The Jacksonville Jaguars signed Tim Tebow to help install the culture Urban Meyer wants and to generate fan interest. With training camp just weeks away, Meyer and the Jaguars might have the opportunity to do both on HBO’s Hard Knocks.
When the Jaguars signed Tebow, many believed the signing was a gimmick. But Meyer believes the 33-year-old tight end can make a difference this summer, both proving himself as a player and voice in the locker room. It’s already attracted plenty of attention to Jaguars’ minicamp, putting the spotlight on a franchise that is often ignored.
Jacksonville doesn’t have to be on the upcoming season of Hard Knocks, which is recorded during training camp and the preseason. NFL rules allow teams with first-year coaches to decline the opportunity, but it seems Meyer is at least open to the extra spotlight that many shy away from.
“I think most coaches want to go on a submarine and show up on game day ready to rock and roll without distraction. But I also understand and respect the NFL. What it stands for, the network. I do believe this is an interesting story here. One of the reasons I wouldn’t mind the world knowing is that we have some really good players and some really good people here. It’s a great city, we have a great owner”Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer on The Rich Eisen Show
Most head coach prefers isolation as they prepare for the upcoming season. Teams have been opposed to allowing HBO’s cameras into the building because it creates distractions, can reveal things they don’t want out and simply isn’t worth the hassle of cameras always being around.
Will the Jaguars be on Hard Knocks?
Meyer is used to the cameras being around his team. When he served as Ohio State’s coach, the Big Ten Network spotlight the Buckeyes’ training camp with a behind-the-scenes series in 2015.
The Jaguars’ receptiveness to being on Hard Knocks is also exactly what the NFL and HBO want to hear. Ratings tanked last season, with football fans uninterested in a show that featured COVID-19 storylines and zero preseason games.
Hours after Tebow signed with Jacksonville, his jersey sales exploded and he became the most popular NFL player again. If Gardner Minshew is traded, Tebow can get his No. 15 back and that will generate even more revenue through merchandise sales.
The level of fan support for Tebow, even nine years removed from his last regular-season snap, is undeniable. Don’t be surprised if, in the next few weeks, the Jacksonville Jaguars are announced as the next team featured on Hard Knocks. If it happens, with Tebow and Trevor Lawrence featured, ratings will skyrocket.