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Philadelphia Eagles NEWS: Tim Tebow Has Best Day Since Rejoining NFL

While the eyes of Philadelphia Eagles fans will likely stay squarely locked on the knees, ankles and arm of quarterback Sam Bradford, the guy head coach Chip Kelly traded Nick Foles and a second-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft for, it seems something interesting is developing at the bottom of the Philly signal-caller depth chart. Tim Tebow, the former first-round pick who hasn’t taken a snap from under center – or, more accurately, shotgun – since 2012, is improving and thus impressing almost daily. After a few lightly promising practices, Tebow apparently went out on Thursday and made several high-quality plays that had Eagles and media alike buzzing. Check out some of the nearly gushing recounting of Tebow’s day….

Brandon Lee Gowton Of Bleeding Green Nation – “TEBOW TIME: The backup quarterback had a very nice series where he completed three tough passes in a row. The first was a a seam pass catch to newly signed receiver Mike Johnson. JaCorey Shepherd tried to fight for the ball in the air, but Johnson reeled it in. Then it was Quron Pratt who made a diving over the shoulder catch. Raheem Mostert caught the last ball on a wheel route. Great ball placement by Tebow to beat the defense.

“The crowd really liked this series, by the one. Some people clapped. Tebow was PUMPED. He gave a fistpump after the drive was over.”

Sheil Kapadia of Philly Mag -”Tebow gets hot! He fires a ball down the seam to Mike Johnson for a huge gain. Johnson beat JaCorey Shepherd on the play.

“Then Tebow lofts a corner route to Pratt and connects again.

“Finally, a bomb down the left sideline to Mostert on a wheel route. Three huge plays in a row for Tebow.”

Jimmy Kempski of Philly Voice – “Tim Tebow had a really good day, and more specifically, he had a terrific series in which he threw three passes down the field that were all on the money.”

Geoff Mosher of CSN Philly – “If you’re a Tim Tebow fan – and judging by Tuesday’s Linc practice, plenty of you are – this was your day. Tebow dazzled in first grouping of reps in the 11-on-11 drills.”

While Tebow’s chances of making Kelly’s roster are likely still to come down to Matt Barkley’s performance and potentially being dealt – Kelly did indicate during his Thursday press conference that Barkley has been playing well of late and has had a “really good April to June for us” – it’s got to be encouraging to Tebow and Eagles fans to hear that he’s stepping his game up. Still, while Kelly indicated that Tebow does have certain skills the other quarterbacks on the Eagle roster may not have, he made it clear that those aren’t what will land him on the final 53.

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Packers’ first-round pick Randall picking up cornerback on the fly

Damarious Randall is learning about life as an NFL cornerback on the fly.

If the Green Bay Packers’ first-round draft pick is going to make mistakes, it might as well happen in training camp against some of the best offensive playmakers in the business in teammates Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson.

Having to face that kind of test each day helps make the high points of his first NFL camp stand out, like when he picked off Rodgers in practice earlier this week.

“Just the pace of everything, just trying to learn how fast the NFL is really played,” Randall said Tuesday. “Everything is starting to slow a little bit.”

It’s a solid start for the defensive back out of Arizona State, where he played safety out of necessity. But Randall played cornerback earlier in his career, and he said he’s still comfortable at that position.

The Packers liked his potential enough that they took him with the 30th overall pick to help replenish depth following the departures of veteran cornerbacks Tramon Williams and Davon House in free agency.

“Looks comfortable. Looks like his understanding is high. He’s very natural (with) a lot of things,” coach Mike McCarthy said about Randall.

Returnee Casey Hayward, a fourth-year cornerback who has shown flashes of playmaking ability, would appear to be a favorite to fill the starting job opposite of Sam Shields, though it’s too early for McCarthy to name a starter.

McCarthy does know he has youthful options at cornerback.

“Well, I think the corners as a group are off to a good start. They’re getting their hands on some balls, as you saw again today,” he said Tuesday. “Everybody’s working hard, looks good. Don’t have a depth chart, sorry, for you yet.”

Staying healthy might be the biggest key for Hayward.

