Urban Meyer has plenty of experience coaching football, but there is one thing he knows very little about — losing. He is likely going to do plenty of it in the NFL, and the three-time national champion admits that will be an adjustment for him.
Meyer lost a total of 32 games in 17 seasons as a college head coach. He lost just nine in his seven years at Ohio State. In a recent appearance on “The Peter King Podcast,” it was noted to Meyer that he could very well lose nine or more games in his first season with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He spoke about how he will handle that.
“When you put so much into something, I have a hard time blaming others. I blame myself and (ask) how could (I) have done better. I’m built that way,” Meyer said. “At times I wish it wasn’t that way. People who know me and have been in our organizations know I take it right on the jaw (when we lose). It’s not easy for me to say it’s that player’s fault or it’s that player’s fault, because I always put it right on the coach. That’s part of sitting in the big chair. You’ve gotta handle it. That part is gonna be a challenge for me.”
Meyer also joked (or possibly not) that he’ll reach out to Jimmy Johnson for advice. Johnson, of course, was an incredibly successful college coach before he was hired by the Dallas Cowboys. He went 1-15 in his first year in Dallas after losing nine games in five seasons at Miami before that. Johnson led the team to back-to-back Super Bowl wins a few years later.
There will be a lot of pressure on Meyer in his first season with the Jags. Some of his peers have failed in a similar position, though one of them has full confidence in Meyer’s ability to lead in the NFL.
The stories about Tom Brady’s work ethic and competitiveness continue to trickle out ever since he won his incredible 7th Super Bowl. The latest stories proving the quarterback’s impressiveness comes from Urban Meyer.
Meyer spoke with NBC’s Peter King for a podcast interview. In the interview, King asked Meyer about the coach’s experience visiting NFL teams while he was coaching in college. Meyer said his visits with the New England Patriots stood out, because of Brady.
“Well, Tom Brady — I got to witness Tom Brady, firsthand, and it was the last day of minicamp in June and I had been to a few of those,” he said (as transcribed by 247 Sports). “And usually, people are one foot out the door because they just got done with a very long seven, eight weeks in the offseason and you’re talking about the greatest quarterback of all time. And it was (linebacker) Mike Vrabel was there, (linebacker) Tedy Bruschi was — back in those days — and I was blown away. It was the last day of minicamp. They’re in shorts, helmets, and they’re doing a two-minute drill. And Tom Brady is treating it like it’s the Super Bowl. And he goes down and he scores with two seconds left to win that scrimmage or whatever they had, and ran around that field like a child who just won the Super Bowl. That’s how competitive he is.
“And I went back and immediately to my quarterbacks and shared with them that I just watched the greatest of all time — the way you’re supposed to practice, the way you’re supposed to provide energy to the rest of your team and the way you lead your team. And I was blown away at Tom Brady and the way he performed at practice. And by the way — I went into the offensive meetings with (offensive coordinator) Josh McDaniels and Tom Brady, and Tom Brady’s actually the one that had the clicker in his hand. I mean, Peter, it was amazing. He was in there running the film. And he had the offensive line sitting there, running backs, receivers, and Tom Brady was running the clicker and watching practice film dissecting the plays for the offense.
“You can say he throws a great pass. But people that really understand the game, there’s much more than that that makes him the best of all time.”
Those are great stories. And what’s notable is Brady was doing that several years ago. His leadership style back then has paid off enormously.
If you enjoyed that story, you’ll appreciate what Bucs receiver Chris Godwin said about Brady. You also enjoy what Mike Evans said about Brady as well.
The Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski Tampa party continues! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Tampa Fiesta shirt. You can buy it here.
Urban Meyer did not enjoy his first taste of free agency in the NFL.
Many of the deals in free agency are reached in the two days prior to actual free agency beginning during what some call the “legal tampering period.” Players are not allowed to meet with teams until free agency officially begins. The result is teams like the Jags had to reach many deals without Meyer being able to first meet with the players in person.
The Jacksonville Jaguars coach made clear that he found the experience “awful.”
