With the Titans giving a shot to a former wrestler on Friday, some of the many Tebowmaniacs are arguing that Tennessee’s unconventional move is no different than Jacksonville’s decision to sign former baseball player Tim Tebow.
It’s very different.
Adam Coon, a three-time All-American wrestler, is a project. Yes, he’s older than the usual fresh-out-of-college athlete who excelled in some other sport. At 26, he’s still seven years younger than Tebow. But the idea is to see whether the high-level wrestling skills can translate to football.
If they can, he’ll stay. If they can’t, he’ll be gone.
While some would say that same standard applies to Tebow, Tebow ultimately will be judged by a coach who has known Tebow for years. And that coach continues to lay the foundation to find a way for a tight end who already has sold so many jerseys to be on the team in September.
Coon comes to Nashville with no special consideration. He’ll make it or he won’t. He’ll earn a spot or he won’t. He’ll show enough to stick around on the practice squad or he won’t. And he’s far more likely to be judged objectively and dispassionately, just one of 90 on a roster that inevitably will cut to 53.
It’s within Urban Meyer’s prerogative to sign Tebow, just like it’s within Tennessee’s prerogative to sign Coon. But there’s a gimmick factor with Tebow that is undeniable. And that’s fine. Again, it’s Meyer’s prerogative. That’s still the biggest difference between the two situations.