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Why did Jaguars sign Tim Tebow? Trying to make sense of Urban Meyer’s odd plan

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Why would Jaguars sign Tim Tebow? Trying to make sense of Urban Meyer's odd plan

So much for “Tim Tebow to Jacksonville” being a thing of the past. The Jaguars made the signing of their hometown quarterback a reality on Thursday after weeks of rumors — despite the fact Tebow is now a 33-year-old tight end. 

Tebow, who last was an NFL player in 2015, when he was cut in the preseason by the Eagles, is being brought back to the league by his former Florida coach, Urban Meyer. Since leaving the NFL, Tebow has spent the past six-plus years as a different kind of professional athlete — a minor league outfielder and designated hitter for the New York Mets.

“I want to thank the Jaguars for the opportunity to compete and be a part of this team,” Tebow said in a statement. “I know it will be a challenge, but it is a challenge I embrace. I am dedicated to taking the direction of the coaching staff and learning from my teammates. I appreciate everyone’s support as I embark on this new journey.”

So why would Meyer make this move, when reality says Tebow is a longshot to have an impact on the field at his advanced age and long layoff from the game? Here’s digging deep to find anything that makes this move make sense.

MORE: Where do Jaguars fit in SN’s latest NFL Power Rankings?

Urban Meyer loves Tim Tebow

Let’s start with the obvious. Tebow did win a Heisman Trophy in 2007 between two national championships with Meyer and the Gators in 2006 and 2008. Meyer has had many great QBs over his successful college career, including just-retired Alex Smith, but Tebow was his prized pupil as a dual-threat passer, leader and winner.

This isn’t much different from former Gators coach Steve Spurrier signing Danny Wuerffel, his beloved Heisman- and natty-winner, to be Washington’s QB in 2002.

Tim Tebow brings more local good vibes

Tebow is the pride of Jacksonville in every which way. Logic would say the drafting of can’t-miss Trevor Lawrence as the new franchise QB would provide plenty enough of needed positive feelings around Duval County.

But there’s no doubt that Tebow brings more attention to the Jaguars, for better or worse. For the fan base, Meyer and owner Shad Khan are somehow thinking Tebow can serve as an extra hype man, given that “excited” is his favorite word. 

The Jaguars don’t have the greatest tight end situation

One year with Tyler Eifert didn’t make the position relevant for the Jaguars in 2020.  After the draft, this was the Jaguars’ tight end depth chart: former Panthers backup Chris Manhertz, holdover James O’Shaughnessy and rookie fifth-round blocker Luke Farrell, probably taken only because he played for Meyer’s successor Ryan Day at Ohio State. 

That’s arguably the worst situation at the position in the NFL, with limited blocking and receiving. That’s especially bad knowing that tight ends can be great security blankets for rookie quarterbacks.

There’s been a lot of talk about Tebow, at 6-3, 245 pounds, playing tight end in the NFL before after the rise and fall of Tebomania in Denver. But no team, including the versatile player-coveting Patriots, lined him up in that capacity. So instead of investing better free-agent or draft capital to upgrade tight end, Meyer is hoping to convert Tebow into a useable asset at a position of need when he is well past his football prime.

MORE: The 8 worst value picks in the 2021 NFL Draft

The Jaguars need another Urban Meyer surrogate

Meyer has come into Jacksonville with some arrogance, that his team will outwork every other team in the NFL and will itself into a winning turnaround, accelerating a big rebuilding job with Lawrence as the centerpiece. Although he has made that message loud and clear regarding his approach to pro coaching, he needs someone out there in the offseason program through training camp to further sell his Urban renewal to the players on the field in practice.

Tebow has done well to try to be an inspirational force off the field since leaving the NFL. Meyer is hoping all that high-effort “excitement” gets absorbed, even if the team would part ways with Tebow before the season.

Urban Meyer needed a new questionable move for media fodder

Meyer was excellent as a Fox Sports college football analyst. He knows television. He knows a lot of football pundits, former players and others like to talk about controversial moves on TV. Meyer is doing all of them a favor (and more than a few skeptical sportswriters, too) with his interest in Tebow.

Meyer’s hiring was the starting talking point, being immediately attached to Lawrence. Then there have been some shaky staff hires, none worse than since-fired strength coach Chris Doyle. Then there was debating how much personnel power Meyer has vs. GM Trent Baalke. Then came the head-scratching second first-round pick of Lawrence’s running back at Clemson, Travis Etienne. Then insert your own Meyer move here. 

