There are times when fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars are forced to battle the national media’s horrendous reporting of us and the franchise we support.
Unfortunately, this is not one of those times.
Instead, we have to go through the mind-numbing process of explaining how Tim Tebow’s signing is such a bad move to peers who are more inclined to remember him as a legendary Florida Gator instead of the New York Jets’ personal punt protector.
Dude, Stop It. We’re Criticizing Urban Meyer, NOT Tim Tebow
Urban Meyer’s work in free agency has been abysmal. However, Meyer’s work hasn’t been all bad this offseason. His coaching hires were good (well, except for one) and his first draft was more than solid. Despite these positives, however, there is one glaring theme of Urban Meyer’s behavior as an NFL head coach that is bothering me, other Jaguars fans, most NFL fans, and the national media as a whole:
He likes giving his friends jobs they don’t deserve. Like, A LOT.
This Isn’t A New Thing In Pro Football
Guys who don’t deserve gigs get jobs in the NFL all the time. Some guys get to coach outside linebackers for a powerhouse because their father is the head coach. Others get jobs because their general managers expected them to convince a quarterback to stay in town and rescind his trade demands. In EXTREME cases, coaches can get a job just because they coached quarterbacks for a 33-year-old dynamo who revamped the West Coast Offense and rehabilitated a busted #1 overall pick.
In either case, the good ol’ boy system synonymous with American Football’s coaching ranks is alive and well and may never actually die. In Urban Meyer’s case, the larger discussion surrounding the good ol’ boy system is irrelevant, as he knows what he wants and how he can get it. Just like Bill Belichick is focused on promoting the Patriot Way in every way possible, Meyer also wants to turn the Jacksonville Jaguars into an organization that is known for the culture of the building more so than the players inside of it. If every player and front office executive is elite, who cares if someone leaves?
At the same time, establishing a precedence of elite hires would soothe any hostile predispositions against whoever Meyer wants to bring into the building. At least, I hope that’s how Urban Meyer is viewing things.
Urban Meyer Told Us and Showed Us What He Was Going to Do
Urban Meyer only wants to hire the best people available for any job that is currently vacant. Due to this, he expects to win in Jacksonville as soon as possible. Confusingly enough, however, Meyer’s idea of getting the best people possible for a job involves hiring people he knows the best instead of actually hiring the highest value on the street or in the league.
Unfortunately, the Chris Doyle debacle showed us that Urban Meyer will play favorites during his tenure as the Jacksonville Jaguars’ head coach. If anything, Meyer’s decision-making in the second, fourth, and fifth rounds of the NFL Draft confirmed to us that he’s going to play favorites as long as he is the leader of the Jaguars. In the draft, he literally selected two players he was unable to recruit while he was a college coach. One was a cornerback and the other was a defensive tackle.
Now, there is ABSOLUTELY a chance that Tyson Campbell (who only had one interception in his entire college career) and Jay Tufele (who played two seasons for Southern California and logged 10.0 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks) could be massive hits for the Jaguars. After all, Jalen Ramsey only had three interceptions at Florida State and he’s the best cornerback in pro football. Also, the chances of these players being successful are vastly increased by their very recent activity in the world of American Football. After all, it’s not like they just retired from a minor league baseball career or anything like that.
Tim Tebow’s Lack of Recent Snaps Isn’t The Reason Why Everyone is Upset – It’s Urban Meyer’s Desire to Sign Tebow in the First Place
Random barbs aside, no one would complain if Andrew Luck came back for the Indianapolis Colts. If anything, we’d celebrate his return and wonder how long it’d take for Indianapolis to become a super bowl contender. With this in mind, Tim Tebow is no Andrew Luck. Tim Tebow was barely a Mark Sanchez.
When he was a prospect in the 2010 NFL Draft, Tebow was almost begged to switch to tight end so that his 4.5 speed and bruising running style could be optimized to the best of their ability. In addition to this, coaches and scouts asked him to make the position change because his throwing motion was horrendous and caused his passes to be consistently inaccurate. In an act of defiance, guts, faith, and spirit, Tebow decided to stick with his dream and no one should question him for that. After all, it was his career to lose – not ours.
What we must, can, and will question Tim Tebow for is his sudden change of heart when it comes to giving up his quarterback dreams. For me, the answer to this complex question is simple: Urban Meyer asked him if he was in shape enough to give it another go.
In my opinion, it’s obvious that Tim Tebow wouldn’t give playing tight end the slightest thought unless he was asked by his old coach and new neighbor. Due to this, I don’t blame Tebow at all.
What were the chances of Urban Meyer becoming the head coach of Tebow’s hometown team in the first place? Shoot, with as long of a shot that transaction was, Meyer giving Tebow a chance to see the light of day was even longer.
What Does All of This Mean?
Meyer’s decision to address the tight end room with a load of blockers and a guy who hasn’t played the position since his freshman year at Jacksonville Trinity Christian shows me that even the smallest of tasks will be a big load for Meyer’s learning curve to handle. If Meyer can’t hire a sports nutrition guy and find a real pass-catching tight end, how is he going to build the right environment for the best quarterback in franchise history to succeed?
Blunders like these can turn out to be very serious if left unchecked. If you disagree, shoot out the reasons why Matthew Stafford and Carson Palmer failed in Detroit and Cincinnati respectively. If the reasons are that different, then I’ll bite the bullet.
However, I don’t think they are.