Del Rio may have been done in, at least in part, by Tebowmania

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Though all reasons for the decision to fire coach Jack Del Rio won’t be known unless Wayne Weaver (1) shares them with the media and (2) tells the truth when he does, there’s a factor that simply can’t be overlooked when considering the ultimate fallout in Jacksonville.


With Tim Tebow doing in Denver that which few believed he could do at the NFL level, Weaver undoubtedly is stewing about the failure of his football people to recommend drafting in 2010 a guy who not only would have easily filled the home stadium in the short term, but whose success could have allowed Weaver to permanently remove the tarps from EverBank Field.

“Star power is incredible, and Tebow is an iconic figure,” Weaver said in 2009.  “That’s very compelling.  He clearly is an outstanding football player and would be an asset to any football organization. . . .

“The game is such an important part of this community, and Tebow is such an iconic figure that people would legitimately think, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if he was a Jaguar,'” Weaver added at the time.  “I’d be silly to sit here and think that’s not going to be a huge thing.”

So what happened in early 2010?  With Weaver excited about the ability of Tebow, a Jacksonville native who played college football up the road in Gainesville, to sell tickets and strengthen the ties between team and community, someone had to talk Weaver out of drafting Tebow, from a football standpoint.

That someone most likely was Del Rio or G.M. Gene Smith, or both.

And now that Tebow has won five of six in Denver and the man for whom the Jaguars traded up to draft — Blaine Gabbert — has looked a lot worse than second-rounder Andy Dalton, Weaver’s blood likely boils every time he sees Tebow lead the Broncos to an unlikely victory, and every time he sees Del Rio lead the Jags to an inevitable defeat.

Sure, Del Rio’s firing may have been inevitable.  But with a local boy making pretty darn good right now in Denver, Weaver had to be influenced by the fact that he was influenced by Del Rio and/or Smith not to set the clock in Jacksonville to Tebow Time.

76 responses to “Del Rio may have been done in, at least in part, by Tebowmania

  1. Well of course, I was under the impression that the fate of every man, woman and child was in the hands of Tebow.

  2. A bit of a reach, since nearly every Jaguar player was saying he was a horrible QB as well as Del Rio and Garrard was under contract.

    And btw, the Tebow story is still being written….would Del Rio or Koetter have switched to the read-zone option? Or what he have stuck him in a drop back offense?

  3. So, which is it that caused his demise? Was it Tebow or losing his drive after getting a big contract? Two articles released within minutes of each other with different speculations?

  4. Make the right offer then, Weaver- it sounds like Elway would be willing to listen despite the success Tebow has had so far. Maybe you’ll still be able to get your golden boy after all, after the Broncos pick up their next QB at the draft.

    (Not saying that’s a good idea by Elway, but that it appears to be possible at least.)

  5. I would agree Tebow would have the audience effect similar to Cam Newton, who re-energized the fan base in Carolina…its just hind-sight is 20/20 at this point, its done.

    Believe it or not, the same thing will have occurred, even if they drafted Tebow, the Jags would’ve released Garrard, stuck Tebow on the bench…kept him there, Del Rio still would’ve been fired, then a new staff who didnt draft Tebow would be taking him on….

  6. Alualu has been solid and Denver reached for Tebow at the end of the first. If he’s there in the 2nd I have no doubts the Jags take him. I doubt this is the reason. Pay more attention to the lack of improvement in about the last 4 years.

  7. Maybe Del Rio got fired because Wayne Weaver got tired of him throwing the assistant coaches under the bus and not taking responsibility himself for the Jags underachieving.

  8. Tim Tebow would have filled seats yes, but won no. The key behind his success in Denver is the defense keeping them in the game. Its all fine and dandy now, but when it ends, it will never come back. Like the Wildcat, Tebowmania will not last long.

  9. Tebow is blessed….that Denver has a great Defense. If he’s still a QB in this league two years from now I’ll eat my hat.

  10. lol

    So Jack Del Rio is at fault for not wanting a QB that cant play QB?

    Its no wonder the Jaguars are a terrible organization. They are run by morons.

    I side with JDR on this one. I wouldnt have touched Tebow with a 12 foot pole. Especially in the first round. Even Elway doesnt want him, and he has him, lol.

  11. i’ll tell you who he should have drafted…John Skelton this guy has won 3 of 4 starts on a team that had a 1-6 start clearly he is a winner and is the sole reason his team is winning plus he is doing it with a worse team so he is better than Tebow. More quaterbacks should throw their passes way to high, thats how you win.