Think of the Jaguars with Meyer as last year’s Buccaneers after signing Tom Brady, but with all kinds of weird buzz and none of it championship-related. Putting in Tebow in a football headline in 2021 and getting some fools to write several hundred words about it? That’s the true Meyer genius at work.

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76ers vs. Hawks live score, updates, highlights from Game 7 of NBA playoff series

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76ers vs. Hawks live score, updates, highlights from Game 7 of NBA playoff series

Doc Rivers hasn’t won a Game 7 in his last three chances, but he’ll look to change his recent misfortune as the 76ers take on the Hawks Sunday night.

Philadelphia staved off elimination in a 104-99 Game 6 win over Atlanta and now will return to the Wells Fargo Center in the hopes of polishing off Trae Young’s Hawks. Seth Curry and Tyrese Maxey were excellent in Philly’s last game, but the team will continue to rely heavily on Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris as they look to advance in Rivers’ first year as the 76ers coach.

Meanwhile, the Hawks have little to lose in this contest. Few expected Atlanta to make any sort of playoff run, let alone take the Sixers to a Game 7.

However, interim coach Nate McMillan organized an epic turnaround after taking over the team midway through the season. He went 27-11 in his 38 regular-season games as coach and led the 5-seed Hawks to a 4-1 series win over the Knicks.

McMillan is strongly preferred to return as Atlanta’s coach next season, but a win in Game 7 would bolster his chances of staying in charge of the Hawks. Or, it could become a valuable bargaining chip for him while negotiating his future salary.

Sporting News is tracking live scoring updates and highlights from 76ers vs. Hawks to decide the Eastern Conference playoff series. Follow below for complete results from Game 7.

76ers vs. Hawks score

Game 7 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
76ers 28 28
Hawks 25 25

76ers vs. Hawks live updates, highlights from Game 7

(All times Eastern)

8:50 p.m. — Trae Young has picked up a technical foul.

8:48 p.m. — Joel Embiid throws down a monster dunk that brought the Wells Fargo Center to life. What a play.

8:46 p.m. — Ben Simmons and George Hill combine for a nice little and-one opportunity.

8:45 p.m. — Trae Young ends his cold stretch with a 3-point make. He now has seven points on one of seven shooting.

8:43 p.m. — Kevin Huerter missed his first shot of the game. He’s now four of five from the field with nine points.

8:40 p.m. — The Hawks had no turnovers in the first quarter. It took them over 14 minutes of game action to commit one. That’s one of the main reasons they’re leading in spite of Trae Young’s early shooting struggles.

8:38 p.m. — After Danilo Gallinari makes back-to-back 3-point shots, every Hawk to shoot so far has made at least one basket… except for Trae Young. Despite that, the Hawks lead by five.

8:34 p.m. — Nate McMillan’s takeaways from the first quarter: He likes how the Hawks offense is operating but wants them to allow fewer free throws. Sounds about right.

8:32 p.m. — The Hawks and Sixers each have a player with two fouls. Seth Curry has two for Philly while Clint Capela picked up his second at the end of the first quarter. Capela is key in the battle against Joel Embiid, so the Hawks will keep a close eye on him.

End of first quarter: 76ers 28, Hawks 25

8:29 p.m. — Trae Young hasn’t made shots in the first quarter — he’s 0-6 from the floor — but he has four points at the free throw line. Still, the Hawks will need more from him to win this one. They’re lucky to be down just 28-25 after one quarter. Also, Joel Embiid made a great shot to end the quarter.

8:27 p.m. — Lou Williams’ first shot is a make, but it took a while before it decided to go down.

8:25 p.m. — Matisse Thybulle makes his first 3-point shot. He didn’t score in Game 6.

8:18 p.m. — Kevin Huerter has made his first four shots and has nine points. His contributions are vital with Trae Young missing his first four shots.

8:17 p.m. — Seth Curry picks up his second foul about halfway through the first quarter. He has averaged 30 points over his last two games, so this is a big development for the 76ers.

8:14 p.m. — Joel Embiid just hit a tough shot falling away from the basket. That gives the 76ers their first lead of the game, 15-13 going into the first commercial break.

8:10 p.m. — The Hawks are making some nice passes off the bat. Trae Young finds Clint Capela for an alley-oop.

