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NFL rumors: Jacksonville Jaguars considering Urban Meyer, Ryan Day for head coach

NFL rumors: Jacksonville Jaguars: Urban Meyer
Former Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer talks while reporting for the Big Ten Network from Clemson Tigers Media Day at the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl on Thursday, December 26, 2019 at the Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, Arizona. President Donald Trump appointed Meyer to a two-year term on the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition. [Joshua A. Bickel/Dispatch] Osu19fiesta Media Day Jb 14

The Jacksonville Jaguars are locked into the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. With Trevor Lawrence expected to come to Jacksonville this offseason, NFL rumors are swirling about his head coach in 2021.

Jacksonville made its first big change a few weeks ago, firing general manager Dave Caldwell. While the Jaguars let head coach Doug Marrone stick around to finish the regular season, which wraps up on Sunday, big moves are on the horizon.

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NFL rumors: Jaguars eye Urban Meyer for head coach

Entering Sunday, the Jacksonville Jaguars have lost 14 consecutive games and they are massive underdogs in Week 17 against the Indianapolis Colts. While Marrone will coach the team on Sunday, it will likely be his last.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Jaguars are expected to part ways with Marrone in the days following Sunday’s season finale. While a coaching search isn’t officially underway, it seems owner Shahid Khan already has a target in mind.

Eyeing a complete overhaul of the team’s football operations, the Jaguars are showing serious interest in former Florida Gators and Ohio State Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer. In fact, per Ian Rapoport Meyer is reportedly lining up a coaching staff and expects to land the job.

It’s not the first time Meyer has been connected to this potential gig. He first emerged as a candidate in early December, mentioned as a name to keep a close eye on. While Meyer has never coached in the NFL, the idea of making the leap to the highest level is appealing to him.

NFL rumors: Urban Meyer drawing significant coaching interest

While he lacks NFL coaching experience, Meyer’s track record at the collegiate level speaks for itself. Across 17 seasons, his programs combined for a 187-32 record, winning three national championships. Additionally, Meyer helped shape the Utah Utes, Florida Gators and Ohio State Buckeyes into powerhouse programs.

Of course, any team hiring Meyer would need to be confident he is ready for a long-term commitment. He retired and un-retired twice with the Florida Gators, then stepped down as Ohio State’s coach in 2018 for health reasons.

While freeing himself from the battle of college recruiting would ease some of the pressure, the NFL is far more intense. He would be dealing with highly-paid professional athletes, all of various ages and experiences, rather than young men seeking coaching to reach the next level.

If Meyer is willing to put up with the pressures in the NFL, there isn’t a better job available. With Trevor Lawrence likely joining the fold in 2021, the Jaguars will have the offensive weaponry to be a force in the league. If they use their cap space this offseason to improve the defense, it won’t be long before Jacksonville is a perennial contender.

Related: How to build the Jacksonville Jaguars around Trevor Lawrence, 2021 NFL Draft

NFL rumors: Ohio State coach Ryan Day could become Jaguars head coach

Dec 28, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes current head coach Ryan Day talks with former head coach Urban Meyer before the 2019 Fiesta Bowl college football playoff semifinal game against the Clemson Tigers at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

When Urban Meyer stepped down at Ohio State, offensive coordinator Ryan Day took over the gig. Fittingly, per NFL Network, Day could be the guy Jacksonville targets if things don’t work out with Meyer.

According to Ian Rapoport, the Jaguars are expected to take a hard look at Day as their next head coach. While the organization’s preference is Meyer, there seems to be a recognition that he could change his mind and stay retired.

Since taking over the Buckeyes, Day has quickly skyrocketed up the ranks as one of the best coaches in college football. Ohio State is 23-1 in his tenure, with the lone defeat coming in the 2019 College Football Playoff Semifinals.

The Buckeyes went 6-0 during the Big Ten’s shortened 2020 season, making it into the College Football Playoff once again. After getting their revenge on the Clemson Tigers, Day is just one win shy of winning a national title..