Urban Meyer increasingly likely to become Jacksonville Jaguars head coach?

By Matt Johnson
Former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer rewatches a play during the game at Michigan Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. Ohio State defeated Michigan, 56-27. 113019 Osu Amb 5 2

Urban Meyer emerged as a candidate to become the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach before the team even fired Doug Marrone. Now, with the position vacant and the offseason underway, we’re getting closer to a hiring that would send shockwaves through the football world.

Jacksonville took its first major step with Meyer on Friday, interviewing the former Ohio State Buckeyes and Florida Gators head coach. While the team is set to meet with additional coaching candidates on Saturday, it seems everyone involved is focused on Meyer.

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According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano, there is strong mutual interest between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Urban Meyer. While it’s not a guarantee he gets the job, many other candidates reportedly believe the organization won’t do anything until a final decision is made regarding Meyer.

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Both Meyer and the Jaguars would be taking risks. Jacksonville would be betting on a head coach without any experience in the NFL. Coaching young men is a lot different than leading grown and highly-paid adults. We’ve seen several coaches run into issues when they made the jump to the NFL, with their leadership style and method of commanding players not translating to their time with professional athletes.

Meyer must also weigh the impacts of moving to the NFL. With three national championships and a 187-32 record, he has earned his reputation as one of the best college football coaches in his era. With that said, he’s been at the collegiate level since 1986. Helping young players develop into professional athletes and creating a pipeline to the NFL is a lot different than coaching NFL players.

This is also the same coach who has retired three times. He twice resigned as Florida’s head coach, citing health issues and a desire to spend more time with his family. In December 2018, Meyer retired and Ryan Day took over as Ohio State’s head coach.

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Meyer is reportedly doing a lot of research to fully understand the differences between the college and the NFL game. He has also reached out to coaches who would potentially serve as assistants on his staff in Jacksonville.

There are certainly a lot of factors to be considered. With that said, the Jacksonville Jaguars have a lot to offer. With the No. 1 overall pick, a stockade of more 2021 NFL Draft picks and plenty of cap space, this is a team on the rise. If the money and opportunity are right, it seems increasingly likely that Urban Meyer will make the leap to the NFL.