Tim Tebow and Greg McElroy have quite a bit in common. Both were former SEC quarterbacks who led their respective college teams to national championships. Both played quarterback for a brief time in the NFL, and were even teammates for a brief time with the New York Jets. Both have gone on to enjoy success as TV analysts.
There is one distinct difference between Tebow and McElroy. McElroy hasn't looked back after taking his last NFL snap in 2012. Tebow, on the other hand, has continued to flirt with the idea of keeping his athletic career alive. After several years in the Mets minor league system, Tebow recently had two workouts with the Jaguars as a tight end and officially signed on Thursday. And while Urban Meyer has yet to sign his former college quarterback, McElroy feels that the Jaguars would be better off without Tebow.
"[The Jets] tried switching him to tight end, and he wasn't good," McElroy recently said on SiriusXM. "That's what people don't acknowledge."
McElroy said it's a mistake to compare Tebow to Taysom Hill, who spent the past several years as a hybrid player within Sean Payton's offense. Furthermore, McElroy does not think that adding Tebow to the roster would be a good move for Meyer in his first season in Jacksonville.
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"Tim ran a 4.8 (40-yard dash), Taysom Hill runs a 4.4," McElroy said. "They're just two totally different players. Tim is a good dude and I hope the best for him. But it's a sideshow, and that's what it will be come training camp time. And I think it kind of undermines what Urban Meyer is trying to build. Maybe he makes the team, maybe he doesn't, I don't know. But it's going to take away from the task at hand, which is trying to put together the most competitive roster in camp.
"And I bet you there's going to be players, as someone who went to training camp with Tim, there are going to be players who are rolling their eyes at the amount of attention the fourth-string, fifth-string tight end gets, and it's going to piss people off. As a result, it's going to affect locker room chemistry, just like it did for us with the Jets. Not because anyone had any animosity toward Tim, they just have animosity with the coverage Tim receives. So, I think it's a stupid move."
McElroy isn't the first former NFL teammate of Tebow to publicly dismiss his current NFL ambition. Former Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich, four years retired, still feels that he would more than hold his own against Tebow, who was his teammate for a brief time in New England.
"If you threw a helmet and shoulder pads on me, and I haven't played in four years, I would be able to throw around Tim Tebow as a tight end," Ninkovich said on Get Up!, via Sam Marsdale of 247Sports.
While there's been more than a few nonbelievers as it relates to Tebow's prospects as a tight end, Tebow does have a few notable supporters in his corner. One of those supporters is Mike Ditka, a Hall of Fame tight end who won three Super Bowls as a player, head coach and assistant.
"The tight end today, they don't call on them to do a whole heck of a lot of blocking anymore," Ditka recently told USA Today's Jarrett Bell. "He's basically a receiver. So I think Tebow would be very, very capable and will probably do a good job in that area. I don't see any problem with it.
"Now, if it was the tight end of 20 years ago where you had to block defensive ends, I think it's a bit different. But they don't have to do that anymore. They flank 'em out there, split 'em out five yards and they run routes. He's a good enough athlete where he can beat those guys in the secondary. And I think he'll be a darned good one."