“I guess in the old days you could bring them in and meet them, then have dinner with them and find out their football intellect, find out their character and things like that. So we had to do a deep dive on every guy that we signed,” Meyer said, via Doug Samuels of Football Scoop. “To answer your question, it was awful. I don’t believe it should be that way. I’m not sure how that rule came about, but, to me, that’s not good business.”
Understandably, Meyer would like to meet with players before signing them and committing a lot of money to them. The problem is if you don’t act quickly, players can sign elsewhere. So for Meyer, this is a bit of a blind process.
Meyer’s dislike of the process didn’t stop Jacksonville from being very active early in free agency. Meyer has to feel somewhat comfortable with those moves considering how aggressive the Jaguars were.
Tim Tebow on Wednesday announced that he has retired from professional baseball. His announcement comes right before players are scheduled to report to training camp. But the announcement also syncs up nicely with something else of note.
Tebow has become available for other employment opportunities right as Urban Meyer begins his NFL coaching career with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Tebow played for Meyer at Florida, and the two won two national championships together. They have similar religious values and remain close. A few years ago, Meyer even watched Tebow in one of his baseball games.
There are no rumors about Tebow joining the Jaguars, and Egotastic Sports joked to us on Twitter that the rumor needs to be started. We’re not starting a rumor, but we are looking at possibilities.
Would it surprise anyone if Meyer wanted the former quarterback involved in some capacity? Whether it’s doing some motivational work, prayer work, or even helping with coaching, we could easily envision Meyer finding a role for Tebow. That might even create some goodwill, which Meyer could use after his last hiring disaster.
Photo: Sports Spectrum/Wikimedia via CC-BY-SA 4.0
Nick Saban and Urban Meyer are two of the greatest coaches college football has seen over the last 20 years. Saban took his try as an NFL head coach in 2005 and 2006 before Alabama came to him with an offer he couldn’t refuse. After a mediocre tenure as the Miami Dolphins’ head coach, Saban returned to the college game, where he established himself as the greatest college football coach ever.
Now it’s Meyer’s turn to try the NFL, and Saban thinks the coach will succeed.
“I think he’ll do great in the NFL,” Saban said Friday on “The Rich Eisen Show.” “I think the key to it is you’ve got to have a great staff and you’ve got to get people in the organization on the same page in the NFL so everybody’s working together. If you can do that — I know he’s a good coach and a good motivator and players respect him — help the players get better, they’ll have success.”
Meyer has bounced around a lot more than Saban has. Saban has been at Alabama since 2007. Since that time, Meyer has coached at Florida, Ohio State, and now the Jacksonville Jaguars. He will have the No. 1 pick in the draft to help his rebuilding efforts.
Meyer’s time as the Jags’ coach is being heavily anticipated. Meyer has already had one misstep.
Eisen also asked Saban if he would consider a return to the NFL. The 69-year-old said no because he doesn’t feel like starting all over somewhere. He also expressed that Alabama losing players to the draft and coaches to other programs every year makes him feel like he is constantly challenged.
Urban Meyer is no stranger to controversy surrounding members of his coaching staff, and that theme will continue at the NFL level after the Jacksonville Jaguars hired Chris Doyle as their new director of sport performance.
Many people are familiar with Doyle from the time he spent as the strength and conditioning coach at Iowa. Doyle left the program after he was accused of being racist toward black players. Meyer was asked about that on Thursday, and he spoke about how he has known Doyle for nearly 20 years. Meyer also said he and Jacksonville’s front office “vetted him thoroughly.”
“I vet everyone on our staff,” Meyer said. “The relationship goes back close to 20 years. There are a lot of hard questions asked and a lot of vetting involved with all of our staff. We did a very good job vetting that one.”
Meyer said he feels “great” about hiring Doyle and continued to praise the work Doyle has done as a strength coach. He didn’t directly address the allegations of racism, though he indicated Doyle was asked about them during the interview process. You can hear Meyer’s full comments below:
Meyer left Ohio State not long after he was accused of ignoring domestic violence allegations against a former member of his staff. Some believed he would have remained with the Buckeyes if not for that.
Doyle will be watched carefully by the media, but Meyer is apparently not concerned.
H/T The Spun
Urban Meyer believes that Alabama is on a completely different level from everyone else in college football currently, and he knows there is a lot of work to be done for teams to catch up.
