One of the more curious developments of the NFL offseason came when new Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer brought in Tim Tebow, who is attempting to make a position switch from quarterback to tight end amid a lengthy layoff and an arguably unlikely career resurrection.
While most NFL experts, analysts and pundits — among others — peg Tebow’s odds of cracking the Jags’ roster as slim to none at best, the fact he even has the opportunity has created an abundance of understandable skepticism.
Tebow nevertheless was in attendance at Jaguars OTAs this week, and the word is that despite his larger-than-life persona, the polarizing athlete is taking a “low-key” approach. What’s more, contrary to the general consensus, Meyer is treating Tebow like any other player.
“Say what you want about Meyer and his experiment, but he has extended no special privileges to Tebow, the former first-round pick, from observations derived during practices that have been open to the media,” John Reid of the Florida Times-Union writes.
Tebow is apparently getting limited reps in OTAs due to the presence of fellow tight ends Chris Manhertz, James O’Shaughnessy, rookie Luke Farrell, Ben Ellefson and Tyler Davis. That in and of itself jibes with what Reid observed.
While his opportunities are scarce, Tebow has been making the most of them at times. He reportedly showed some skill in pass-catching drills and impressed with two-short yardage touchdowns during an open May 27 practice.
All that being said, even Meyer recently admitted that Tebow faces an uphill climb to crack the Jaguars’ 53-man roster.
“What’s the percentage of making the team? We don’t know. This is uncharted waters,” Meyer said on “The Rich Eisen Show” last week. “This is going to be very difficult, but he’s been doing great. He’s been doing great in practice. He’s learning the offense.”
Speaking from Jaguars OTAs this week, Meyer again praised Tebow for displaying a positive attitude and willingness to learn.
“Oh, Tim has done a decent job. We all know this is a new position for him. He’s a great teammate. In the locker room, I can see everybody getting along, we have good chemistry on our team,” Meyer said, via the New York Post. “But he’s picked it up decently.”
In January, Tebow insisted there was no chance of giving up on his similarly long-shot MLB dreams as a New York Mets farmhand, but clearly he reevaluated the situation and decided to make another go at an NFL career after being out of the league since 2015 and not seeing the field in a regular-season game since 2012.
Making a go at something and actually succeeding in the endeavor are two different things. Tebow presumably is well aware of that indisputable fact, as is Meyer.