He had surgery after the season for a stress fracture in his foot, and the recovery kept him out of offseason workouts. It wasn’t until about a couple weeks before the start of camp in mid-July that Hayward said he was full go.

“It’s showing now. I’m still getting more comfortable and confident with each practice,” Hayward said last week.

Among other options at cornerback: Micah Hyde, a third-year player out of Iowa who has shown the ability to play corner and safety; and Quinten Rollins, a second-round pick out of Miami (Ohio) who’s practicing again after missing the first few days of camp with a hamstring injury.

Undrafted free agent LaDarius Gunter, out of Miami, has also made a couple impressive plays, building on a nice showing he made in offseason workouts.

But out of the rookies, Randall will draw the most attention. He figures to play a good share of snaps in the regular season even if Hayward wins the starting job.

Randall knows it will be important for him to quickly forget about the bad plays in camp, like when Nelson beat Randall deep down the right sideline to haul in a perfectly thrown touchdown pass from Rodgers.

For a rookie, a negative can turn into a learning experience.

“I just ask a lot of questions,” Randall said. “It’s like any time I do get beat on something, I would ask (Nelson and receiver Randall Cobb), `Why? How?’ to just try to figure out things.”

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Early Homers for Rangers in 6-3 Win Over Giants, Bumgarner

Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre homered as the Rangers beat San Francisco 6-3 Friday night in the Giants’ first visit since clinching the 2010 World Series in Texas.

Madison Bumgarner (11-6) gave up both homers and helped ignite a benches-clearing fracas when he shouted something toward the Rangers bench at the end of the fourth inning. There were no ejections, punches thrown or contact made between players, who were kept separated by the umpires.

Andrus hit a two-run homer in the second to put the Rangers up 6-2. He doubled in the first, scoring then on Beltre’s homer lined over the 14-foot wall in left field.

Nick Martinez (6-6) won for the first time since June 9 — seven starts — allowing two runs with four strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings.

Texas has won three in a row since a 21-5 loss Tuesday night against the New York Yankees after leading 5-0 in the first inning.

Only moments after newly acquired Cole Hamels appeared in the Rangers dugout wearing his No. 35 uniform for the first time, shaking hands with new teammates, both benches and bullpens were clearing.

Delino DeShields had an infield popout to end the fourth, and he flipped his bat after hitting the ball. Earlier in the inning, Rougned Odor made a hard slide into fellow second baseman Joe Panik to break up a potential double play.

Bumgarner looked directly at the Rangers bench and shouted something as he left the mound. That led to Rangers players coming out on the field, and the Giants bench and both bullpens quickly followed.

In the top of the fifth, Panik made a hard slide into second, but Odor was able to sidestep and complete the inning-ending double play without incident.

Two weeks ago, Texas had a similar melee in Houston after Odor, who had homered earlier in that game, got into a testy exchange with Astros catcher Hank Conger while getting ready to bat to start the ninth.

While Hamels is set to start Saturday’s game, reliever Jake Diekman — the other left-hander Texas got from Philadelphia in an eight-player trade completed earlier Friday — retired all five batters he faced.

Bumgarner matched a season high by allowing six runs, but all of those came in the first two innings. He struck out eight over seven innings.

The only other time Bumgarner pitched at Texas was Game 4 of the 2010 World Series. The big lefty threw eight scoreless innings that Halloween night, allowing only three hits in a 4-0 win. The next night, the Giants clinched their first of three titles over the past five seasons.

Brandon Crawford had a solo homer, his 16th, in the ninth for the Giants, who lost for only the third time their last 16 games.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Giants: RHP Tim Hudson was put on the 15-day disabled list with a shoulder strain. … C Andrew Susac (sprained right thumb) is eligible to come off the DL Monday. He resumed throwing Friday.

UP NEXT

Giants: Chris Heston (11-5), who has won his last three starts, moves up a day to pitch in place of scheduled starter Hudson.

Rangers: Hamels makes his Texas debut, a day after the completion of the deal to get the ace lefty. He is 6-4 with a 4.21 ERA in 15 career starts for the Phillies against the Giants. He faced them July 10 in San Francisco, allowing nine runs and 12 hits in 3 1-3 innings.