By: Eric Serna
Oh yeah, I’m going there. But first let me start off by saying I am glad to be back writing and soon to be back in being more hands on with Inside Edge Sports. I have been out on personal leave, which is why you haven’t read or heard anything from me recently with the site or podcasts. So what better topic to come back to then the now really old and very much dragged out “Bring Tebow Home” plea? Well don’t worry, I have a reason for this. Simply put……Why Not? That is what www.jags-tebow.com asks fans in Jacksonville, even starting a petition for the Jaguars to sign Tim Tebow. Because you know, this wouldn’t be right without a good old fashion petition. But yet, as pointless as signing a petition for that is, there is a feeling that is starting to go around Jacksonville. For some, that Tebow bug is itching more then ever. But for most, it is the simple fact that this Jacksonville Jaguar team has the ability to become one of the worst teams in the National Football League…..EVER. I really didn’t want to jump to conclusions, but I’ve heard it all. “Let’s give Gabbert a shot, get back to form after his injury.” “Wait until Maurice Jones-Drew gets back to form, and when we get a healthy Mercedes Lewis and fresh Justin Blackmon before we judge this team.” I covered this team in the off-season from a 2-14 season and really believed up until the pre-season that this team could improve. I then told myself, “It’s only pre-season, we are going to be so much more competitive in the regular season”. Now we are four games in, at 0-4 and easily the worst team right now in the NFL, DESPITE the fact there are 3 other teams with the same record. 32nd in Points per Game, 32nd in Total Yards per Game, 29th in Points Allowed per Game, and 25th in Total Yards Allowed per Game. I’m done hearing excuses for this team. There is an option that has been decided for months: “Even if he is released”. Words that have no meaning now with how this team has performed. It’s Tebow Time, ladies and gentlemen.
I’ve mentioned it before, and I will say it again. The Jacksonville Jaguars are the laughing stock of the NFL. It has become a theme which is now becoming imprinted on the city itself in the world of sports. From being the butt of every football joke, to being on the back-end of every highlight reel play on ESPN, the Jaguars are a joke in the eyes of the entire nation. We have two quarterbacks who (with two starts each) have combined for 1 TD and 7 INT’s leading a quick short pass or run offense that not only is uninspiring, but has become the normal way the Jaguars play football on offense. This season has honestly gotten worse every game of the season. After losing Week 1, we have had to endure a public embarrassment against the Raiders to go along with an Orlando TV station having to apologize for airing the Jaguars game. Then came the beating everyone could see a mile away against the Seahawks. Now we have had another game we should have at least been competitive, and the only news from this game was the fact that the Jaguars needed to sell tickets, so they offered two free beers with every ticket purchased. Unless my memory is going at a much younger age then expected, I don’t remember last season being this bad. And we are talking about last season in which we only won two games. This has been going on for so long. The Jaguars last winning season was in 2007 and every time the culture seems to be changing or improving, when the whistle blows on Sunday, it is the same old thing time after time on the field. I understand there is new management, and Rome wasn’t built in a day. I am a “real” Jaguars fan. I love this city that I was not born or raised in, but this city I have lived in and become apart of since I moved from New York almost 10 years ago. The New York Giants are my hometown team. But I take Jacksonville as a second home, along with this team I have come to root for. I feel the need to say this because when someone calls for Tebow to come to Jacksonville, the first thing that person is labeled as is a Tebow fan, not a “real” Jaguars fan. Let’s put this to rest now…..I’m both.