8:08 p.m. — Joel Embiid has the first six points for the 76ers. Kevin Huerter has five of the first seven for the Hawks.

8:07 p.m. — Last night, Charles Barkley guaranteed the Bucks would beat the Nets. He was right. Tonight, he is on the Sixers.

8:03 p.m. — 76ers win the tipoff. Furkan Korkmaz misses the first shot of the game. John Collins starts the scoring with a two-point bucket for the Hawks.

7:55 p.m. — Shaq wants Ben Simmons to be aggressive in this one and not worry about the free throw issues he has been having.

7:50 p.m. — No surprises with the Hawks starting lineup either. Trae Young, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Kevin Huerter, John Collins and Clint Capela will begin the game for Atlanta.

7:37 p.m. — The Sixers’ starting five is in. It’s the same as Game 6: Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Furkan Korkmaz, Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid.

7:30 p.m. — Joel Embiid and the Sixers are getting in some pregame work.

7:25 p.m. — Who wore it better, Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid?

76ers vs. Hawks start time

  • Time: 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
  • TV channel: TNT
  • Live stream: Watch TNT

Game 7 between the 76ers and Hawks is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 20. It will be televised nationally on TNT.

NBA playoff schedule 2021

(All times Eastern)

June 20

Game Time National TV
Clippers vs. Suns 3:30 p.m. ABC
Hawks vs. 76ers 8 p.m. TNT

June 22

Game Time National TV
Clippers vs. Suns 9 p.m. ESPN

June 24

Game Time National TV
Suns vs. Clippers 9 p.m. ESPN

June 26

Game Time National TV
Suns vs. Clippers 9 p.m. ESPN

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Padres’ Manny Machado wore the perfect Father’s Day footwear

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Padres' Manny Machado wore the perfect Father's Day footwear

Manny Machado’s got heat on feet. Kind of.

While ostentatious, loud and colorful cleats are all the rage in baseball, the Padres’ star third baseman dialed it down on Father’s Day. Like, a lot down.

Machado took the field wearing a pair of Nike Air Monarch cleats — the preeminent, iconic dad shoe — during San Diego’s Dad Day matchup vs. the Reds.

The Monarchs have fostered a reputation for being an unforgettable dad-worn sneaker, making Machado’s footwear a tremendous salute to fathers (and grillmasters) around the country.

What makes the cleats even better is that they are in the classic white, silver and navy blue colorway, which is the only way to wear those bad boys. While these are Jordan Brand player-exclusive cleats, they’re dad-exclusive away from the field.

MORE: Joey Votto makes young fan’s day in San Diego

Machado has worn all different makes of cleats throughout his career, usually flashy and gaudy types. The All-Star infielder has worn Jordan 11s, 12s, 4s and a bunch of others on the field.

Still, lacing up a pair of Grillmaster 5s on Father’s Day earned him plenty of praise from fans who understood the tribute:

You’ll probably be able to catch Machado after the game at a BBQ near you, likely cracking some bad puns and calling everyone “big guy.”

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Nets’ Kevin Durant joining Team USA for Tokyo Olympics after Game 7 loss vs. Bucks, report says

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Nets' Kevin Durant joining Team USA for Tokyo Olympics after Game 7 loss vs. Bucks, report says

Kevin Durant isn’t going to be taking much time off this summer.

In fact, he appears to be ready for more action despite playing all 53 minutes of the Nets’ Game 7 overtime loss to the Bucks and scoring a game-high 48 points. And he’s joining another super team that has title hopes.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Durant is expected to commit to Team USA ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

Durant would become the sixth player to commit to Team USA, joining another player with Olympic experience, Draymond Green, and four first-time Olympians: Damian Lillard, Jayson Tatum, Bradley Beal and Devin Booker.

MORE: Kevin Durant blames ‘big-ass foot’ for loss to the Suns

Durant competed in both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. He averaged 19.5 points at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro and 19.4 points at the 2012 London Olympics.

In addition, Durant shot 54.6 percent from the shorter-range international 3-point line at the two tournaments and has compiled a 39-0 record in international play.

Team USA can now turn its attention to its remaining question marks with Durant’s commitment reportedly secured. Anthony Davis and LeBron James won’t be participating in this year’s Olympics, but Stephen Curry was “50-50” about competing in the event.

Either way, Team USA should be considered the top threat at the 2021 Summer Games with Durant in the fold.

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