Jacksonville Jaguars: Is criticism of HC Urban Meyer warranted?

Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Jacksonville Jaguars [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union]
Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Jacksonville Jaguars [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union] /

As successful as Urban Meyer was at the college level, he surely knew that turning the Jacksonville Jaguars into a perennial was going to be no easy task. Then again, it may prove more difficult than he originally expected, as the Jags have lost their last two preseason games.

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports recently appeared on The DA Show and told host Damon Amendolara that there’s a group of Jaguars players that “aren’t thrilled” with Meyer’s way to run the team. Prisco believes the former Ohio State head coach has got to make a few adjustments and adds that there are several things he imported from college that may not work in the NFL. So what exactly are those things players aren’t enthused about? Here is some of the criticism Meyer’s methods have received, via Bryan DeArdo of CBS Sports:

"One of his assistants on the field during practice with a boom mic telling everybody to hydrate, hustle and get to the next series. Obviously, he’s a work in progress. He’s been a good football coach everywhere he’s been. It’s a lot different when you recruit guys to your school and you’ve got a bunch of players, the five stars, then it is when you’re trying to build something."

Wait a minute, are you saying that Jaguars players aren’t happy because someone is reminding them to stay hydrated? Prisco doesn’t say anything about Meyer not caring or playing favorites. If anything, Jaguars players have spoken glowingly of their head coach, and beat writers have said practices have been faster and more intense, so Prisco’s comments feel like nitpicking. Just recently, Peter King of NBC Sports shared an anecdote surrounding EDGE rusher Josh Allen and how Meyer helped him some an issue he and his family encountered.

The Jacksonville Jaguars believe Meyer is the right man to lead the team.

This is not the first time Meyer receives criticism. Not long ago, Jason La Canfora reported that the former Florida head coach is drawing “sideways looks” from cap gurus, executives, and scouts around the league. In his article, La Canfora signaled the Joe Schobert trade, the Tim Tebow experiment, and the handling of the quarterback competition in training camp as questionable moves by Meyer.

One thing all this criticism involving the Jaguars head coach has in common is that it has come from anonymous sources. Meyer certainly deserves scrutiny for some of the moves he has made in his short stint in Jacksonville. He should have never hired Chis Doyle as the director of sports performance. Maybe the team’s brass should have made invested more resources in both the offensive line and the tight end room. Nevertheless, it’s too early to question his tenure as the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

It’s true that the Jags have struggled in the last two preseason games but the organization still has time to work on whatever issues they’ve encountered over the last two weeks. Keep in mind that the Jaguars are coming off one of the worst seasons in franchise history, so the path to becoming a contender wasn’t going to be seamless. Also, preseason games don’t count in the standings and if Meyer starts winning early, all the criticism he’s getting will be forgotten.

If the Jaguars are in the middle of a losing streak by midseason, Meyer will deserve all the criticism he’s currently getting. For the time being, he should get the benefit of the doubt.

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