Jaguars: Criticism of Urban Meyer in full gear ahead of 2021 season

Former Florida head coach Urban Meyer (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Former Florida head coach Urban Meyer (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

Urban Meyer has been heavily scrutinized since the Jacksonville Jaguars hired him as their head coach earlier this year. The criticism hasn’t stopped and instead has become louder as the 2021 season inches closer.

Rodger Sherman of The Ringer has joined what seems to have become a recent trend of questioning Meyer’s transition from college to the pros. He believes the head coach’s NFL experiment is already showing his flaws and says that “it’s hard to be excited about the Jaguars head coach’s missteps. He then goes on to list several of the mistakes he’s made during his short stint in Jacksonville.

The most meaningful criticism Sherman offers is the hire of Chris Doyle as director of sports performance only to have him quit as soon the team announced his addition to the staff. There’s no doubt Meyer had no business hiring someone who had a history of allegedly mistreating players and using racially insensitive comments. Nevertheless, most of the other talking points fall flat.

Sherman says that the Jaguars’ offense looked archaic in the preseason. While it’s true that their offense left much to be desired in the first two games, it came to life in the finale, beating the Dallas Cowboys 34-14. Questioning the efficiency of a team’s offense before the start of the season is akin to judging a movie based on the promotional poster outside the movie theater.

Urban Meyer has the Jacksonville Jaguars on the right track.

Sherman rightly points out that the success rate of making the transition from college to the pros is extremely low. However, saying Urban Meyer will fail because others have is a moot point. He later brings up Meyer’s tenure at both Florida and Ohio State. He talks about the Zach Smith fiasco and the culture that festered during his tenure as the head coach of the Gators in the late 2000s. Nobody will argue he could’ve handled things better but citing either incident as an indicator of future success (or failure) doesn’t make sense.

On the bright side, Sherman doesn’t mention the fact that players aren’t thrilled there’s an assistant reminding them to stay hydrated. Meyer’s path to the NFL hasn’t been flawless but the criticism is becoming ridiculous and the 2021 season hasn’t even started! It has to stop at some point, right? Next thing you know, he will be criticized because he’s wearing Crocs to practice.

Keep in mind that several Jaguars players have praised Urban Meyer’s approach or methods. While there may be some that aren’t pleased with him, the fact that they had to speak under the condition of anonymity goes on to show that they are in the minority. Nobody is arguing his tenure as the head coach in Jacksonville has been mistake-free. It hasn’t but he hasn’t doubled down on his errors and has instead tried to move on as quick as possible.

The Jacksonville Jaguars hired Meyer because they believed he’s the right man to turn the team into a perennial winner. If he isn’t able to right the ship, his approach should definitely be questioned. If he fails you can search for all these articles and say “I told you so”. This writer will gladly eat his hat. Until then, let the man coach some games.

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