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.
Urban Meyer’s move to the Jacksonville Jaguars will carry a lot of repercussions. Some of them may involve members of Ryan Day’s staff at Ohio State.
Many of those on Day’s staff are holdovers from the Meyer era at Ohio State, and some of them have ties to Meyer even going back to their Florida days. That raises the question of whether the incoming Jaguars coach will return to the Buckeyes and poach some of the names he knows well.
For now, there’s no clear answer. Bill Rabinowitz of Buckeye Xtra reported that Mickey Marotti, the Buckeyes’ strength and conditioning coach, who has known Meyer since they were students at Cincinnati, will remain at Ohio State. Mariotti had worked closely with Meyer at Florida and Ohio State, so there had been some thinking he may be tempted to move to Jacksonville.
Less clear are the futures of some other key staff members with close ties to Meyer. Assistant athletic director for player development Ryan Stamper played for Meyer at Florida, and is actually a Jacksonville native. Mark Pantoni, who runs the Buckeyes’ vaunted recruiting department, is also a Florida native who has worked for Meyer since their Gator days. There were no immediate hints about whether they would follow Meyer to Jacksonville, or if they’d even be offered the opportunity.
Rabinowitz does report that Ohio State does not expect many members of its athletic staff to leave for the Jaguars.
The expectation is that the vast majority of Meyer’s staff will be filled from elsewhere. For instance, Meyer has already added one big name to his staff who has no ties to Ohio State.
If the Jacksonville Jaguars wanted their hire of Urban Meyer as head coach to excite the fanbase, it’s certainly worked.
The Jaguars confirmed Meyer’s hiring on Thursday, and immediately saw a surge in season ticket orders. According to Ashlyn Sullivan of the team’s official website, the Jaguars’ ticket department reported being eight times ahead of previous seasons in terms of receiving season ticket deposits.
This is the kind of response you want from your fans when you make a splash, either through an exciting coaching hire or by adding a star player. There isn’t any other coaching candidate on the market who would electrify a dormant fanbase like Meyer is here.
It certainly helps that these Jaguars fans will likely have a second reason to be excited about next year’s team.
Plenty of very successful college coaches have jumped to the NFL and struggled to replicate their previous success. There are definitely some people who believe Urban Meyer will be one of them.
Meyer accepted the Jacksonville Jaguars head coaching job on Thursday, setting him up for his first jump to professional football. There’s no way of knowing how successful Meyer will be at this level, but there’s one stat that could bode well: the number of Meyer-coached players who are still playing in the NFL.
That is essentially a full roster, even if the position outlay is likely imbalanced. This may not necessarily be an indication of anything, but it does show that Meyer players are prepared enough for the next level that they succeed and last when they get there. Florida and Ohio State both churned out loads of NFL players while he was there.
Ultimately, Meyer’s success or failure as an NFL head coach may be largely dependent on how this potential relationship develops.