So, what do you want to talk about today?
I'll look for non-Tim Tebow angles, and maybe I'll even find a few. But until there's something to report there's nothing to report, so speculation rules the day – the morning, anyway.
Unsurprisingly, well over 90 percent of the in-box in the last 24 hours has been Tebow questions. Just as unsurprisingly, the fors and againsts are pretty much split. He's nothing if not polarizing, and as I may not have said already this week, we seem to be at Ground Zero of the debate here.
What was notable about the in-box in the last 24 hours was the increase in emotion on each side of the debate. We're at a fever pitch, people. Take a breath. And another. One more. OK.
On a serious note, I have offered my take on Tebow about as much as I can, but because I am constantly asked, I'll reiterate: I am skeptical of his ability to take a team to a Super Bowl or to get past a certain level of the playoffs. The reason I am skeptical is having covered the NFL I tend to listen to scouts and coaches with NFL experience, and most people who fit that description are skeptical, too.
That said, there is NFL bias in those opinions, so I seek the other side of the discussion, too. I am not dim enough to not see that he has something special. Can that translate into being able to work through his shortcomings and become a franchise NFL quarterback? Maybe. On that, only time will tell.
What will happen? I honestly don't know.
I'm not sure anyone else does, either, but both sides should remember – there are indeed two sides to this. If it was an easy, one-sided issue the debate wouldn't be so vehement on both sides.
Anyway, we'll see what the day brings. And until then, we'll discuss what we can here.
One last caveat: On some questions today, I will answer very, very short. Usually, I feel compelled to offer whatever opinions and insight I can in the O-Zone, but I also want to provide a forum for the passion on each side of the argument. That's part of today, too.
Let's get to it . . .
Norm from Dothan, AL:
John, you have achieved FULL CONSISTENCY. In my 10 years of following "O-Zone" and "Ask Vic" there has never been, to my knowledge, any one day post which received over 800 comments. At least for once in your life you are now #1 and Da-Man! How does it feel ?
John: Exhausting and confusing.
Tim from Jacksonville:
Is there any chance the Jaguars could trade back in the draft and give up a later first-round pick for Mike Wallace? I think a proven receiver is better than taking a risk.
John: Who's Mike Wallace? What's a receiver?
Jake from St. Augustine, FL:
Everyone deserves a second chance. Here's yours, Jags! God is first with him and he is a solid player with the best work ethic. Bring him home. He's a beast. Who will represent the community better? No one. Get Tebow, 2012 – second and last chance.
John: We get this one a lot.
James from Jacksonville:
Everyone seems to be ignoring one giant fact. If Tebow was the player his fans think he is, why isn't Denver trying to keep him? If he won all those games all by himself, why would they let him go? The answer is that they know the truth behind Tebow. His skills as a quarterback are mediocre at best. I've been a season-ticket holder for several years, and will be calling to cancel all of my tickets for the upcoming season. I will not be coming to the stadium to hear the Gator fans chant for Tebow for three hours.
John: We get this one a lot, too.
Anfernee from Duval County, FL:
Am I the only one that is intrigued by what Mularkey could do with Tebow? If I recall correctly, he coached Kordell Stewart to the Pro Bowl. I would consider Tebow a significantly better "Slash" athlete.
John: I'd stop short of "significantly." Stewart was pretty darned good in his day, but I don't doubt that Mularkey and the offensive staff could make the adjustments necessary to adapt to any situation. The Falcons always emphasized balance with Mularkey as offensive coordinator, I suppose the offensive the staff could adapt to a spread, collegiate-type offense if need be.
Gary from Broken Arrow, OK:
I am neither for or against Tebow. My question is would he in fact be an upgrade at the position?
John: That indeed is the question, and like most questions involving Tebow – and, in fact, involving Blaine Gabbert – it involves guesswork. Was Tebow better than Gabbert last season? In some respects, yes. In the most important respect – winning – yes. The more important and more unanswerable question is which player will become the better NFL quarterback. Talking to NFL people, many will tell you while Tebow led the Broncos to the playoffs this season his "ceiling" – i.e., how good he can become --- seems limited by mechanics. Many of those same people will tell you that although Gabbert struggled as a rookie he has the "arm talent" and football intelligence to be one of the elite quarterbacks. He has a long way to go to get there, but there are only a few people on the planet with the tools to possibly get there and Gabbert is one of them. That's a long way of saying I don't know if Tebow would be an upgrade in the short term, but the potential for upside in the long run goes to Gabbert according to most NFL people.
Jeff from San Diego, CA:
Here's my problem with the Jags trading for Tebow, this will effectively mean the end of the Blaine Gabbert era in Jacksonville before it even got a chance to take off. The fans in Jacksonville will be calling for Gabbert's head in training camp. You saw how bad it got in Denver last year with Orton. Multiply that by 10 in Jacksonville. I think it's way too early to give up on Gabbert, and I really hope the Jags don't force him out by signing Tebow. I'm afraid John, very afraid. Hold me.