  12. I would love to be in Tebow’s shoes. For being a horrendous QB, he sure is one of the most powerful players in the league.

    He now increases his power with the ability to get a head coach fired. What can he do next? His possibilities are limitless.

  13. Before we say Tebow is a success can we see some consistency for 2-3 years? Gabbert is only a rookie with lousy WR.

  14. Not too late, Mr. Weaver. Rescind del Rio’s termination, call John Elway and offer to trade del Rio for Tebow straight up.

  15. i3addog says: Nov 29, 2011 10:48 AM

    Tebow is blessed….that Denver has a great Defense. If he’s still a QB in this league two years from now I’ll eat my hat.

    You’re gonna be eating a lot of crow with that hat

  16. Where’s all the unending love for Matt Moore?

    He’s also a terrible QB who won a few games against terrible teams.

  17. I’ll bet Elway would trade Tebow to Jax for a second round pick or maybe even Gabbert. It’s obvious he is not a Tebow fan.

  18. The article makes an interesting point. Denver and Jacksonville are two very similar teams that seem to be going in different directions.

    Both have…
    1) Lousy records over last few years with high draft picks.
    2) Moved up to draft QB in first round of same year.
    3) Strong defenses (although Denver’s defense has only recently become exceptionally strong).
    4) Released veteran starting QB released this season.

    Biggest difference may be the coaching staff….

  19. Oh, and if the morons in Philly successfully run Andy Reid out of town, make him the next coach. He’ll bring Marty who will do wonders with Tebow.

  20. “warrenmoon says:
    Nov 29, 2011 10:38 AM
    What else can you link Tebow to? Stevie Johnsons drops? Jared Gaither’s release? Suh’s suspension?”

    But you don’t understand. If the Lions drafted Tebow, he would have exorcised the demons in Suh. Suh would have become the next Reggie White and gone on to lead the Lions to the Superbowl this year.

    That’s right folks – the failure of the Lions to draft Tebow cost them the Superbowl. Schwartz ought to be fired.

  21. It seems logical for these teams to trade QBs straight up. Elway clearly does not like Tebow and wants more of a pocket passer like himself, and the Jags are not happy with Gabbert so far. The Broncos would get a (questionable) first round pocket passer and the Jags would finally get their iconic figure to sell tickets.

  22. Wouldn’t have mattered. Del Rio in his usual fashion would have released Tebow right before the season opener

  23. As a Jags fan, I dont think this article is too far from the truth. WW liked the local kid and as much as fellow fans hate to admit it, Tebow would have ignited the fanbase – $$$.

    I didnt favor drafting Tebow, but I’m sick of our apathetic fanbase. If you are a Jag fan, you know what I am talking about – just look at the club level seats on the opposing side of the field during a game. Winning may help but it didnt help SD and Tampa last year from experiencing the same problems.

    The big argument against Tebow was that he couldnt win. I’m sure when WW watches the game from his suite and sees empty seats, an awful product on the field, and Tebow winning games, his blood does boil.

    Dont be surprised if WW makes a run for Tebow in the offseason considering the way Gabbert is performing.

  24. Are you serious?!? Creating a link between Tebow and Del Rio’s firing?? Come on, what is this, six degrees to Kevin Bacon?! The man-love for Tebow is getting a little out of hand.

  25. Let’s hope that Elway does the thing and ships Tbow back to the land of rednecks and bible thumpers where his holiness would be better received.

  26. This is totally ridiculous. Weaver is putting the team up for sale, firing his head coach, and signing the GM to an extension – all TODAY.

    Inferring JDRs dismissal has ANYTHING to do with Timmay is mind-bogglingly stupid. nice going.

  27. Seems to me DelRio wanted to get fired.

    If he quit, the pay checks stop. Now he can sit back for a year, recharge the batteries and take a coordinator job. If Mike Tice can do it, anyone can.

    Not saying its the right thing to do, its sleezy actually, but thats what it looks like to me.

  28. I’m just floored that people are giving Tebow so much credit for the Broncos winning their last 5 out of 6 games. Grant it, he had a nice rushing TD but outside of rushing, his QB skills suck. How about a little praise for the Bronco defense?? Look at Tebow’s stats, they are horrible for a NFL QB. I just don’t understand all the hype with this guy. I’m not a football guru and I can see that so why are people like Weaver buying into that Tebow is a good QB? Personally I think they should use him as a RB.

  29. BULL! Can’t we get OFF this garbage about Tebow? He’s had his 15 minutes of fame. Del Rio just has a bad team with worse ownership.

