Tim Tebow: Hometown Hero Is Not the Answer to the Jaguars' Problems

David LevinSenior Writer IINovember 4, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 21:  Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets leaves the field after a 29-26 loss to the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on October 21, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

For the second time in less than a year, the NFL’s greatest enigma, Tim Tebow, had been the topic of trade conversation in Jacksonville this week.

Nothing materialized from it other than a lot of fodder on local television and radio programming. The NFL’s darling or poster child for overrated passers (whichever you want to subscribe to) is still in New York after a brief visit home, some over-the-top speculation about Tebow and a potential love interest for Jacksonville.

All of this Tebow talk around Halloween made for great drama, and like the Jaguars, who need help in a myriad of positions, nothing happened. The team here in town looked like it needed a crash cart and priest until two weeks ago, when there was a pulse on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.

After seeing Blaine Gabbert put together five-and-a-half quarters of decent football over the last two games, maybe the problems that exist on this team are not so much related to Gabbert, a second-year pro from Missouri, as it is to the personnel in the other key positions on the field.

Yes, you heard me correctly—this is not all Gabbert’s fault because the 1-6 record is reflective of many missed opportunities, injuries and blown assignments.

Because of the light we have seen in the darkness of Gabbert’s play lately, I am going on record by stating that trading for Tebow would have been a huge mistake.

I know my mother is reading this and won't believe it—she refers to Tebow as her “Timmy," which means she loves the former Florida great more than her own son, but I will soldier on without fear.

The 300 yards thrown by Gabbert meant a great many things in the 24-15 loss to the Green Bay Packers—probably the most important being that he is starting to gain control of Mike Mularkey’s offense.

The team may finally see how effective a receiver Cecil Shorts can be (this is where I was supposed to insert Justin Blackmon’s name here, but during last week's game he seemed to be trying to find his way out of a wet paper bag).

Tebow coming to Jacksonville would only create more chaos. Yes, he would sell tickets in his home city. Yes, he would become the face of this team (something Maurice Jones-Drew may not be happy about). Yes, he would add some caramel to a vanilla offense so far this season.

But he is the most erratic passer in the league and has drawn the ire of some players and sports reporters alike. And yes, there is good reason for that.

Tebow “helped” the Broncos to the playoffs last year with comebacks and college football chutzpah. Jacksonville may be a “Rah, Rah” town and support their beloved Gator, but they will see the inaccuracy of his play and the fact he cannot throw the ball like Gabbert. While Tebow's legs will be good for moving the chains, Gabbert is more prepared to get this team to the playoffs possibly down the road.

Free agency next season will be critical for the development of this team as will the upcoming draft (five months and counting for those at home). Trading for Tebow depletes your choices and possibly limits your options because of the style of football he plays.

No team in the NFL should have to mold itself to the play of someone who is an athlete playing the most important position on the field.

At some point, the rumors will ratchet up a bit again, probably after the end of this year when the Jaguars have a high draft choice, management has surveyed the team and sees there are few stars to call their own. Maurice Jones-Drew may have played his last season here in Jacksonville. Justin Blackmon could be given the “bust” label. Players like Brad Meester and Rashean Mathis could be released.

There is a climate on the river at the stadium that needs to change. General manager Gene Smith must take responsibility for failure. This team needs an injection of solid play. Tebow gives any team a boost of childhood excitement.

But in this case, that excitement will soon be tempered with regret. No matter how much he is loved and revered by his hometown fans, losses continue to add up and this fanbase is shrinking because of it.