It’s official, Tim Tebow is back in the National Football league. This time two-time National Champion will make his way to his hometown of Jacksonville. According to reports, the former Heisman Trophy winner and Denver Broncos QB will be signing a one-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars. While it is unclear what Tim Tebow’s role will be, I have a few ideas. But first, let’s see how we got to this point.
Tim Tebow’s Connection to Urban Meyer
Tebow is reuniting with his former head coach Urban Meyer. Meyer and Tebow’s relationship goes back to Tebow’s days at the University of Florida. With the Gators, Meyer and Tebow had a 35-6 record, two National Championships, and Tebow won the Heisman Trophy. Now reunited in Jacksonville for the Jaguars, Urban Meyer is giving his former QB another chance in the NFL. As a converted tight end.
Funny enough, Tebow had a chance to play for Jacksonville back in 2011/2012 but asked Denver to trade him to the New York Jets. Mostly because Tebow wanted to play in a bigger market.
Quarterbacks switching to the tight end position is not something new in the NFL. Many former Quarterbacks both college and pro have made the switch to prolong their careers. Tebow had the opportunity to convert to tight end earlier in his career, as a path to prolong his career. So the idea of Tebow as a tight end has been around for a while.
Tim Tebow vs Other Tight Ends
Now that Tebow is officially a Jaguar, it’s time to break down what Tim Tebow’s role could play in this Jaguar offense. While Tebow was signed as a tight end, Tebow will not be playing a lot of “traditional” tight end. One quarterback who has found success at tight end in the NFL is Taysom Hill of the New Orleans Saints. Most recently, Logan Thomas of the Washington Football team has also found success with the position change. I have my doubts that Tebow can have that level of production as a traditional tight end like Thomas is, but I do believe Tebow will have a role in this offense.
Both Taysom Hill and Logan Thomas were a lot younger when making the change from QB to tight end. Both Thomas and Hill decided to switch positions before turning 30. In Taysom Hill’s case, he made the switch right when he came into the NFL. Tebow is making his position change at age 33. Not to mention he has been out of the NFL for many years now. While I do believe Tebow will be in good/great shape, due to his time in the Mets minor league system. The last time Tim Tebow played in an NFL game, “Call Me Maybe” was the number one song in the world and The Avengers hadn’t assembled yet.
One player Tebow is being compared to is Washington Football Team tight end, Logan Thomas. Thomas played in more of a traditional tight end package for the Washington Football team this year. This included lining up on the line next to a tackle and jump balls in the red zone. This led to Thomas having over 650 receiving yards and 6 TDs. I am not this expecting from Tebow. I don’t think Tebow has the body to play a traditional tight-end role. Thomas is in the 6’5″-6’6″ range while Tebow stands at 6’2″. I don’t see the Jaguars using Tebow on the line, throwing him fade route in the end zone, or having him screaming down the middle seam of the field versus a safety or corner.
Instead, I see Urban Meyer Jaguars using Tebow in a Taysom Hill-type role. Hill, similar to Tebow, is listed at 6’2″ and is used in a multitude of ways. While Taysom Hill is listed as a tight end on the Saints roster, Hill is much more than that. Taysom Hill is positionless. He is a skill player that is used in every which way including QB, tight end, and in the backfield. I see the Jaguars similarly using Tebow. I see Tebow benefiting this offense through screens, short crossing and drag routes, and backfield play.
Where Tim Tebow Can Be Effective
This backfield play is honestly where I see Tim Tebow making the most impact. Concepts with rookie Quarterback Trevor Lawrence lined up in the shotgun with Tebow. With either James Robinson or new rookie back Travis Etienne on the other side of Lawrence could be very effective. This opens up opportunities to use Tebow on pitches or option plays. Or even short swing routes out of the backfield. Getting the ball to Tebow in space is going to allow him to be the most effective he can be. If Meyer and the Jaguars do have some “traditional” tight end packages for him, I don’t see it stretching beyond short crossing routes and screen passes. In the backfield, where Tebow will be able to get the ball quickly and in space, he could easily find a role in this offense, and a decent one at that.
Short yardage situations and red zone running plays are also an area in which I can see Tim Tebow finding a role in this Jaguars offense. While Tebow was a Quarterback in his first stint in the NFL, he had some pretty eye-opening rushing stats. Back in 2011 as the quarterback for the Denver Broncos, Tebow had over 650 rushing yards and 6 rushing TDs, it would be silly for Urban Meyer to not use Tebow in some running packages. Tebow used as a short-yardage back, as a bigger goal-line back makes a ton of sense as well and would be very effective. . At 6’2″ and 235 pounds, third or fourth and short situations or around the goal line are perfect for Tebow. Since he is built like a big, bulldozing back. Tebow could punish defenses in the short-yardage game.
Tebow being used in this Jaguars offense as a Wildcat QB with a splash of Run-Pass Option concepts is very intriguing. While Tebow was not the most successful NFL QB, Urban Meyer will have him throw some passes. The concept of Tebow lining up as a wildcat QB, and giving him the option to either take it and run himself or maybe throwing a quick slant or screen is enticing and would be a great tool to keep the defense off guard or open up more running lanes for Tebow or other players in the Jaguar’s offense.
What Can We Expect From Tim Tebow?
All in all, I expect Tebow essentially to be Taysom Hill lite. Instead of playing a traditional tight end role, he will do a little bit of everything for this Jaguars offense. While I do not doubt that Tebow will be in shape and capable of hanging with the rest of the NFL athletes physically. I do not see him being the most dynamic player on the field. Yet I do see the Jaguars carving out some role for Tebow, maybe even a significant one. Tebow should also be a good influence in the locker room. Tebow should also help Trevor Lawrence grow from a leadership standpoint. The NFL has always been a relationship-based league, so I find it hard to believe that Urban Meyer would sign Tebow if he didn’t have some sort of plan for him in this offense.
Either way, it’s going to be an absolute blast to see Tim Tebow back in the NFL. Oh, and we are gonna see a couple of those iconic jump passes at the goal-line for sure.