It may not seem logical, but newly hired Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell just did more to help Tim Tebow's career than anyone Tebow has been around in his three NFL seasons. Caldwell, in a few simple words, was completely forthright about Tebow's lack of quarterbacking skill.
On Thursday, when Caldwell was introduced to the Jacksonville media, he was asked the elephant-in-the-room question about Tebow, who currently is on the New York Jets' roster. Would Caldwell be willing to bring Tebow home to Jacksonville, where he starred in high school and then traveled just down the road to Gainesville to help the University of Florida win two national championships?
"I can't imagine a scenario where he would be a Jacksonville Jaguar," Caldwell said. A reporter, apparently dumbfounded by the directness of the response, even asked Caldwell to repeat that quote and Caldwell did.
Now all of this will lead to plenty of sarcastic responses from Tebow critics, including snarky remarks about how Tebow's career is over. It will get just as many responses from Tebowmaniacs who believe the NFL is somehow out to embarrass their hero because of his Christian values.
Fact is, Caldwell just did Tebow a favor by conveying what so many others – including Rex Ryan, most recently – have refused to say: the way Tebow plays quarterback right now doesn't work in the NFL.
Sure, Tebowmaniacs point to his record in 2011 and how he beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs and blah, blah, blah. What they ignore is that Denver's defense was really good last season, Tebow pulled out more improbable escapes than Criss Angel and that, when faced with good strategy by teams like New England and even Kansas City, Tebow was an unworkable mess as a quarterback.
[Related: Jaguars' new GM fires coach Mike Mularkey]
That's where Tebowmaniacs do him the most harm. Instead of understanding his faults – he's a horrible practice player with bad mechanics who can't read defenses – they say, "Just look at the record." In doing that, Tebow and his group of enablers (starting with his father and brother Rob) seem to think nothing is wrong, that he can go on playing the way he does until somebody in the NFL wises up and just gives Timmy a chance to start again.
Please, stop. Moreover, kudos to Caldwell for helping put a stop to the insanity.
Maybe, just maybe, other people in the NFL will have the guts to openly say that Tebow needs to change if he's going to make it as a quarterback. (Sadly, it's probably too late for that). Maybe instead of coddling Tebow by making him a co-No. 2 quarterback the way Ryan did when the Jets played Jacksonville in December, people who actually coach in the league will say openly, "You're not good enough."
And this is exactly what Tebow needs to hear.
[Rewind: Sporting goods store mocks Tim Tebow]
Tebow is a good kid and obviously well-meaning. He's the kind of person who may have been able to make the changes if he was told that this was the only way he could survive in the league. If a team would spend a couple of years with Tebow on the bench as a No. 3 quarterback and teach him simple things – such as the difference between two-deep and three-deep coverage – Tebow might be able to make it.
More than likely, though, it's probably too late and Tebow's only real hope of staying in the league is to shift to fullback or H-back or some other non-essential position.
That's because, starting with the absurdly bad decision by former Denver coach Josh McDaniels to draft him in the first round, Tebow has suffered through perhaps the most mismanaged career in the history of the NFL. It has been so bungled that Tebow could be out of football in a few months if he doesn't wise up.
One thing is for sure, he's not going to be in Jacksonville.
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