What would Urban Meyer need to appear on list of best NFL HCs?

Head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars Urban Meyer (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars Urban Meyer (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /

What would Urban Meyer need to join the upper-echelon of NFL head coaches?

If you take a look at all the head coaches that the Jacksonville Jaguars have had in team history, you will find an uninspiring list. Tom Coughlin helped reach two AFC Championships but everything good he did back in the day may be tarnished by his penchant for clashing with players during his stint as the vice president of football operations in the late 2010s.

What about Jack Del Rio? The Jaguars always played hard for him but it’s difficult to get thrilled about his 68-71 record and just two trips two the playoffs in nine years. Besides Coughlin and Del Rio, there’s a list of head coaches you might not be able to recognize at the grocery shop. Mel Tucker? Mike Mularkey? For a moment, it looked like Jacksonville would become a perennial contender with Doug Marrone at the helm.

In his first full season as the Jaguars head coach, Marrone led the team to the AFC Championship and had the New England Patriots against the ropes. Had a referee not blown dead a fumble recovery by linebacker Myles Jack in that game, we would probably be talking about Marrone as the best head coach in team history. Instead, Jacksonville came crashing down the following season and went on to win just 12 games from 2018 to 2020.

Marrone’s inability to win games and recreate the success the Jags had in 2017 led to his firing after the conclusion of the 2020 season. The organization knew they needed to make significant changes and half measures were no longer feasible. That’s why they brought in Urban Meyer, who is known for turning college programs into powerhouses.

The Jaguars already look different with Urban Meyer at the helm.

Eric Eager of Pro Football Focus recently ranked the seven best NFL head coaches. The list is mostly composed of Super Bowl winners and coaches that currently lead playoff teams. It would be puzzling to see Meyer make in the ranking, as he hasn’t coached a game in the pros yet. On the other hand, he’s had success everywhere he’s gone and it feels like it won’t be any different in Jacksonville.

It’s true that for every Jimmy Johnson there are 12 dozen coaches that couldn’t make it to the pros. The transition from college football to the NFL isn’t easy but it looks like Meyer has the blueprint to transform the Jaguars into a contender. He’s very blunt with his players, yet he treats them as professionals. When he speaks about his players, you can hear he pushes them hard but he also cares about them. Also, he’s making sure they have everything they have to perform at the highest level.

Before Meyer agreed to become the Jaguars, he wanted the organization to upgrade the practice facilities, and it looked like he got his wish granted as the team unveiled a plan to renovate downtown Jacksonville and the team’s training complex. He wants players to have the best of the best without having to travel anywhere.

Meyer has made mistakes early in his short tenure as the Jags head coach and back in college. Also, there are concerns surrounding his health. Nevertheless, you don’t win three National Championships by mistake and Meyer is setting the table to win in the NFL. If his success can carry over into the NFL, it won’t be long before he becomes one of the best head coaches at the pro level.

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