Tim Tebow among most famous athletes, Jaguars remain his best bet

 

 
October 9, 2013
 

Free agent quarterback Tim Tebow is one of the most popular professional athletes in the world, even though he’s not on an NFL roster.

According to the most recent Davie-Brown Indexes (DBI), which measure celebrity popularity, Tebow is almost as popular as Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.

Tebow’s DBI score, at 78.32, is only slightly behind Manning’s 79.56. Lebron James pulled a score of 78.23.

Some believe the hype surrounding Tebow has carried over from his college career at Florida. As a Gator, Tebow was, arguably, the best college quarterback of the modern era. As a pro, a knack for hatching last-minute comebacks and his public faith in God lent to instant celebrity.

It was known as “Tebowmania,” and “Tebow Time,” spewing electric energy throughout stadiums as the fan favorite took the field. The phenomenon also had millions mimicking Tebow’s on-one-knee prayer ritual, affectionately known as “Tebowing.”

Dealt to the Jets after taking the 1-4 Broncos to the playoffs in 2011, Tebow was released after one season and failed to crack New England’s roster this year.

Although Tebow’s running power is undeniable, whether he can develop the tangibles to play quarterback still remains a mystery.

As a Bronco, he showed significant improvement, despite finishing some games with only a handful of pass attempts. According to Jets Coach Rex Ryan in 2012, Tebow was expected to play special teams and run the wildcat offense. But, Ryan rarely used the formation. The Jets relied mostly on an inconsistent Mark Sanchez, snuffing out Tebow’s opportunity to develop.

Sanchez is currently sidelined for the season with a shoulder injury and has been replaced by rookie Geno Smith. The team has expressed no interest in bringing Tebow back.

The need for Tebow in 2013

The Jaguars, at 0-5 and possibly the worst team in the NFL, are struggling with quarterbacks Chad Henne and a now-injured Blaine Gabbert. Last week, the Jags were reportedly discussing bringing in Tebow, but later denied the report.

The Browns, who lost Brian Hoyer for the season to a torn ACL last week, also passed on Tebow, after insiders said GM Michael Lombardi may consider him for insurance. Nothing has been said since.

Cleveland is expected to turn the offense over to Brandon Weeden, who was a 28-year-old first-round pick in 2012 after playing minor-league baseball.

The Browns have moved Jason Campbell to the No. 2 spot and have not filled the third.

Meanwhile, the Bills have signed practice-squad player Thad Lewis, bypassing rookie Jeff Tuell, as their starting quarterback while EJ Manuel rehabs a sprained knee. Manuel is expected to return in a few weeks.

The Raiders worked out David Carr, who spent the preseason with the Giants,Tuesday, Oct. 8, a day after releasing Matt Flynn.

Flynn was the starter in Week 4, as the Raiders fell to Washington 24-14 with Terelle Pryor nursing a concussion.

So far, the Raiders have been quiet about whether Tebow will get a shot. The team said Wednesday it won’t bring in a new backup until next week.

David Carr has also worked out for the Tennessee Titans, who will be without QB Jake Locker (sprained hip) indefinitely.

That situation leaves Tebow a sensible choice for Oakland, if owner Mark Davis and head coach Dennis Allen are willing to take him on as a second-string project.

Jacksonville, however, has the greatest need to win–now.

Jacksonville travels to 5-0 Denver Sunday, Oct. 13. The Jaguars are 28-point underdogs. The Raiders (2-3) face the Chiefs (5-0) in Kansas City.

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