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O-Zone: Red hot

JACKSONVILLE – We're into Day 2 of the latest round of Tebow Mania. Or is it Day 3? Whatever.

Let's get to it …

Nathan from Portland, OR

I thought finishing last year at 1-15 was the lowest point in Jaguars history. I was shocked that the new low is the signing of Tim Tebow.

I suppose I've answered enough questions on this topic in recent days that I've lost the ability to discern whether your second sentence – that the Jaguars possibly of signing Tim Tebow is a franchise low – is sarcastic or not. Either way, it speaks to a fair point – the perception among some readers and fans that his potential signing is somehow a turning point of the franchise, or that it defines the franchise somehow. Or that Head Coach Urban Meyer wanting to sign Tebow is the silliest thing in NFL history. Or that his desire to do so somehow shows he is ill-equipped to be an NFL head coach. While I have gotten multiple emails along all those lines, the reality is Tebow's potential signing does not mean any of those things. His potential signing at this point would be signing a street free agent in the offseason, which is something NFL teams do every offseason. He would join the 90-man roster with a chance to make the team. A chance is not a guarantee. A chance is not even implying that there is a strong possibility he will make the team. We don't know that yet. Tebow will not be the starting quarterback if he signs. He will not be the starting tight end if he signs, certainly not immediately – and perhaps never. He will be one of a bunch of players at the so-called "bottom of the roster" with a chance. Most such players don't make it. Maybe Tebow will. Whatever happens, he's not "defining" anything. He's just not.

Michael from Middleburg, FL

"Not much harm"??...The circus (which has already started) that follows him around is more than enough not to deal with him. I was feeling good about Meyer but starting to change my mind.

That's right. I did write that there's not much harm in potentially acquiring Tebow. Remember: the "circus," as you put it, is outside the team and not inside the locker room. Just because a subject is media noise and an O-Zone topic does not mean it knocks a team off course – and a distraction to readers and viewers does not make it a distraction inside an NFL facility. While the so-called "circus" may have been an issue had Tebow been signed to play quarterback, he is expected to sign to try to make the team as a tight end. I suspect any real distraction would be minimal, if it exists at all.

Reuben from Pikesville MD

I had Philadelphia Eagles season tickets back when Rich Kotite was coach. Randall Cunningham became injured so Kotite brought in his ex-New York Jets quarterback — who had been working as a bricklayer. He had been out of the NFL for at least a year. This guy's start was awful. After the game reporters asked Kotite why he brought this guy in and he replied, "Because he knows the system." Coaches have an affinity for their former players whether Steve Spurrier and Danny Wuerffel, Kotite or Meyer and Tebow.


Terry from Jacksonville

John, why would the Jags use a spot on the roster for Tebow instead of getting a rookie tight end?

The Jaguars drafted a rookie tight end in the 2021 NFL Draft: Luke Farrell, Ohio State University. They are considering signing Tebow because they think he can help the team if he works out. This doesn't preclude them from signing another tight end.

Zac from Austin, Tejas

This is a rules question, not a fantasy question: If for some insane reason Tebow was expected to suit up at wingback midgame, would he have to change numbers midgame as well? That question going for anyone - if left tackle Cam Robinson needed to step in and throw some passes midgame, would he be allowed to just swap jerseys? How does that work?

No, a player would not have to switch jerseys in that situation.

Nelson from Los Angeles, CA

O, you've stated multiple times that if Tebow doesn't make the final roster then no harm done. I couldn't disagree more. I think harm is already being done. What about the side show that inevitably follows Tebow and the potential dissension in the locker room? It's the kind of move, like hiring the Iowa strength-and-conditioning coach, that could lead to the players losing faith in their head coach.

This is something that gets discussed a lot. If Tebow isn't good enough to be on the team and is still kept on the roster, then that would be cause for dissension. If not, it won't likely be an issue.

Daniel from Johnston, IA

Do you feel the NFL is slowly turning into the NBA? I don't mean the offensive explosion, but it feels more and more like players are able to force their way. The latest Aaron Rodgers saga seems to me that the tides are shifting to favor the superstars over the management and/or coaches. Curious for your thoughts on the topic.

The NFL indeed is moving closer to this direction than I imagined possible, with players trying and – in some cases – able to force their will on franchises. I'm a little surprised more franchises haven't held stronger in these situations. I don't think it's great for the league, and I do believe that players – particularly elite, veteran players such as Rodgers – should for the most part play out their contracts when signed. Now, get off my lawn.

Sprinkle from DUVAL YA'LL

Dang Zone, I hope Tim has his blinders on. Sports media is ablaze trashing his return. It's simple, though. If he can contribute, sign him. If not, don't. All of us get jobs because of who we know, so if he can perform who cares how he got there? Also: I'm the first to want Colin Kaepernick back (he was wrongfully ostracized and the league knows it), but comparing situations is apples to oranges. Also: the distraction argument is stupid. It's the NFL; a league of superstars. Everything constitutes a distraction. It's why they get paid millions to perform under pressure. If he becomes a Jag then Duval has his back along with all the other Big Cats. Ya digg?

I do dig.

Mike from Atlanta, GA

I noticed you didn't include DaVon Hamilton in your answer regarding how the Jaguars will improve against the run. I guess it's not a good sign if you forgot him. He seemed to play about as well as we should have expected him to play as a rookie. Do the new guys see him as a leftover or is this going to sort itself out in training camp?

I didn't include nose tackle DaVon Hamilton in the answer because he was on the team and I was focusing my answer on new players. It will sort itself out in training camp, but the new decision-makers and coaches believe he will be a part of the defensive-line rotation.

Andy from Halifax, Canada

No question but pumped to finally buy a Tebow jersey!!!

Hey, one fer Tebow!


_There has not been much talk about the Jaguars' bright future in the media lately. There has been a lot of reference to Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer, though. A lot of looking back at the good old days. If the eminent signing of Tebow is true, this is an awful gaffe by Meyer. He's taking the spotlight off the franchise's new star and put it on Tim Tebow and himself? What kind of culture is that? Not a good look at all. Is there any chance this vicious rumor gets killed quickly so no real damage is done?                  _

Breathe, Brian. Breathe. If Tebow is good enough to make the team, it will be a cool story. If he's not, he won't make the team. It's May 12. If Tebow doesn't make the team, will anyone remember two weeks later? Will anyone be talking about it? Will it define the franchise? Really? What the team does on the field next season and the season after – and all the seasons after that – will define it. Period.

Bruce from Green Cove Springs, FL

I studied journalism about 50 years ago. I had some independent stories published, so one might say I was a successful journalist. I think that qualifies me to be the franchise's Oehser backup. What, you think that is ridiculous? Perhaps, but no more so than… well, you know.

This depends on your ability to do the job, because it's a performance-based business. And because you'll need to be a carbon copy of the senior writer. Are you good? Can you write? Can you report? Are you devilishly handsome, sneaky strong and stomach-achingly funny? Do women swoon when you pass? If so, then you're qualified. If not …

Royce from Jacksonville

Wow Mr. O this Tebow mania is really heating up?

Isn't it awesome?