John: Yes, that would be an issue. How it would be handled would be perhaps the most critical part of the situation if it occurred.
Curry from Jacksonville:
Well it seems you don't like answering questions about Mark Anderson cause that's all I've fed you the past couple of days. I'm gonna keep trying. IS THERE ANY NEWS OF A FREE AGENT VISIT FOR MARK ANDERSON WITH THE JAGS????
John: Not yet. I'm not sure there's a feeling that he would be a significant upgrade over what's already on the roster.
John from Jacksonville:
So I don't fancy myself as much of a Tebow enthusiast, but I would be glad to have him on board. Here's my logic: we have a certain segment of the population that makes up our established "real" fan base. They've stuck through the rebuilding years and the hard times. On the other hand, we have fans (arguably fair-weather, but who are we to judge) that would be intrigued by the signing of Tebow. Thus, they would be attracted, at least initially. Let's say Tebow is unable to help our team and that notion of "Tebow Time" dies down. The fans that would be outraged would be the Tebow enthusiasts, while those who trust in Gene would continue to be fans regardless. I'm not really seeing how acquiring Tebow would hurt us. I also do not agree with the idea that the ratio of people who would snatch up tickets would be less than the number that angrily cancelled their tickets.
John: That is indeed an intriguing angle. I don't know that it's possible to give a broad-brush theory as to how the fans would react. I suspect there are many different emotions as there are fans. Would it broaden the fan base? Theoretically, yes, but how much and how permanently? I just don't know.
Ronne from Section 148 and Jacksonville:
I have a solution to the Tebow problem. Give the "fans" who say they will buy tickets when we get Tebow 24 hours to place a $50 deposit on season tickets. If we sell out the stadium with season-ticket purchases in that 24 hours, we trade for Tebow. If not, the Tebow circus goes elsewhere. That way, these "fans" are forced to put their money where their mouths are...
John: Interesting. Obviously won't happen, but I admire your thinking outside the box.
James from West Liberty, KY:
I'm sorry John, but I cannot bite my tongue on this one! I know I'm JUST a fan but WHY would you purposely waste a draft pick and trade for Tebow?! Not only is he Not a QB, this team traditionally only keep 2 QB's on the roster, which we already have. Are you seriously going to keep him on as a RB and take away carries away from MOJO and Jennings? I'm almost certain he's not a WR or TE so you'd have to lose one of those players at one of those positions to retain Tebow. Lastly, Why in The world would a fan pay Good $money$ to see a player sit on the bench? Will it sell a few jerseys? Yeah, probably, but it creates more Harm than good turning Jacksonville into a circus and possible A PR Nightmare, especially if Gabbert doesn't play amazing his first preseason game.
John: I share many of your concerns, and perhaps my biggest is that Tebow might be acquired as a third-team, emergency quarterback or a "situational" player. That's fine in theory, but Tebowmania proved a powerful force in Denver, and I wonder if it's realistic to think he could be on the roster and it not be a distraction if he's not the starting quarterback. I'm not saying it couldn't work, but that's what would give me pause.
Tim from Section 116:
Do you think we could get a first-round pick for Gabbert?
John: I do not. Not because he can't eventually develop into an elite quarterback, but because right now, Gabbert's stock around the NFL is down after struggling last season. That can change.
Doug from Jacksonville:
I know the teams we will be playing this year have been announced. When does the schedule come out?
John: It typically is released in mid-April.
Brandon from Lompoc, CA:
This is the first time I have written in, although I have been reading loyally since I was 11 back in' 01 and I would like to get a question answered and join the Jaguars Hall of Fame. Do you think it's possible we try to add depth along the defensive line and add Amobi Akoye? He is 24 and won't command a huge salary I don't know just a thought I guess and I wouldn't see a reason why not?
John: I doubt it. Akoye hasn't progressed as the Texans hoped when they drafted him, and if it happened, it would be more of a low-risk, low-expectations move than anything else. Welcome to the Hall of Shame . . . oh, you said, "Fame."
Art from Orange Park, FL:
Fran Tarkenton, Doug Flutie, Michael Vick – all Tebow type players. I can't remember how many championships they won in the NFL. If you could tell me, then I'll know how many I can look forward to if we sign Tebow.
John: They won none, although Tarkenton led the Vikings to three Super Bowls. But to be fair, the Tarkenton-Tebow comparison isn't valid. Tarkenton was a scrambler, but he also was one of the NFL's best passing quarterbacks during his career. I'd compare Tebow a bit to Flutie, although I think Tebow certainly is more physical and had the more accomplished collegiate career.
Chris from New York, NY:
I'm confused as to why the Tebow question is framed as bring him in as a starter at QB or don't trade for him at all. Why is there not a third option of using him in a "slash" role similar to what Mularkey did with Kordell in Pittsburgh?
John: Perhaps you could. Perhaps you could.