Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer is confident Tim Tebow can pull off the improbable NFL return, all at a new position in a sport he hasn’t played since 2015. It seems many of Meyer’s peers believe the former college football coach is in for a wake-up call.
After the Jaguars hired Meyer, the first-year NFL coach looked for ways to establish his culture in an NFL locker room. Jacksonville brought in significant talent via free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft, but Meyer wanted more. Ultimately, the Jaguars signed Tebow to a one-year contract with no guaranteed money.
The Jaguars’ decision received strong reactions across the league. Many around the NFL believe the signing is a gimmick and it seems league executives outside of Jacksonville believe the move will bust. Some are more optimistic, including one Jaguars’ icon who thinks Tebow can play tight end.
But for the most part, there is a lot of skepticism. Tebow last took a regular-season snap in 2012 with the New York Jets and his brief stints with the New England Patriots (2013) and Philadelphia Eagles (2015) in training camp flamed out.
Now, as the 33-year-old learns to play a new position in minicamp, some of Tebow’s former coaches are expressing a similar issue they had when the former college star was on their roster.
“If there’s one common complaint I’ve heard from his past coaches about it, it’s not that he’s actively fueling it. Moreso, it’s that he doesn’t do anything to calm it down.”Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer on coaches’ complaint about Tim Tebow
The sentiment isn’t surprising. Since he entered the league, Tebow has been a fixture in the spotlight. Any chance an opportunity arose to talk about him or write about him, it happened. The driving force behind that is Tebow’s fan support.
Tim Tebow jersey sales exploded after he signed with the Jaguars and that’s been a theme during his brief NFL career. While Meyer might want Tebow on the roster to serve as a bridge to the locker room, which may not work given how many years it has been since he played, the Jaguars’ organization signed off on it to create revenue and fan support.
There is a way Meyer and Tebow can avoid causing problems in the locker room and creating an unnecessary distraction. Tebow hasn’t done a single interview since he arrived in Jacksonville and avoiding appearances in the media might soften the spotlight.
Ultimately, it remains a long shot that he makes the roster. But if he does, completing a comeback few expected, you can bet there will be plenty of fans rooting for him.