Meyer, who recently accepted the Jacksonville Jaguars’ head coach job, joined Big Ten Network and talked about the conference. He said only Ohio State and Ryan Day were recruiting at a level close to Bama and that everyone else needs to pick it up.
“I think it’s a challenge for everyone else in this conference to get going. I mean, the whole country saw this. And that’s not just the Big Ten — that’s the Pac-12 and the Big 12 as well. The reality is Alabama’s on a different stratosphere right now. Go catch ’em. The one school that’s recruiting at that level is coach Day and Ohio State. So I think that this is a standup call for everybody. I can tell you there’s coaches across the country — are seeing that team that just played tonight, saying, ‘We have to go get them.’”
Meyer says the Big Ten was far behind and only “very average” when he took over the Ohio State job in 2012. Through hard work, he was able to get them on a national champion level. Other schools in the Big Ten picked it up and began to challenge Ohio State too.
Meyer believes Ohio State can recruit at a level to challenge Alabama. But credit to Nick Saban, as his Crimson Tide are “on a different stratosphere,” according to Meyer.
And if you’re wondering what it takes to top Alabama in recruiting, you have to beat this pitch from Saban.
One of Urban Meyer’s former players at Florida shared some tweets on Tuesday in support of his former coach.
Brandon Spikes, who was a linebacker at Florida from 2006-2009, backed Meyer ahead of the coach’s first season with the Jaguars. He lauded Meyer for his passion, enthusiasm and discipline.
Spikes also shared how much Meyer cares about his players and predicted Jacksonville will make the playoffs soon.
Meyer has never previously coached in the NFL, but he was wildly successful in college. He built up programs at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and then Ohio State, winning national championships at the latter two stops. Spikes thinks that will translate to the NFL.
Just don’t let this former NFL star see Spikes’ comments.
Jimmy Johnson is one of a handful of coaches to find success at both the NFL and NCAA levels, and he has some advice for the latest person trying to do it.
Johnson believes Jacksonville Jaguars coach Urban Meyer must utilize his knowledge from recruiting the top college players and bring in talent in order to succeed at the NFL level.
“When I went to the Cowboys, I had never coached in professional football and I was going to a team that had three straight losing seasons,” Johnson told Analis Bailey of USA Today. “They were the worst team in the league record-wise. And I realized that there wasn’t enough talent there. But I knew the players. I had been in these players’ homes. I was in Troy Aikman’s home his sophomore year in high school.
“(Meyer) knows all of the great players around the country. So utilize that expertise to bring in talent. So if he brings in the right coaches and he brings in the right talent he is going to be successful.”
It does come down to talent, and Johnson is right about that. In college, Meyer led a program that could offer top recruits things that most programs couldn’t. That included the chance to win a championship and high-level facilities. That won’t be true in the NFL, where he’ll face much stiffer competition.
Johnson clearly believes Meyer can succeed. Some others are much more skeptical. Only time will tell.
Count Rex Ryan among those skeptical that Urban Meyer will find success in the NFL.
Ryan had a stern warning for the new Jacksonville Jaguars coach, even alluding to Bobby Petrino as evidence of how things can go awry for successful college coaches at the NFL level.
“Welcome to the men’s league. You’re gonna find out real quick there’s a huge difference,” Ryan said, via Brad Crawford of 247Sports. “Look, there’s no doubt this man can flat-out coach. But it is night-and-day difference. Why do coaches come into the league and quit after a year, don’t even make it a full year? I can give you two examples of that, Lou Holtz and the dude who quit on the Falcons (Bobby Petrino), whatever his name is. It’s a different league, it’s a different mindset. There’s no gimmes in here, you can’t schedule a victory, hey I’m gonna drop down a level, ain’t no I-AA’s in this league.”
Ryan added that Meyer will have to build through the draft and cannot simply recruit all the top talent at the NFL level. He also suggested that Meyer should add Raheem Morris to his staff to add some NFL experience. That’s something Meyer is reportedly looking into.
Ryan obviously isn’t the first person to voice concerns about Meyer’s adaptation to the NFL level. That said, his college players have found plenty of success at the NFL level. Meyer certainly has a chance to do so as well, though plenty of things do need to go right.