It’s been quite some time since the Jacksonville Jaguars have been the talk of the NFL but they’ve easily had two of the top stories in the league this offseason. First, of course, there’s No. 1 overall draft pick Trevor Lawrence, the much-hyped Clemson quarterback who some see as a generational talent. And then there’s a man who may not even be wearing a Jaguars uniform when Week 1 rolls around, Tim Tebow, who hasn’t taken an official NFL snap since 2012.
The two recently met for the very first time and have even had a few practices together already. And it appears Lawrence is absolutely thrilled to have Tebow around.
There are a lot of expectations on Trevor Lawrence, the Jaguars’ first-ever No. 1 overall pick
There are always going to be ridiculously high expectations for any No. 1 overall NFL draft pick, as there should be. But the expectations surrounding Lawrence are going to be off the charts when he officially begins his professional career this September. Sure, it’s extremely flattering to be called “the next Peyton Manning” but that’s a ton of pressure to live up to and it’s almost unfair to put that on a 21-year-old kid. What’s essentially being said is that anything short of a couple of Super Bowl wins and a Hall of Fame induction will be seen as a disappointing career.
But Lawrence, who was 34-2 as the starting quarterback at Clemson and threw for just over 10,000 yards and 90 touchdowns, seems to be ready for the challenge. As he recently told Yahoo Sports, he knows the expectations are there and has certainly put some on himself. But he’s simply trying to be the best player he can be as he makes the jump to the next level.
“Honestly, I haven’t really been focusing on any of that. It’s me just trying to prepare each day and learn as much as I can so that I am ready. I haven’t paid attention to most of it. Obviously, you see things and notice things, but …
“I will say I have high expectations of myself, too, so I try to keep those my main focus, and the team’s expectations for ourselves. That’s the main objective.”Trevor Lawrence
Well, Lawrence is already talking like a seasoned veteran, isn’t he? And speaking of seasoned veterans…
Tim Tebow is trying to make the Jaguars as a tight end
OK, so maybe Tim Tebow shouldn’t be classified as a seasoned veteran as the Heisman Trophy winner only played three NFL seasons between the Denver Broncos and New York Jets. Sure, there were those little stints with the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles but those don’t really count as he never made it past the preseason, which is the exact same scenario he now faces with the Jaguars.
It’s been more than eight years since Tebow’s last official NFL game and nearly six years since he was cut by the Eagles. After dabbling in broadcasting and a three-year baseball career, the two-time national champion is back in football at tight end, a position many believe would have prolonged his NFL career the first time around had he been willing to make the change.
There was a lot of backlash when new Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer brought his former Florida quarterback to Jacksonville as cries of favoritism and white privilege rang out as Tebow has a job in the NFL and Colin Kaepernick doesn’t. And those cries were certainly understandable. But it’s not as if Tebow got himself a lucrative deal as he signed for the league minimum with no guarantees. And there’s certainly no guarantee that he’ll even make the 53-man roster come late August.
But that doesn’t mean Tebow isn’t going to try and Lawrence is ecstatic to have him around.
Lawrence loves having Tebow around and says he used him in video games as a kid
While there’s certainly the chance Lawrence never throws a regular-season pass to Tebow with the Jaguars, he’s certainly enjoying being around him. The two met for the very first time recently, an experience Lawrence was very cool for him as he admitted to playing as Tebow while playing college football video games as a kid.
Lawrence says the first thing that jumped out to him about Tebow is the kind of person he is and “a guy you want to be around,” which shouldn’t be a surprise as seemingly everyone who’s ever talked about Tebow has said the same. The two have had a few practices together now and Lawrence is ecstatic about what he’s seen thus far.
“He’s been awesome so far. Just a hard worker. And he’s in great shape. It’s been cool to see, and obviously, it’s still really early and he’s still learning and just coming in a couple days later than some other guys for the install, so he’s just getting his feet wet. But man, he’s doing great.”Trevor Lawrence on Tim Tebow
The Jaguars open their 2021 preseason on August 14 against the Cleveland Browns and it should be one hot ticket.
Stats courtesy of Sports Reference