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Jaguars coach Urban Meyer praises Tim Tebow's skill set but mentions a flaw

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Starting this week, Jaguars coach Urban Meyer is going to find out plenty about Tim Tebow and whether his NFL comeback attempt is heading in the right direction.

Finally, the pads come on Tuesday.

And there will be no more of the soft stuff like during the first four practices in which the secondary backed off their coverage on receivers and tight ends to avoid any possibility of making contact.

Meyer implemented the rule for the first four days of non-contact work to keep from having a repeat of the offseason practices when the NFL fined the franchise $200,000 and Meyer $100,000 for violating the no-contact rule.

"The real stuff starts (this) week,” Meyer said.

Jaguars DT (85) Tim Tebow pulls in a pass on the practice fields outside TIAA Bank Field during the Jacksonville Jaguars  mandatory veterans minicamp session Monday morning, June 14, 2021. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union]
Jaguars DT (85) Tim Tebow pulls in a pass on the practice fields outside TIAA Bank Field during the Jacksonville Jaguars mandatory veterans minicamp session Monday morning, June 14, 2021. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union]

After the first four days of camp, all signs indicate Tebow has made considerable progress since the offseason program. Tebow's route running has improved and his catching ability continues to be his greatest strength.

On Day 3 in camp, he made one of the highlight plays of the day, a diving catch in the end zone for a touchdown on a pass thrown by No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence during red-zone work. On Day 2, he made a nice 15-yard catch on a pass thrown by backup quarterback Gardner Minshew.

On Day 1, Tebow ran a seam route before hauling in a bullet pass from Lawrence in stride.

However, Meyer strives for perfection. And Tebow is not at that point yet.

“In his drill work, he’s great, but when you get in a competitive moment, just (because of his) lack of experience he wants to body the ball,'' Meyer said. ''When you get to a point where two people are going after it, you have to go get the ball. He is fighting through that a little bit, but he has the skill set to catch the ball.”

When the pads come on, it will be interesting to see if Tebow can get adequate separation from a linebacker on a mid-to-deep route after breaking loose from a tackle, and if he can hold onto the ball after taking a hit over the middle.

Going into the second week of work, it's still an open battle for the starting tight end job. But it appears to be a two-person battle between James O'Shaughnessy and Chris Manhertz.

O'Shaughnessy is expected to return on Monday after missing the past two practices due to an ankle injury.

Tebow is in a battle with Tyler Davis, Luke Farrell and Ben Effefson for the third tight end spot.

The Jaguars are likely to keep three tight ends on their 53-man roster, and there's a chance if Tebow is beaten out for the top three spots, he could be invited to join the practice squad.

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Jaguars coach Urban Meyer gives first-week evaluation of Tim Tebow