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Will Urban Meyer finally make the jump to the NFL?

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Because the NFL offseason begins, City Meyer has been linked to a number of head teaching openings.

Editor’s observe: the video within the participant above is from Nov. 11, 2020.

Sitting at a podium inside Ohio State’s Fawcett Middle on Dec. 4, 2018, City Meyer was requested a query he had already heard earlier than.

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“As you sit right here now, do you imagine you’ll not coach once more?” a reporter requested Meyer at a press convention to announce the then-Ohio State head coach’s retirement.

“I imagine I cannot coach once more,” Meyer replied.

“Are you pretty sure?” the reporter adopted up.

“I am sure, sure,” Meyer answered.

Two years later, it seems Meyer’s reply could have modified.

With the NFL common season having come to a detailed, the league’s annual teaching carousel is about to start. As of 10 a.m. ET on Monday, there are already 5 head teaching vacancies to be stuffed with extra jobs prone to open up within the days — if not hours — forward.

Whereas there are many candidates who’ve already been linked to totally different openings, one has undeniably constructed extra buzz than the others. Final week, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Meyer had not dismissed overtures from not less than two NFL groups. Within the days since, that sentiment has solely grown stronger, with Ian Rapoport of the NFL Community reporting on Saturday that Meyer “expects to land” the Jacksonville Jaguars job.

So will Meyer, who possesses no prior NFL expertise, lastly make the leap to the league? Having coated Meyer at Ohio State since he was employed because the Buckeyes’ head coach in 2012 and written a guide on him, this is what I believe:

As has been the case since Meyer first rose to prominence as a two-time nationwide champion coach at Florida within the mid-2000s, the smoke indicators aren’t to be ignored. When Meyer was employed at Ohio State in late-2011, it hardly got here as a shock. In spite of everything, the Ashtabula native had been linked to the Buckeyes’ head teaching job for the higher a part of the earlier 12 months.

Whereas Meyer does not have the same long-term connection to the NFL, the indicators that he is been itching to finish his two-year retirement and get again into teaching have appeared obvious. Final month, the 56-year-old was linked to the top teaching job on the College of Texas and even went so far as to reportedly meet with leaders on the faculty earlier than pulling his identify from consideration.

Whereas Meyer reportedly cited well being issues whereas turning down the Longhorns, the truth that he was even prepared to take heed to Texas’ pitch was telling. Meyer has at all times been selective in making his profession selections. And it seems the proper alternative has lastly arrived for him to make his NFL foray.

Though Schefter’s preliminary report led to hypothesis that Meyer is perhaps interested by teaching the Los Angeles Chargers or Detroit Lions, at this level, it seems his NFL prospects are Jacksonville or bust. On Monday, the Jaguars fired head coach Doug Marrone, doubtlessly paving Meyer’s path again to Florida.

“I’ve identified City through the years via Huge Ten and what have you ever however we have now not spoken to anybody about this job,” Jaguars proprietor Shad Khan stated on Monday following Marrone’s firing in response to First Coast Information’ Mia O’Brien.

Other than Meyer’s ties to the Sunshine State — Gainesville, the place Meyer coached at Florida from 2005-2010, is roughly an hour’s drive from Jacksonville — there is a sturdy argument to be made that the Jaguars possess essentially the most enticing head teaching emptiness. Whereas it laid declare to the league’s worst file in 2020 (1-15), that additionally signifies that Jacksonville now lays declare to the No. 1 decide within the 2021 NFL Draft. And it occurs to return in a 12 months during which the presumptive No. 1 decide, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, is taken into account to be a generational prospect.

Moreover, the Jaguars have spent the previous 12 months stockpiling belongings and enter this 12 months’s draft with 4 picks within the first two rounds. Think about a strong assortment of younger expertise and it is easy to see why many would count on a fast turnaround in Jacksonville.

As for a way Meyer would honest on the NFL stage, that is the $10 million query.

Contemplating that he recruited at such a excessive stage in school, one would count on him to be conversant in a lot of the league from a personnel standpoint. It is also value noting that the unfold offense — which Meyer helped pioneer — is way extra distinguished within the NFL now than it was even only a few years in the past.

My largest questions on Meyer’s NFL prospects are:

  • How a lot is he going to have on his plate?
  • How is he going to deal with a league the place dropping not less than 5 video games in a season is not simply frequent, however just about assured?

If Meyer insists on each teaching his staff and controlling his roster, I worry that may be an excessive amount of for a coach with no earlier NFL expertise to deal with. And if he takes each loss within the league as onerous as he did in school, it is onerous to think about his NFL tenure lasting longer than a 12 months.

One factor, nevertheless, that I’ve realized from practically a decade of overlaying Meyer is to by no means wager towards him. And whereas I actually have some skepticism about his professional prospects, I am excited for the potential of lastly getting the solutions to a few of these questions.


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