Jaguars rumors: Team to interview Urban Meyer for head coach on Friday

By Matt Johnson
Dec 28, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes former head coach Urban Meyer greets fans before the 2019 Fiesta Bowl college football playoff semifinal game against the Clemson Tigers at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Jaguars rumors: The Jacksonville Jaguars have the most attractive head coaching vacancy available this NFL offseason. Now, with the hiring process officially underway, the team is taking a big step forward in its pursuit of Urban Meyer.

Less than a month after word first broke that Meyer could be an NFL coaching candidate, which was followed by significant interest across the league, the former Ohio State and Florida coach could be nearing a jump to the NFL.

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Jaguars rumors: Urban Meyer to interview with team on Friday

According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport, the Jaguars plan to meet with Urban Meyer for an interview on Friday. During that meeting, the team is expected to discuss its coaching vacancy and to gauge Meyer’s interest in the job and his overall fit for the organization.

It’s important to note that a hire is not imminent. While Meyer is the overwhelming favorite to land the gig, with the legendary college football coach reportedly looking into assistants for his staff, Jacksonville’s search for its next head coach is ongoing.

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Just a few days removed from firing Doug Marrone, Jacksonville is determined to reset its organizational standard. Following three consecutive seasons of finishing at the bottom of the AFC South, with a combined 12-36 record, the team needs to create a new culture.

The Jaguars are also seeking a general manager to replace Dave Caldwell. However, Khan has already disclosed publicly and to candidates that he will have final say over the 53-man roster, NFL Draft selections and team personnel.

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For now, Meyer seems like Khan’s preferred candidate. While the 56-year-old lacks any NFL experience, his collegiate programs combined for a 187-32 record and won three national championships in 17 seasons.

If Meyer takes over in Jacksonville, it makes the 2021 NFL Draft even more intriguing. Trevor Lawrence is viewed as a generational talent, with many considering it a guarantee the Jaguars take him with the No. 1 overall pick. Given Meyer’s ties to Ohio State and how much time he spent with Justin Fields, the No. 2 prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft, speculation regarding a potential surprise would follow Meyer to Jacksonville.

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While Urban Meyer might be confident he lands the job, there are other candidates involved. Not only have the Jaguars met with two of the top coaching targets this offseason, but they are also scheduled to conduct another interview after meeting with Meyer.

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The Jaguars already interviewed Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and Atlanta Falcons interim coach Raheem Morris. In addition, Khan and the rest of the organization is scheduled to discuss the job with San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh on Saturday.

Saleh is one of the most coveted coaching candidates this offseason. He is the early favorite to replace Matt Patricia as the Detroit Lions head coach, but also completed an interview with the Atlanta Falcons. In addition, he will later discuss openings with the New York Jets and Los Angeles Chargers within the next few days.

As for Bieniemy, he is arguably the biggest assistant coach being targeted this offseason. Of the sic head coach vacancies, he interviewed with five of the teams. The only organization that hasn’t requested an interview, the Houston Texans, did so against their franchise quarterback’s advice.

As the Texans head into even more murky waters, with their star player upset at ownership, the Jaguars are headed for a bright future. No matter who the team hires, Jacksonville’s days of finishing at the bottom of the AFC South could end in 2021.