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Urban Meyer now among favorites to be first NFL head coach fired

Urban Meyer and his Jacksonville Jaguars are coming off a disastrous 37-21 loss to the hapless Houston Texans in his NFL head-coaching debut.

After the game, reports surfaced that Jaguars players were taken aback by his attitude toward them.

“He has everyone looking over their shoulders already. He becomes unhinged way too easily, and he doesn’t know how to handle losing, even in the preseason. He loses it and wants to take over the drills himself. It’s not good,” Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports noted recently.

Meanwhile, once the USC Trojans job opened up Meyer was linked to that vacancy.

While the national championship head coach says he’s it in for the long haul in Duval, betting odds have come out suggesting that he is among the favorites to be the first head coach fired this season. This is not a drill.

Meyer opened Wednesday as the +350 favorite at SportsBetting.ag to be the first coach fired but those odds soon lengthened to +450. The former Florida and Ohio State coach’s name was mentioned as a potential successor shortly after USC fired Clay Helton on Monday.

Click here to find out where Urban Meyer and the Jaguars stand in our most-recent NFL power rankings

The co-favorites in the market are now Chicago’s Matt Nagy and Minnesota’s Mike Zimmer (+400). Nagy’s odds held steady while Zimmer’s odds shortened from +450.

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Urban Meyer among early favorites to be first NFL head coach fired

jacksonville jaguars to fire urban meyer?
Aug 29, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer on the sidelines during the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
  • Matt Nagy, Chicago Bears: (+400)
  • Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings: (+400)
  • Urban Meyer, Jacksonville Jaguars: (+450)
  • Joe Judge, New York Giants: (+900)
  • Vic Fangio, Denver Broncos: (+1200)
  • Zac Taylor, Cincinnati Bengals: (+1200)
  • Kliff Kingsbury, Arizona Cardinals: (+1400)
  • Mike McCarthy, Dallas Cowboys: (+1400)
  • Frank Reich, Indianapolis Colts: (+2000)
  • Dan Campbell, Detroit Lions: (+2500)

Among the 10 head coaches with the best odds of being the first fired, only two are in their first seasons. That includes Detroit Lions head man Dan Campbell following a 41-33 home loss to the San Francisco 49ers to open the season.

The longest-tenured coach on this list is Minnesota Vikings head man Mike Zimmer. Now in his eighth season in that role with Minnesota, Zimmer has posted a 64-48-1 record. However, he’s only led the team to three playoff appearances and is coming off an ugly Week 1 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

As for the 57-year-old Urban Meyer, he was absolutely blasted for Jacksonville’s disastrous loss to a really bad Texas team in Week 1.

Despite his success at the college level with Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and Ohio State (three combined titles), Meyer was always going to be a questionable hire in Duval. He had no professional coaching experience and has been seen as an enigmatic figure around the college football world.

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Issues in Jacksonville popped up almost immediately with the Jaguars shockingly deciding to sign his former player at Florida, Tim Tebow, to transition from quarterback to tight end. That was an unmitigated disaster.

For Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke and Co., moving off Meyer in his first season wouldn’t paint the organization in the best of lights. Even then, it might be the best course as the team tries to move forward with rookie No. 1 pick Trevor Lawrence. The quarterback is more important than any one figure within the Jaguars’ organization outside of owner Shahid Khan. Simply put, the team can’t risk Urban Meyer ruining him.