Why didn’t the Jaguars just bring Tim Tebow on as an assistant coach?

The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed Tim Tebow to play tight end, but why couldn’t he have just been brought on as an assistant coach?

Late last month, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the Jacksonville Jaguars were looking at Tim Tebow as a tight end. On Monday, it became a reality as the two sides agreed to a one-year deal.

Tebow last played an NFL regular-season game in 2012 with the New York Jets. He remained steadfast that he was only a quarterback during subsequent opportunities with the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles. More recently, he played pro baseball in the New York Mets organization before giving up that pursuit earlier this year.

Tebow will of course reunite with his college coach Urban Meyer in Jacksonville. A look at the Jaguars’ tight end depth chart (James Shaughnessy, Chris Manhertz, etc.) shows an opportunity to earn a spot on the 53-man roster.

Does Tim Tebow have to play to make a difference for the Jaguars?

Tebow is now 33 years old, and as mentioned, he hasn’t played meaningful football in nine years. He’s presumably in very good physical condition, at least compared to a normal, every-day person. But the gap between that and being a serviceable football player can be exposed quickly.

Apart from whatever talent he had, Tebow carried intangible value as a quarterback. He can certainly be coached up on the intricacies of playing tight end, and he may even be a quick study. But what would his ultimate role be for the Jaguars? A handful of offensive snaps per game? With some special teams snaps sprinkled in? That’s not to say his role won’t be meaningful, but it’s hard to see a huge statistical impact.

When Meyer was hired, the idea Tebow might join his coaching staff in Jacksonville was an easy one to understand. It was almost surely discussed right off the bat between the two. But Tebow seems to have made it clear he wants to play, and Meyer will give him that chance. Just don’t be shocked if Tebow is ultimately added to the coaching staff before Week 1.

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