A Journey into the Unknown: What to Expect From Urban Meyer in First Stint as NFL Head Coach With Jaguars

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January 15, 2021 11:10 pm

The Jacksonville Jaguars’ announcement of Urban Meyer taking over as head coach has turned a lot of heads. One of the greats of college football, Meyers brings with him a reputation for establishing a winning culture wherever he goes. 

But the NFL is a different ball game altogether. While some college greats have succeeded at achieving great heights, many have failed. Nick Saban, Bobby Petrino, and Steve Spurrier, the list is long.

Meyer, however, will be keen on steering clear of the misfortunes that have besieged college Head Coaches in the past. As Meyer embarks on a new journey, we take a look at some of the things we expect to see down at Jacksonville soon. 

Building a winning culture with Trevor Lawrence

It’s no doubt that the prospect of coaching a team with Trevor Lawrence in the pocket is something that influenced Urban Meyer to come out of retirement.

Widely touted as the best QB prospect in the NFL Draft since Andrew Luck, Lawrence has all the tools to be a future franchise QB. 

And assuming that the Jaguars do draft him with their first overall pick in 2021, the franchise has the chance of turning things around following a 1-15 season with coach Meyer in the mix.

After all, he’s the man who’s molded multiple future NFL superstars at Ohio, Florida, and Utah.  

Jan 1, 2021; New Orleans, LA, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) attempts a pass against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The first challenge for Meyer will be winning over his locker room. Unlike in college, Meyer will be taking control of a roster of grown men. Not some 20-year-old NFL aspirants. But that again is something that Meyer excels at. 

He is an imposing presence in the locker room who commands respect. Establishing leaders and making a team accountable for their actions is also something Meyer focuses on.

He’s even gone as far as conducting leadership workshops for his players and staff in the past at Ohio. Meyer knows establishing a dynasty can only be achieved after ingraining leadership and accountability in the team. 

Rebuilding the Jacksonville Jaguars roster

Meyer will be taking over a franchise with a lot of potential going into the future. With 11 total draft picks and over $70 million in cap space for 2021, Meyer will have to guide a team in transition. 

And given that the team is still in search of a General Manager, it will be interesting what plan Meyer has in mind when it comes to rebuilding the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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With work needed to be done in multiple departments, the franchise will have the money to sign a big-money free agent. They could go for TEs like Robert Tonyan Jr or Hunter Henry to provide Lawrence with the tools to succeed in offense. 

Signing up a strong safety like Rams‘ John Johnson wouldn’t be a bad shout either. Either way, the Jags have the cap space to plug some of the holes that led to their 1-15 season. 

Urban Meyer needs to come to terms with losing

One thing Urban Meyer will have to get used to is losing football games. The Head Coach has a stellar 187-32 record while calling the shots in college. But achieving that sort of success in the NFL right from the bat will be difficult.

Meyer won’t have the privilege of starting the cream of the crop. The 5-star recruits of Ohio readily at his disposal are a thing of the past. Rebuilding this franchise will take time. And that means taking a loss every once in a while.   

NEW ORLEANS, LA – JANUARY 01: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes shouts on the sidelines against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the All State Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

But as we’ve seen with the former Buckeyes Head Coach, losing isn’t something that sits with him well. Meyers has retired 3 times before citing health concerns after losing big games.

He was previously rushed to a hospital complaining of chest pains after losing a game with the Florida Gators. So given the stress that comes with a Head Coach gig in the NFL, and the pressure of turning a 1-15 franchise around, Meyer will have to channel some Zen to make a lasting impact on the league.

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