• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Tim Tebow gets into the end zone at Jacksonville Jaguars OTAs as he tries to show he belongs

·4 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Instead of taking snaps as a quarterback, Tim Tebow crashed into handheld blocking dummies and made cuts to get open for passes during tight end drills.

Each time it came his turn during a drill or was on the field for seven-on-seven work during the Jacksonville Jaguars' organized team activity workout on Thursday, cameras focused exclusively on Tebow.

And the media members on hand for the Jaguars' first open offseason practice that included all 90 players took notice.

Despite playing quarterback his entire career, including when he won the 2007 Heisman Trophy and helped Urban Meyer win two national championships at Florida, he's trying to catch on quickly as a tight end.

Going into his first full week since signing a one-year veteran minimum contract valued at $920,000, Tebow hasn't been on an NFL roster since 2015, when he failed to make the Philadelphia Eagles' final 53-man for the regular season.

Weird? More like awkward with Tebow at tight end

Tim Tebow looks on during Jaguars OTAs.
Tim Tebow looks on during Jaguars OTAs.

MORE: NFL fans had a lot of reactions to seeing Tim Tebow looking jacked

Meyer admitted Thursday that it was a little awkward seeing Tebow play tight end during Monday's first organized team activity practice, but he didn't go beyond much of that when asked about the team's newest member.

“Oh well, I wouldn’t say weird — awkward maybe, the first practice,'' Meyer said. ''But it’s 1 of 90, trying to make the team. He has improved, it’s all new for him, but Tyler Bowen is doing a good job with our tight ends as a whole.

''[James] O’Shaughnessy and [Ben] Ellefson in particular, are — if you watch a video [from] last year and if you watch them practice now, it’s night and day; those guys have really improved. Their positions are trending upward, they’re doing a nice job. It's one step at a time, we'll see what happens. He's (Tebow) one of the 90 trying to make the team.''

Tebow looks like a tight end: 6-foot-3, 255 pounds. Among the Jaguars' six tight ends, only Chris Manhertz weighs more than Tebow at 260.

During Thursday's two-hour practice, Tebow, who was not made available for comment, did not drop a pass.

And early on, he caught two short-yardage touchdown passes. He hauled in a pass from quarterback Trevor Lawrence in the left corner of the end zone and quarterback Gardner Minshew connected with him on another.

But make no mistake, Tebow is a work in progress.

TREVOR LAWRENCE: Jaguars rookie QB not perfect in red zone

8 SENSIBLE NFL TRADES: Which team would be Julio Jones' best landing spot?

Tim Tebow prepares to make contact with Ben Ellefson (86) during OTA drills.
Tim Tebow prepares to make contact with Ben Ellefson (86) during OTA drills.

Unnatural in position workouts

During most of the team's tight end drills, especially one in which he had to shuffle his feet in and out, Tebow looked somewhat off rhythm, like he was doing more thinking than allowing it to come naturally.

Tebow also didn't look natural, like the other tight ends did, when he had to throw a forearm rip into a hand-held blocking dummy and then shed another block, before carrying on with his route. A few times, he looked somewhat out of sorts.

However, Tebow does look like a player who belongs on the field. And he appears as if he is trying to grasp everything as quickly as possible. During drills when he wasn't on the field, Tebow stood next to Bowen, the tight ends coach, to get additional pointers.

''He's come in and been great so far,'' Jaguars starting center Brandon Linder said. ''He's a got a lot of experiences that's different from other players, so you can ask him questions and learn from that. But again, I have seen too much on the field, but if he can help us, so be it.''

Wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. joked that he's kind of mad that Tebow has supplanted him as being the oldest player on the team.

''Now, he has me by two years, so I have to talk to him about that, but it’s been great,'' Jones said. ''Obviously, everybody knows the type of worker that he is and it’s no different.''

Jones praised the work Tebow has shown so far such as running extra after practice and his film study work.

''He's doing what he needs to do to get this new position going,'' Jones said. ''So, it’s been good, it’s been good to have him here most definitely.”

Safety Rayshawn Jenkins said they are star-struck by Tebow, whose NFL comeback attempt has generated nationwide interest. Some former NFL players believe Tebow is being afforded a privilege to compete for a roster spot because of the bond he has with Meyer.

Jenkins said Tebow is just another player trying to end a roster spot.

''He's a really good guy from what I can tell,'' Jenkins said. ''But I don't look at it as Tebow or anybody. I just look at it what do I need to do as a player. What are keys and what I'm a looking at? It doesn't what number the jersey number is or whoever there in front of me. I'm just trying to work on my toolbox and my craft."

If you enjoy talking football, we have the perfect spot for you. Join our Facebook Group, The Ruling Off the Field, to engage in friendly debate and conversation with fellow football fans and our NFL insiders. Do the right thing, sign up now!

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Tim Tebow trying to show he belongs on Jaguars' roster