  30. what exactly is Tim Tebow an icon for?

    he squeaked out a few wins against second-rate teams. the tebow storyline is boring and almost over.

  31. I will never believe a word of this. Never.

    Wayne Weaver is the freaking owner. If he wanted Tim Tebow, all he would have had to do is pick up the phone and tell Gene Smith to pick him.

    But he didn’t.

    End of story.

  32. “What else can you link Tebow to? Stevie Johnsons drops?”

    Considering who Johnson publicly called out last year after a big drop, yeah, Tebow might be linked someway, somehow…

  33. Can’t compare Gabbert and Dalton. One has average, at best, receivers and one has AJ Green to throw to.

    I think I could throw to AJ Green and I’m 48 with an arm that doesn’t know where the ball is going half the time.

  34. Tebow in Jacksonville would have made the franchise millions, and he would win the same way he’s winning in Denver. If he was black, the media would call the Broncos offense what it is- ball control, ground & pound, with an athletic mobile Qb… A new twist in the NFL, blah blah blah…..all you haters can’t stand when this kid gets better every week. And more powerful too.

  35. Hindsight is always 20/20. However, I doubt the Jags would have dumbed down their offense to install a college read option run game just to accommodate Tebow.

    Let’s face it…NFL Quarterback Tim Tebow is getting a lot of credit for being a terrible quarterback. He completes less than half his passes in ALL of his games, doesn’t throw more than 18 times a game, and mostly can’t hit the broad side of a barn unless it’s a deep pass to Eric Decker ONCE a game (and if he throws deep to him twice or more, he STILL only makes ONE connection). Tebow wins because of a strong run game and a terrific defense that keeps the game close and makes the opposing defense stay on the field longer.

    Tebow’s only ONE skill thus far is that he is able to beat most outside linebackers on the QB runs. That’s it.

  36. rdrs68 says: Nov 29, 2011 11:06 AM

    Let’s hope that Elway does the thing and ships Tbow back to the land of rednecks and bible thumpers where his holiness would be better received.

    …Spoken like a true degenerate, criminal raider fan

  37. You know what… The Jags & Bills are two teams that come to mind, probably more the Jags… When they draft players, it seems they always miss out on big talent especially in the early rounds. My Skins just need a playmaker at QB to get the machine going next year & they need depth… but… Every year or almost, they at least add a cornerstone piece… Orakpo, Kerrigan, Landry, Trent Williams (time will tell), Helu, Hankerson (has shown he can be very good), Fred Davis… I look at these teams & they are just always drafting the solid but unspectacular player…. especially Jacksonville… When is the last time they drafted a playmaker?

  38. Tebow reminds me of a QB that wasnt much of a passer, but used his feet to keep drives alive..

    The game Im thinking of was the ’06 Sugar Bowl LSU vs. Notre Dame…

    Who was that QB?… hmmmm?!?!…
    Oh yeah, Jamarcus Russell!!!….

  39. This is a stretch, although Del Rio’s likely recommendation to avoid Tebow was probably a contribution to Weaver’s overall opinion of his former coach. Owners of professional sports teams own sports teams for reasons that are not strictly economic. For being the half billion dollar enterprises that they are, owners tend to make some very personal and emotional decisions. I can very readily see Weaver holding a huge grudge over recommendations made by Del Rio on Tebow and others as on-the-job performance failures. But they’re one of many things. Last I checked, the Jaguars were the Jaguars, a crappy team in all phases, and Jack Del Rio a pretty repellant coach. To draft Tebow or not to draft Tebow was one of many failures. But Tebow’s recent success and Del Rio’s failure are probably mere coincidences, not some active reminder of “I should fire this guy because the guy he said not to pick is now succeeding.” This doesn’t say, but implies, that the idea of firing Del Rio was germinating in Weaver during Tebow-time Sunday, and if that’s the case, and that’s how Weaver makes massive business decisions, then Weaver ought to be offered nickels on the dollar for his football team.

  40. Tebow is like feces sometimes it rises to the top in a commode but is still flushed down with the rest of the crap

  41. Some of you people are idiots. The Broncos had the same defense for their 1-4 start that they have now. They haven’t beaten awful teams. They’ve beaten Oakland (7-4), the Jets (6-5), Kansas City (4-4 before Cassell injury), Miami (won 3 of 4), and San Diego (bad, but not horrible). That’s objective. Objectively, there are 3 or 4 teams in the AFC better than Oakland and the Jets. Those are quality wins. And all of the wins, save the Jets, were on the road. He swept his division on the road. That’s NOT easy, no matter who you are. And Denver had already lost at home to both Oakland and San Diego.

