Nelson Agholor caught a high throw from Sanchez and took the ball 34 yards for a touchdown.

Barkley started off well in his competition with Tebow for the No. 3 quarterback slot. He completed two passes as he led the Eagles on a touchdown drive. But on his second possession, Barkley had a pass tipped by Bjoern Werner and intercepted by Amarlo Herrera.

Tebow, who turned 28 on Friday, signed with the Eagles as a free agent in April after not playing last season. Tebow divided his time between doing TV work and training with Tom House, the former major league pitcher who coaches pitchers and quarterbacks on their throwing motion.

The New England Patriots were the last team to give Tebow an opportunity. He was in their training camp in 2013 and played in a preseason game against the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Tebow was released before the season and did not sign with another team until the Eagles called in April.

Kelly signed Tebow as the NFL was weighing changes in the point-after-touchdown rules. The new rule moves the PAT kick back to the 15-yard line, while two-point conversion attempts remain at the 2-yard line. The rule could lead teams to try two-point conversions more often, which could create a role for Tebow.

But Kelly said that was not the main reason he added Tebow to the team.

"Tim is not a gadget guy," Kelly said. "I think Tim is a quarterback, and I think he's proven that so far when he's been out here. ... I think when Tim gets in there, you'll see him run the ball a little bit."