- Mike DiRocco, ESPN Staff Writer
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- The fans who are gathering outside EverBank Field Monday afternoon for a “Sign Tebow” rally are going to be wasting their time -- and not just because Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell is still on the West Coast with the team and won’t be able to witness the demonstration.
Caldwell has made it abundantly clear the team has no desire to sign free-agent quarterback Tim Tebow, a Jacksonville, Fla., native who won the Heisman Trophy and helped Florida win two national championships. He’s not going to budge on that issue, and it’s the right move.
Tebow wouldn’t have any more success than Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne has had in the first two weeks of the season. He’d be just as hamstrung by a depleted receiving corps and leaky offensive line as Gabbert and Henne have been. He would be able to add a running element to the position, but that doesn’t necessarily make a difference.
Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson are quarterbacks who can run, but they’re also more accomplished passers than Tebow. Kaepernick, Wilson and Griffin all complete at least 61 percent of their passes. Tebow’s career completion percentage is 47.9. In the NFL, you win because of a quarterback’s arm, not his legs.
The Jaguars are undertaking a major rebuild, and the No. 1 priority is finding out if Gabbert, the No. 10 overall selection in 2011, can be a franchise quarterback and the player around which the team can be built. The only way to determine that is by having Gabbert play. Plus, there are people inside the building who believe Gabbert is a much better quarterback than he’s shown so far and will, with the right pieces around him, be successful.
The additional ticket sale argument is compelling, but there’s no way to quantify that his signing would have a significant effect on attendance.
Tebow might have been ruined as a quarterback, anyway. He’s had many people tinkering with his throwing motion and has gone through three different head coaches and three different offensive systems. He isn’t the same player he was coming out of Florida.
Tebow is a great role model and person. He’ll likely be the best athlete to ever come out of Jacksonville. But he shouldn’t be a Jaguars quarterback.