    This running game? Where was it pre-Tebow? They couldn’t run before Tebow took over. Believe it or not, it’s not a huge coincidence that they’re 5-1 with Tebow this year after going 4-14 without him over the past two years. I’m sorry if that bothers you, but it’s true — regardless of what you think of him as a player or person.

  42. The Jags had the 10th pick in the first round. Tebow was drafted, I think 23rd. The Jags liked Tebow, just not with the 10th pick.

    What’s so hard to understand about that?

  43. You can add Todd Haley and Norv Turner to the list of coaches impacted by Tebowmania……no way those guys keep their jobs after losing to him.

    I think it’s interesting that Tebow has played San Diego 3 times (starting 2 of them) and he won the LAST of the 3.

    Everybody said that teams will “catch on”…..well, Norv Turner did not.

  44. By the way, the Tebow Haters must just stew at the fact that they have to see all these headlines. This is awesome!

  45. Tebow was also responsible for the rise of Stalin, Hitler, Mao and Pol Pot. If he were an atheist who tweeted out his sadness over gay pimp Barney Frank stepping down, the media would love him for “evolving” the sports world and making it more “progressive”.

  46. It’s hard to speculate on Tebow’s success in Jacksonville, but I think the issue of fan support is obvious. The Jags would have been drafting a hometown guy with a huge existing fanbase in the immediate area.

    Aside from that, I think profootballgossip said it best.

  47. “With Tim Tebow doing in Denver that which few believed he could do at the NFL level … ”

    I dispute this. I’ve always felt that TT was capable of not completing more than 50% of his passes in any single game.

  48. With Kyle Orton, opponents averaged 28 points per game. With Tebow, even including the Detroit blowout, opponents averaged only 20 points per game.

    What’s even more interesting is the fact that Orton’s offense averaged 21 points per game. Tebow’s is averaging 19.3.

    I was thinking this indicates that the defense has been playing better, but maybe not. Maybe the numbers indicate that Elway is absolutely right: they’re winning because they’re not turning the ball over. And they’re not turning the ball over because they’re not throwing, because Tebow can’t throw (although he’s gotten lucky on a few non-interceptions of the chances that they have taken).

  49. Remember when PFT said that NFL owners were colluding with one another to let Tebow fall to the Jaguars in the draft so he could save their franchise… and then no one wanted him but Josh McDaniels?

  50. Good grief, now even this is Tim Tebow’s fault?

    Come on, everyone knows Tebow is the worst starting QB in the history of the NFL. Why, I read that right here on this very web site. Why, Tebow is so bad, that not only is he losing games for the Broncos, he’s also causing the head coaches of other teams to get fired. Tebow is more destructive than a natural disaster.

  51. Tebow was lucky to be picked as high as he was. He is definitely not 1st round material. I’m not certain that Gabbert has had good coaching or a quality offensive line. He certainly doesn’t have good receivers to throw to.

  52. This reminds me of Childress getting fired last year. Everyone blames the head coach for everything and figures with him gone all will be well. But look at the Vikings their team has collapsed without Childress and how much do you want to bet that in the next 3 years the Jags are generally worse than they were with Del Rio?

    Main thing is having good players, or at least having average players that all fit a particular system. Coaching is over rated, outside of a few elite coordinators and HC’s in the league.

  53. Andy Dalton is a better all around QB than both Tebow AND Gabbert.

    Tough times for the Jags and both of their fans. My heart goes out to you two guys.

  54. When Tebow took over the offense became much less productive. They are scoring less points, despite having MORE possessions per game than Orton did.

    The defense has been the opposite. They are giving up less points and shorter drives DESPITE the opponents having more possessions per game.

    Statistically their defense is the difference between the Orton days and the Tebow days, plain and simple. Just because Tebow scores his points at the end of the game rather than the beginning and middle doesn’t mean he’s necessarily better than Orton.

    With that said, Tebow has reduced turnovers and subsequent short fields. And he’s a younger player with more upside than Orton who is manning an offense that is only slightly worse than what the veteran was capable of. All of this despite the Broncos being built for Orton and training all offseason for traditional offense.

    The Tebow offense should get better with more reps and ultimately he might be the right guy on their roster for the job. But seriously their defense is winning these games, not Tebow.

  55. Way off mark here. Del Rio used to have some input into personnel decisions during the Shack Harris era but those duties were stripped long ago. The draft has been a purely Gene Smith operation.

    Now if you want to speculate whether Tebow could have “saved” Del Rio’s job? Well that is a much tougher question to answer.

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