It appears at though former Florida and Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer is headed to Jacksonville. It was announced earlier today that a deal was nearly finalized which would make Meyer the next head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars have the first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and are currently in the rebuilding stage.
When Meyer left Ohio State two years ago, he made it seem as though he was done being a head coach. So, this move to Jacksonville comes as a surprise to many. Additionally, it is an unexpected move on Jacksonville’s part, as Meyer brings a certain risk to the rebuild. He has never coached on the NFL level and he has stepped away from other coaching positions before. Who’s to say that a similar situation won’t present itself in the future.
Like many people, we at Vendetta Sports Media have been debating whether or not this is a smart move. On one hand, Meyer was an incredibly successful coach at the collegiate level with a 187-32 record. On the other hand, he will not be able to recruit his own players and will have to make do with what his general manager gives to him.
Many of college football’s top coaches that give the NFL a shot ultimately struggle for this reason. However, Meyer will join Jacksonville in arguably the best spot the team has been since their miraculous 2017 season. The Jaguars will undoubtedly select their future franchise quarterback, Trevor Lawrence, in April. And, they have another first round pick as well as plenty of draft capital.
On offense, they have a dynamic young running back in James Robinson and some solid weapons in the passing game. On defense, they have young building blocks such as linebacker Josh Allen and cornerback CJ Henderson. Meyer will have his work cut out for him to turn Jacksonville into contenders, but their roster has plenty of promising young talent.
For every NFL team, the goal is to win a Super Bowl. Is Urban Meyer the guy that can take Jacksonville there? I think this is an incredibly interesting situation and I do not question Meyer’s accolades as a coach, but I have to say that this is not the right hire. Firstly, Meyer will cost more than any other coaches on the market. It was reported that he asked Jacksonville for around 12 million dollars per year. For someone who has never coached in the NFL let alone won a Super Bowl, that is too steep a price.
Furthermore, coaching in the NFL is a style that Meyer has never dealt with. He will not be able to hand pick the majority of his roster, nor will he have top talent at every position at his disposal.
Next, we must determine what Meyer could do for Trevor Lawrence, the future of Jacksonville. Despite his collegiate success, Meyer has surprisingly not produced much quarterback talent in the NFL. His most successful NFL quarterback has been Alex Smith, a former number one overall pick who is now viewed as a bridge signal caller to younger quarterbacks. Other quarterbacks such as Tim Tebow and Dwayne Haskins were not able to find much success in the NFL. This would concern me as a Jaguars fan, seeing that Meyer’s quarterbacks have been pretty underwhelming in the NFL.
If Urban Meyer takes Jacksonville to improbable success, he will surely make us eat all of our words. However, there are too many what ifs for me to think that this is a good decision. Meyer has never coached a team without recruiting his players. He has also never coached in the NFL and delegated responsibility to superiors. Meyer was a great college coach, but I do not think this was the best decision Jacksonville could have made to fill their head coaching void.