Tight ends from around the nfl will take part in the first annual Tight End University in Nashville this week. Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Tim Tebow as not invited. Camp heads George Kittle and Greg Olsen explain why.
Tight ends from across the nfl will descend upon Nashville, Tennessee this week. Over 50 guys at the position, from rookies to veterans, will spend three days at “Tight End University,” learning from each other in a first ever camp of its kind. Headed by San Francisco 49ers tight end Georgie Kittle, Kansas City Chiefs Travis Kelce and retired Pro-Bowler Greg Olsen, the trio “have teamed up to uniTE Tight Ends from around the league” as their mission states.
But there’s one tight end who notably won’t be in attendance; Jacksonville Jaguars Tim Tebow.
The newly signed tight end—and former quarterback—has spent the 2021 offseason back in the nfl for the first time since 2015. He switched to a new position and was signed by his former college coach, Urban Meyer. He’s essentially been a fourth—possibly even fifth—string tight end on the roster through OTA’s and minicamp.
It’s Tebow’s name that carries so much weight with fans and media though, not his tight end prowess. That fact is what made Kittle and Olsen hesitate to invite him to the first ever TEU.
“So, nothing against Tim Tebow, but I found it hard to invite; I wish nothing but the best for Tim Tebow, and I hope he has a fantastic season playing tight end, but it’s hard for me not to invite a backup tight end on, let’s say the New York Giants, as opposed to inviting a guy who just started playing the tight end position because we do have limited spots,” Kittle shared.
“I wish I could make it so every nfl tight end can come, [so] it’s accessible to everybody. But what we tried to do this year, we wanted to pay for everything for all the tight ends that come to kind of make it a special event for all tight ends.”
Kittle went on to explain that TEU is paying for each of their invites to attend the camp. They’ve booked out an entire hotel and have over 50 accepted invites for the event beginning Thursday. The guest list includes guys like No. 4 overall pick Kyle Pitts (Atlanta Falcons) to the Jaguars newly signed free agent tight end, Chris Manhertz.
With that in mind, Olsen explains they couldn’t in good conscience invite someone who’s technically never played the position. If Tebow is able to make a gameday roster as a tight end though, that could change. The trio have already expressed a desire to continue TEU in years to come.
“If he’s on a roster this year, and he plays tight end, we would love to have him, we would love to work with him,” Olsen told Pardon My Take. “Once he’s officially a tight end, we would love to work with him.”
On June 8, in the midst of OTA’s, Head Coach Urban Meyer had this to say of Tebow’s progression through the offseason thus far: “Tim has done a decent job. We all know this is a new position for him. You wish you could see and do [more].
“In spring football, you have full pads and scrimmages, and you can really evaluate, but it’s kind of tough right now. But he’s a great teammate. In the locker room, I can see everybody getting along, we have a good chemistry on our team. But he’s picked it up decently.”
The Jaguars—and Tebow—are set to return to the practice filed on July 27 for training camp. The first roster cutdown deadline will come on August 17, when teams must drop from 90 to 85 players.
You can listen to the entire Pardon My Take episode here. The subject begins around the 53:50 mark.