The Urban Meyer era is very much underway in Jacksonville, and because it's 2021 and Tim Tebow is back in the league, Meyer fielded questions regarding his status Thursday.
Meyer gave the standard response concerning a player in late May, even if said player's reps might look a little strange, considering the player's past.
"I wouldn't say weird. Awkward maybe the first practice," Meyer said when asked if it was weird to see Tebow taking reps at tight end. "But it's one of 90 trying to make the team. He has improved, it's all new for him. (Tight ends coach) Tyler Bowen is doing a good job. Our tight ends as a whole -- [James] O'Shaughnessy and [Ben] Ellefson in particular -- if you watch a video last year and watch practice now it's night and day. Those guys have really improved and the position is trending upward. They're doing a nice job."
So far, so good for Tebow and the tight ends room, which will spend the late spring and early summer developing a rapport with rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the one who should be grabbing almost all of the headlines concerning the Jaguars. The No. 1 overall pick with a rare arm is learning, as all have in their first few steps in the NFL, that things aren't quite as easy to come by at the game's highest level.
"He had a great day yesterday. OK day today," Meyer said. ... "He's not necessarily on a pitch count. They monitor every throw and if there's anything they have to adjust, they will. It's been full-speed ahead since the last two practices. ... He's not getting overused right now. Hour and a half practice you just don't really get enough throws."
The lack of a pitch count should be comforting to those worried about Lawrence's viability following surgery on his non-throwing shoulder. The nature of the operation shouldn't have caused significant concern to begin with, but it's always better to hear a player isn't being limited soon after a procedure.
As for getting up to speed, Lawrence is learning with each rep, and on Thursday, Meyer said he learned about the nature of red-zone offense in the NFL. With less room to work, Lawrence wasn't quite as sharp, according to the coach.
"Big reason was red zone emphasis. The field changes especially against NFL talent all over the field," Meyer explained. "The defense had the upper hand today, it wasn't just him. Just new area of the field, which is why you spend so much time down there practicing -- completely different game. Very accurate yesterday. Today ... we all struggled, not just him offensively."
These are the typical small bumps in the road for any rookie quarterback, as it's simply unrealistic to expect a first-timer to step onto an NFL field (practice or otherwise) and dominate from start to finish. With that in mind, everything else -- health, appearance, mentality -- seems to be in line with what we should anticipate seeing from a No. 1 overall pick tasked with trying to help lift his new team out of the league's cellar.
Perhaps he'll do so with another former first-rounder running routes for him. That detail remains to be resolved.