ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported, “League sources say it is a virtual certainty Tim Tebow will land a job back home with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013.” Tebow did not throw a pass or have a rushing attempt in the Jets' season finale, providing another hint that his future lies outside of New York.
Jacksonville has struggled this season, and Tebow is clearly not in an ideal situation on the New York Jets’ bench. He is a hero in Florida due to his accomplishments in high school and college, and moving back home would be ideal for the 25-year-old signal-caller.
It also has the potential to be an excellent move for Jacksonville, but this acquisition must be accompanied by a major investment in improving the team’s defense.
Tebow proved during 2011 that he can win games if given the necessary help. He will never be a prolific passer, but he does have the ability to lead a fearsome rushing attack.
While with the Denver Broncos, five of Tebow’s seven wins came in games where both teams scored under 20 points.
Denver’s defense played spectacularly at times during the team’s run to the playoffs, and its efforts were aided by a dominant running game. The Broncos ended the season as the league’s top rushing offense.
Pounding the ball on the ground allowed Denver to control the tempo of games, limit its opponents’ number of offensive possessions and keep the defense fresh. This proved to be a successful game plan on many occasions, but unfortunately for Jacksonville, it does not have the personnel to execute a similar strategy.
If the Jaguars acquire Tebow and take a defensive player with their first pick, how many games will they win in 2013?
Maurice Jones-Drew is an ideal player to help Tebow in the running game, but the Jaguars entered Week 17 ranked 31st in the NFL in yardage allowed. If the team hopes to have any sort of success with Tebow under center, it will need to add a significant amount of talent on defense.
While trades and free-agent signings should be explored, the draft is where the front office will have an opportunity to acquire the playmakers it needs.
Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones has the ability to make an impact like Von Miller has in Denver, while Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei projects to be a dominant force in the trenches. Texas A&M’s Damontre Moore is another dynamic pass rusher, and he would also be an excellent addition.
If Jacksonville does make a move to get Tebow, its draft must start with a defensive pick in the 2013 draft and the team should target several more players on this side of the ball in the later rounds.
With an improved defense, the Jaguars would have a chance to replicate Denver’s 2011 accomplishments and achieve a surprising amount of success in an unorthodox way.