Tim Tebow is back in the NFL, as you may have heard. It will be an unfamiliar sight, both because it's been half a decade since we've seen him on a football field and he won't be the one throwing the football this time. When the Tebow signing was announced earlier this month, reports from every side were extremely clear: Tebow is coming into camp to try his hand at tight end, and nothing else.
It was almost suspiciously transparent given the cloak-and-dagger attitude NFL organizations tend to employ about literally everything, much less a high-profile player like Tebow. Others seem to think that's the case. Dianna Russini reported this morning on ESPN that some around the league believe Urban Meyer actually plans to use Tebow in a Taysom Hill-type role in Jacksonville.
That does seem a bit more likely to a logical mind. Giving Tebow time at tight end during camp would let him get used to having the ball in his hands in a catch-and-run situations. Turning around and using him in whatever you want to call Hill's position would then free him up from having to learn the blocking assignments and other complicated factors that come with actually playing tight end.
It still all seems insane when you consider Tebow is 33 years-old and played baseball for the last five years. But if Meyer signed Tebow with any intention of keeping him on the 53-man roster come September, it makes perfect sense he'd tell the public he's using Tebow as a tight end and then just not doing that when the regular season starts.
Look at how much criticism Meyer has faced by signing Tebow as a tight end. And then think about how much worse it would be if Meyer admitted he'd be using Tebow in a hybrid passer/rusher/pass-catching role like Sean Payton uses his favorite utility player. A rookie head coach's first major offseason decision is to sign a guy who will take away snaps from the first overall pick? He'd be lambasted. Crucified. Absolutely buried. All before a snap played,.
Meyer may be tone-deaf and prone to nepotism (his decision to bring aboard former Iowa strength coach Chris Doyle speaks to both) but he isn't stupid. He knew how the Tebow signing would be received. It isn't out of the question that Meyer has secret plans for Tebow involving him as a passer and unexpected receiver rather than throwing him to the wolves at a position he's never played, but kept it quiet to limit outcry.
That doesn't make the signing any better. Obviously. Any sort of crackpot offensive scheme Meyer is drawing up that involves Tim Tebow throwing a football instead of Trevor Lawrence is downright insane. I guess we'll have to see for ourselves over the next few months.