I won’t go into details, stats, win-loss record. I already did this while explaining why Tim Tebow should get another chance at being an NFL QB in the off-season. We all know what happened in Denver, and what followed in both New York and New England. I do not care if he is not a good passer. He is a quarterback who CAN make NFL throws (And yes, there is a difference). Accuracy has obviously been an issue that is just one of many mechanical problems involving Tebow’s throwing motion. But are we THAT much better off with Gabbert or Henne in the passing game? No, I don’t think so. I want him in a Jaguars jersey to create a spark, one that has been needed in at LEAST the last 3 seasons here in Jacksonville. Running the ball is what Tebow has always done best. And despite the fact that teams are cracking down on the read option, I still believe it can be used, just not as much as last year. Tebow can run the option at times, but is best playing from shotgun. With the Jaguars young and untested defense, as you have been able to see four games in, the Jaguars will be down a lot. So being in shotgun for a majority of the game is already in play with our current quarterback(s). Behind a horrible offensive line, the Jaguars have allowed 18 sacks through 4 games. That is the worst in the NFL this year. When I watch Gabbert or Henne try to move out of the pocket, it makes me chuckle. You almost know nothing good is going to happen once that happens. Tebow can make plays out of thin air, and that is what this team needs right now. He can take the beating that will come, and he will bring the excitement Jaguars fans are hoping will come one day. Whether you love him or hate him, signed the petition for him to come here or to make sure he never steps foot in Everbank Field, it doesn’t matter. You will come to see him win or lose, succeed or fail. This would be something worth watching, no matter what side you are on. Because if you would rather see what is being put on the field now, you may need to see a doctor…..or just stop watching football all together.
So many factors come into play with this article I am writing. One of which being fan attendance. Now HOLD YOUR HORSES! Don’t freak out, calm down. I am NOT one of those people who have been deceived by the national media that the Jaguars have needed Tim Tebow here for so long because we can’t sell tickets and have barely been able to avoid blackouts. People who follow the Jaguars know that is flat out false. With that being said, I also understand despite a terrible season last year, Jacksonville’s fan attendance was 20th out of 32 NFL teams. That number will be hard to reach with the play this team has done so far, and if this continues, we will start to decline in attendance. It is already showing with how many fans are leaving home games at halftime. Something as well that you may not have expected me to mention: The Matthews Bridge. For those of you that aren’t aware, one of the main ways to get to the games in Downtown Jacksonville is through this bridge, and it was just recently hit by a Navy ship, causing damage that has closed the bridge down indefinitely. It could be months before the bridge is able to be used again for anyone trying to go the game. This is important for everyone who buys tickets for the game. The people who have to sit in traffic which has now been worsened by this accident. To see a team that looks like they aren’t even trying to win a game, or they just simply can’t with the players on the team. It is going to be a better option for more and more people to stay at home, or watch the game at the bar nearby. It will take a few weeks, but when it happens, it will be just another sad chapter to the story of the 2013 Jacksonville Jaguars.
I truly want this team to improve, and I understand the circus that will come, as well as the backlash from the now locally infamous “Even if he is released” statement. But I ask you to just look at what is happening. Put aside the hate you have for Tebow, his fans, or the attention that comes with him. What in the world do we have to lose? Blaine Gabbert’s confidence? Please, that has been gone for a long time now, and it is showing. A roster spot maybe? Not on this team. We have nothing to lose in making a low risk move to sign Tim Tebow to a contract for the remainder of the year and have him sit behind Gabbert and learn the offense (which is the least creative offense I may have ever seen). Gus Bradley is sticking with Gabbert even after an ugly performance against the Colts, but I don’t see that going on much longer with a few more bad performances. Chad Henne didn’t show anything worthy of another shot to start a game for the Jaguars. If we lose another two or three games, what harm can come in playing Tebow the rest of the year? Maybe make changes to the offense to better suit him, like it was done in Denver. I remember Demayruis Thomas becoming a star when Tebow took over, and maybe the same can be done in the national spotlight with Justin Blackmon? This team needs a face, even if it is until next April when we can draft someone to lead this team for the future. We need someone now. Otherwise this season will continue to be a downward spiral with more unexciting games, and even more sports analysts making jokes about how bad this team is for what has become a recurring theme in the last few years on ESPN as well as other major sports outlets. Yes, maybe Tim Tebow will be just as bad, and he won’t help this team in any way shape or form to be any more competitive or win games.
But just ask yourself this…..what happens if he can? #TebowTime