Tim Tebow’s NFL resurrection is no gimmick, but it’s very much a farce


You may be forgiven for forgetting all about Tim Tebow, except you actually care about God, Florida, minor league baseball or mundane school soccer evaluation.

However Tebow Time is again, individuals! And it’s not going away any time quickly.

The entire state of affairs is hilarious and silly and completely compelling. In case you’re in want of a fast Tebow refresher: He had essentially the most profitable school soccer profession of any post-2000 quarterback (one Heisman Trophy; two nationwide titles). He was a nasty NFL quarterback, regardless that he gained extra video games than he misplaced. He’s an brazenly non secular one who’s closely concerned in philanthropy. He impressed a frustratingly catchy parody track. He constructed a kids’s hospital within the Philippines. He starred in an anti-abortion industrial that ran through the Tremendous Bowl alongside his mom. He’s the one professional soccer participant to turn into well-known for genuflecting in public (Colin Kaepernick knelt – an necessary distinction). For 13 months, from his debut with the Broncos to his ill-fated stint with the Jets, he was the middle of the NFL universe. He washed out of the NFL and tried his hand at skilled baseball, regardless of not selecting up a bat for 12 years.

Now, after toiling away in baseball’s minor leagues for 5 years, he’s returning to the NFL, this time as a decent finish, courtesy of his former school coach City Meyer. On Thursday, the Jaguars formally signed Tebow to their 90-man offseason roster, reuniting the first-year Jacksonville coach along with his former quarterback. Tebow has not performed within the league in six years and hasn’t taken an offensive snap in 9 years. He has not taken a snap as a standard tight finish – working move patterns, blocking in-line – at any level in his footballing life, from highschool to school to the professionals.

In actual fact, his solely qualification for the job is that he lives three doorways down from his new/outdated boss. Maybe they’ll carpool.

Relying in your perspective, it’s a story of ego and conceitedness (on the a part of each participant and coach), of entitlement and nepotism, or of perseverance and loyalty.

Let’s name it what it’s: A farce. Already, the signing is being handled in another way to every other back-of-the-roster transfer, flying within the face of Meyer’s declare that that is all about soccer. When Jacksonville agreed to phrases with six undrafted free brokers earlier this month, the press launch saying the transfer gave the gamers’ names, positions, faculties, heights and weights. Tebow’s was accompanied by a prolonged press launch, a full biography, and a graphic selling his jersey that put Tebow alongside the workforce’s current first total draft decide, Trevor Lawrence.

You’ll hear arguments that Tebow will likely be a robust locker room presence. That new coaches – notably these recent to the professional sport – all the time need to deliver considered one of ‘their guys’ with them to a brand new job. It helps them set up their ‘tradition’, and permits a veteran professional to function a pseudo-coach whereas the remainder of the locker room will get to phrases with the verbiage, scheme and mode of working of the brand new head honcho.

However, actually? The locker room goes to hearken to a fifth-string tight finish who has by no means performed his place? They’re going to hearken to the coach’s pet? I wasn’t feeling it right now, however now Timmy has yelled out some candy nothings and I’m able to seal the pulling guard.

Skilled gamers will not be motivated by rah-rah nonsense. That stuff is for faculty. Professionals have contracts to earn and mortgages to pay. One of the best type of management is the boringly reliable sort: Present up and do your job on the highest stage every day.

Tebow and Meyer are collectively once more, this time within the NFL and with Tebow taking part in a brand new place. {Photograph}: Phil Sandlin/AP

It’s only a advertising scheme – that’s the opposite argument that will likely be rolled out. However that may be an odd enterprise for the brand new employees to concoct (or a minimum of log out on). Why would a brand new coach need to drain no matter cache he has inside his personal locker room by handing out a job to his pal all to promote a few additional jerseys and tickets within the first 12 months of his rebuild? If drafting the highest-rated quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck with the primary total decide isn’t sufficient to fireside up a fan base, nothing will.

No, Meyer believes on this. He believes within the energy of Tebow.

Examine that: Meyer believes within the energy of Meyer. He’s the Tebow whisperer. He sees issues different coaches don’t; or a minimum of can harness one thing that different coaches couldn’t. By no means thoughts that this isn’t the primary Tebow-led experiment within the NFL. Following his days as a starter in Denver, each workforce that Tebow performed for – the Jets, the Patriots, the Eagles – tried lining him up in a wide range of positions in observe.

“[The Jets] tried switching him to tight finish, and he wasn’t good,” Greg McElroy, Tebow’s teammate in New York and his co-host at ESPN, mentioned final week on SiriusXM.

Essentially the most fascinating experiment got here in New England. Again in 2013, Invoice Belichick introduced Tebow to the Patriots on the top of the Belichick-Brady dynasty. It was offered, publicly, as kicking the tires on Tebow as a possible third-strong quarterback; it was considered largely as Tebow’s final shot at taking part in quarterback within the league.

The fact was just a little extra complicated. Though Tebow lined up as a quarterback within the preseason, Belichick had visions of Tebow in a brand new function. The Patriots had performed an offseason research to research how they may proceed to tip the chances of their favor. Their evaluation spat out a transparent market inefficiency: two-point conversions. Groups weren’t going for 2 usually sufficient, nor did they make use of a two-point specialist. New England had a kicking specialist (a one and three-point specialist, if you’ll), however not a two-pointer; Belichick wished to alter the dynamics of the sport. In Tebow, a 240lb bulldozer who had confirmed to be among the many most effective third-and-short runners within the league throughout his (admittedly quick) stint because the Broncos quarterback, Belichick thought he’d discovered the reply. Who might cease Tebow and the Patriots in a collection of one-on-one matchups from the two-yard line?

The plan failed – it wasn’t even launched to the general public, with Belichick holding it below wraps in preseason video games. Tebow was not sufficient of a certainty from the two-yard line to be worthy of a roster spot. He struggled in observe. He was poor on particular groups. And Belichick got here to his senses; even on the top of his playing craze, he knew it might be foolish to routinely and systematically take away Tom Brady, the best to ever do it, so as to put the ball, and maybe the sport, within the arms of a two-point specialist who would in any other case solely see the sector on kickoffs.

Jacksonville will doubtless strive one thing comparable. Tebow is listed as a decent finish, but it surely’s a stretch to suppose a soon-to-be-34-year-old who has by no means performed the place will likely be routinely catching passes over the center of the sector. He will likely be requested to just a little little bit of every thing, together with carrying the ball in short-yardage conditions.

This a lot is evident: He’ll play. Meyer has thrown his title behind the transfer, and he’s not a person to confess he’s incorrect. And, in the end, it’s what Meyer thinks that issues.

If Tebow can not block, he gained’t block. If he can’t catch, he gained’t catch. Jacksonville will alter. Meyer will discover some use for his protégé, even when it’s solely as a cheerleader in pads.


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