JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Tim Tebow looked like a … tight end.
Trevor Lawrence looked like a … rookie quarterback.
And that pretty much sums up the Jacksonville Jaguars’ organized team activity on Thursday, which was the first open to the media. Tebow’s transition from quarterback seems to be going smoothly, which unfortunately was not the way things went for Lawrence at times during the two-hour workout at the practice fields adjacent to TIAA Bank Field.
Tebow got extra coaching after several reps during blocking drills and at times looked a little hesitant or a half-step behind in others. But he caught every pass thrown his way, including two that went for touchdowns: one from Lawrence and another from Gardner Minshew.
“[He’s] one in 90 trying to make the team,” coach Urban Meyer said of Tebow, who is little more than a week into his career as a tight end. “He has improved. It’s all new for him.”
One good thing for the Jaguars is Tebow hasn’t been a distraction, which seemed to be one of the criticisms levied at the team and Meyer after Jacksonville signed the former Heisman Trophy winner.
“Obviously, everybody knows the type of worker that he is and it’s no different,” said wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr., who was the team’s oldest player (31) until the 33-year-old Tebow signed May 20. “He came in here and fit right in, just working and learning and stuff like that. In the back, when he’s not in, he’s looking at the plays and running extra and doing what he needs to do to get this new position going.
“So it’s been good to have him here, most definitely.”
Meyer said Lawrence was accurate in Wednesday’s workout but had a bit of a tough time during red zone work on Thursday. Lawrence overthrew four passes and had two others broken up, but Meyer said it’s normal for a rookie quarterback to struggle in the compressed area when facing an NFL defense.
And Lawrence wasn’t alone, either.
“The field changes, especially against NFL talent all over the field, and defense had the upper hand today,” Meyer said. “It wasn’t just him. So, it’s just [a] new area of the field, which is why you spend so much time down there practicing. It’s a completely different game. [He was] very accurate yesterday. Today we all struggled, not just him, offensively.”
Meyer also said Lawrence is on a pitch count as he continues to recover from offseason surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder. Lawrence was limited to 30 to 40 throws and not allowed to take snaps under center or hand the ball off at rookie minicamp, but he did handoffs on Thursday. The coaching staff is closely monitoring the number of throws he makes and will cut him off if they feel it’s too much. With three other quarterbacks present, it’s much easier to keep that number manageable.
One of the players impacted by Lawrence’s limitations during rookie minicamp was running back Travis Etienne. The Jaguars gave him most of his reps at receiver then — the Jaguars want to use him in a Percy Harvin/slash role — but he was back at running back on Thursday.