If you’ve read my blog before, you may have seen my post entitled: Why Tim Tebow Haters Probably Kick Small Bunnies Too. I’m no Florida Gators or Jacksonville Jaguars fan, but I’m just at a loss to see why this obvious move–Tim Tebow to Jacksonville–hasn’t happened yet.
After Tebow’s tenure in Denver came to a close, I expected him to land in Jacksonville. He instead went to New York where he easily could have started over Mark Sanchez, but as we’ve often seen with the Jets, things weren’t handled well and he didn’t make a notable impact for the Jets. After that came to a close, I again expected him to head to Jacksonville, but still nothing. Is he really that bad?
I can hear half of you screaming YES!, but I disagree. Here’s why.
The current Jacksonville Jaguars QB, Blaine Gabbert, has only played one game this season (vs. KC) and finished that game with two interceptions, six sacks, and a passer rating of 30.8. He returns from injury (hand) this week against the Colts. For his career, he has never rushed for 100 yards in a season, he has a career 53.4% completion percentage and a 21-19 TD-INT ratio.
Tim Tebow has rushed 100+ yards in each of his professional seasons including 660 rushing yards in 2011. His career completion percentage is a paltry 47.9%, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. His passer rating is 75.3 (vs. 68.3 for Gabbert) and his career TD-INT ratio is 17-9. When you add in his rushing TDs and fumbles lost, it is 29-15 (Gabbert would be 21-27). Now that doesn’t make him Peyton Manning, but it does tell a compelling story about how he compares to Blaine Gabbert.
Given the Jaguars poor offensive line, a durable, dual threat QB makes sense. Additionally, Tim Tebow is from Jacksonville, FL and played for the Florida Gators. He is beloved in the area and in the short run, would be a great boon for attendance and fan interest. They surely want to see it as you can tell from the picture below.
I have a few hypotheses about why this hasn’t happened:
- First, maybe the Jags don’t want the media’s incessant, annoying Tebowmania coming to town and creating a distraction. I would buy into that if they were competitive like the Patriots, but for them any attention is good attention so that one is out.
- I understand that Gabbert has been hindered by the poor play of the line so maybe he is a better player than we realize. It is conceivable that Jacksonville understands how few tools he has around him (Jones-Drew and Shorts about sum it up) and don’t think it’s fair to pull the plug. This seems practical, but if they would be more competitive with Tebow at the helm, they wouldn’t be starting Gabbert to be nice.
- One I’ve heard that makes the most sense is that they are looking long-term and want to figure out if Gabbert is going to be their QB of the future and if not, they’d rather tank this season and draft another than be marginally better and not be quite sure what they should expect from Blaine. This one makes more sense, but do they really want to tank? That may be a stretch. Do they really think Gabbert could be the face of the franchise? That may be a stretch too.
- Fourth, it is unlikely, but possible that Tim Tebow has regressed from the time he led the Broncos to a playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. I have no evidence to believe this, but I also don’t go to practice and seeing no NFL team sign him makes this entirely possible.
- Finally, maybe it’s personal. I highly doubt it, but just to be collectively exhaustive I’ve included it. I can’t imagine an explanation beyond these five. if you can, please share in the comments below.
I say give Blaine a few more games, then once your season is essentially over, give the fans a reason to come out to EverBank Field. Give Tebow a shot in Jacksonville! Revive the fan base and jump start a team, you might just catch lightning in a bottle like the Broncos did. By that I mean you might find you suddenly have a team that believes they can win. If that faith is all you gain, it will have been a successful experiment.
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I’m not alone in this opinion. Here are some related articles to visit:
- Fans to urge Jaguars to sign Tebow at rally (espn.go.com)
- NFL: The Jacksonville Jaguars Need to Sign Tim Tebow to Stay Relevant This Season (irvingnick.wordpress.com)
- Absolutely No Reason Why Jacksonville Jaguars Shouldn’t Bring in Tim Tebow (rantsports.com)
- Jacksonville Jaguars Would Be Foolish Not To Sign Tim Tebow (rantsports.com)
- Jacksonville Jaguars: Disappointing QB Play Leads to Tim Tebow Rally (rantsports.com)
- Jaguars fans will demand Tim Tebow at 3:16 p.m. (ftw.usatoday.com)