Commentary: Will Tim Tebow make a difference for Jaguars?

Former Florida quarterback and NFL player Tim Tebow looks up at the scoreboard during the first half of an NCAA college football game between Florida and Georgia, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) (John Raoux, Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Everyone, it seems, has an opinion about the Jaguars’ signing of Tim Tebow. Here’s mine.

From a football standpoint, I’m skeptical about his chances of making a significant contribution to the team.

The Jaguars tight end room needs some real work. They did not do a good job in the offseason of addressing that — at least, not with any pass-catching tight ends. But that only means that Tebow will have a chance to be good enough to be in a below-average group.

As long as Tebow is judged as any other player would be by the coaching staff, no harm no foul. We know he’s going to have a great attitude and is going to work his tail off. If some of that rubs off on some young players, great. If his play on the field doesn’t warrant a spot on an NFL roster, then cut him and move on.

My concern is whether Urban Meyer would cut Tebow if he doesn’t perform. Will Meyer, who has been effusive in his praise of Tebow’s intangible qualities this offseason, see past his love and affection for Tebow and his admiration of who Tebow is as a person and judge him as a player? I think it will be tough for Meyer to separate the two sides of Tebow. That’s where there could be an issue in the locker room.

In the NFL, players don’t want somebody doing a rah-rah act if that player isn’t delivering on the field. You can’t lead if you aren’t performing. Even when players are performing at a high level, their leadership can be questioned if the team is losing (see also Jalen Ramsey’s feelings about Calais Campbell circa 2019, a consummate professional and a Pro Bowl player). Players respect other players who do their job, take their preparation seriously and don’t put the team in a more difficult position to win.

As for the attention Tebow brings, consider this: our video of Tebow walking into practice, less than 20 seconds of him with his back turned, walking away from the camera was viewed over a million times on Twitter in the first six hours it was online.

A lot of Jaguars fans have complained through the years about their team not getting national attention. That won’t be a problem with Tebow, Trevor Lawrence and Urban Meyer. But attention doesn’t do much for you if you don’t win. Ultimately, with or without Tebow, the Jaguars have to start winning. We’ll be looking closely to see how Tebow looks once OTAs begin on Monday.

About the Author:

Cole joined News4Jax full-time in January 2017, but he has been a part of the team since he began filling in as a sports anchor in 2005.