Urban Meyer has come under intense scrutiny since the Jacksonville Jaguars hired him as head coach earlier this year. The reviews haven’t stopped and instead have grown stronger as the 2021 season draws closer.
The Ringer’s Rodger Sherman has joined what seems to have become a recent trend to question Meyer’s transition from college to the pros. He thinks the head coach’s experience in the NFL is already showing its flaws and says “it’s hard to get excited about the Jaguars head coach’s missteps. He goes on to list several of the mistakes he made during his short stay in Jacksonville.
The most significant criticism Sherman makes is the hiring of Chris Doyle as athletic performance director to have him step down as soon as the team announced his addition to the staff. There is no doubt that Meyer had no reason to hire someone who used to mistreat players and use race-insensitive comments. However, most of the other talking points fall flat.
Sherman says the Jaguars offense looked archaic in preseason. While it’s true that their offense left a lot to be desired in the first two games, it came to life in the final, beating the Dallas Cowboys 34-14. Questioning the effectiveness of a team’s offensive before the start of the season is like judging a movie from the promotional poster outside the theater.
Urban Meyer has the Jacksonville Jaguars on the right track.
Sherman rightly points out that the success rate of transitioning from college to pros is extremely low. However, to say that Urban Meyer will fail because others have is a moot point. He later referred to Meyer’s tenure in both Florida and Ohio. He talks about the Zach Smith fiasco and the culture that escalated during his tenure as head coach of the Gators in the late 2000s. No one will say he could have handled things better, but quote either incident as an indicator of future success (or failure) is meaningless.
On the bright side, Sherman doesn’t mention the fact that players aren’t thrilled that an assistant reminds them to stay hydrated. Meyer’s journey to the NFL hasn’t been flawless but the reviews are getting ridiculous and the 2021 season hasn’t even started! It must stop at some point, right? Next thing you know, he’ll be criticized for wearing Crocs to train.
Keep in mind that several Jaguars players have praised Urban Meyer’s approach or methods. While some may not be happy with him, the fact that they had to speak on condition of anonymity shows they are in the minority. No one disputes his tenure as head coach at Jacksonville did not make a mistake. He didn’t, but he didn’t double down on his mistakes and instead tried to move forward as quickly as possible.
The Jacksonville Jaguars hired Meyer because they believed he was the right man to turn the team into an eternal winner. If he is unable to right the vessel, his approach should certainly be questioned. If it fails, you can search all of those items and say “I told you so”. This writer will gladly eat his hat. Until then, let the man train a few matches.