Tim Tebow is confident Urban Meyer and Trevor Lawrence can turn the Jacksonville Jaguars around despite an 0-2 start.
“I just think that they have to stay the course and continue to work to improve,” Tebow said Thursday. “I think there’s a lot of talent there and they just have to continue to try to get better. And every week, I think Trevor’s got so much talent and ability, and I think he’s a great young man and I think he’s going to be just fine.”
Tebow’s attempt to return to the NFL as a tight end with the Jaguars this summer after nearly six years away from the game ended following one preseason game.
Tebow was the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner and two-time national champion playing for Meyer at the University of Florida. He was grateful his former coach gave him an opportunity to revive his pro football career, but he couldn’t make the switch from quarterback to tight end at age 34. Blocking and picking up defensive schemes seemed more difficult than catching passes. Meyer also wanted backups who could contribute on special teams.
“It was a lot of fun, a blessing to have the chance to do it and go pursue that and really enjoyed all of it ... enjoying the competition, the grind, the highs, the lows of all of it,” Tebow said. “When you can look at everything as an opportunity to improve, to grow, that it molds you, I think you’re always trying to figure out things even in the good, the bad, how you can get better from it, how you can use it, how God can use it in your own life and continue to grow and improve.”
Despite luring Meyer to the NFL and selecting Lawrence with the No. 1 overall pick, the Jaguars have continued their struggles. They’ve lost 17 consecutive games, including six in a row by double digits.
Lawrence has completed 50 percent of his passes for 450 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions for a 57.1 passer rating, second worst in the NFL and slightly ahead of No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson of the Jets.
Ryan focused on present
Matt Ryan has watched Joe Montana, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady switch teams, so he knows there’s a possibility he won’t finish his career with the Falcons.
Save that speculation for talk shows and columns. Ryan is too focused on this season and too smart to say otherwise.
“The one thing in our league is that nothing is a given, right?” Ryan said. “And so change is constant. I love Atlanta. I have loved being here for 14 years. I’m excited about the coaching staff and the front office we brought in here. And, I still have a number of years left on my contract, so I feel really good about that.
“But when you’re asked about four or five years down the line, there’s just no telling. And so with that in mind, I don’t worry about it. I worry about right now and trying to be the best version of myself right now.”
Ryan is signed through 2023 with a restructured deal that raised his salary cap number to $48.6 million in 2022 and $43.6 million in 2023. The Falcons made it clear they’re fine rebuilding with their 36-year-old quarterback when they used the No. 4 overall pick on tight end Kyle Pitts instead of quarterbacks Justin Fields or Mac Jones.
It’s been a rough start and Ryan is determined to turn things around when the Falcons (0-2) visit the Giants (0-2) on Sunday. Last week, Ryan got a close look at the 44-year-old Brady tossing five TD passes in Atlanta’s 45-28 loss to Tampa Bay. Ryan rallied the Falcons in the third quarter before two tipped balls were returned for scores.
“You definitely draw inspiration,” Ryan said of Brady. “It’s impressive to watch him. He looks as good as ever. He’s taken great care of himself. He’s really disciplined and committed to what he’s doing and has belief in what he’s doing. And, I sit at the same spot. I feel like my body feels really good. I’m in a great space. I want to compete, know the drive, and my energy is as good as it’s ever been. I’m enjoying what I’m doing and want to win and I want to continue to win. And so I’d love to do this for as long as I can.”
Odell Beckham Jr. shrugged and smiled about his playing status.
“We’ll see,” the Browns star receiver said.
Beckham’s comeback from knee surgery is either days from being over or about to drag on for another week or two. He wouldn’t commit to playing Sunday against the Bears in his first interview with media members in nearly a year.
Beckham leaned on “day by day” as his go-to response when pressed whether he’s ready to get back on the field after his second season with the Browns ended prematurely when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament last Oct. 25 in Cincinnati.
The flashy 28-year-old was a full participant in practice Thursday, according to the Browns’ injury report. He said Wednesday’s workout, which was held indoors because of rain, went well.
“Everything is going smooth, just been part of the progression the entire time, just working my way back into it,” said Beckham. “Everything feels good.”