It’s become somewhat of a national pastime to criticize Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer. The fact that he hasn’t won a single game in his first year coaching in the NFL after dominating at the collegiate level is one of several reasons. Another one is the possibility that he will leave Jacksonville and return to the collegiate ranks. While some have questioned whether Meyer will last in the pros, one of his former players believes he’s here to stay.
Former Jaguars tight end Tim Tebow, now an analyst at ESPN, thinks Meyer will be long for the NFL. In a recent episode of First Take, the 2010 first-round pick said his former head coach is going to be in the NFL for a while. He later added that his passion is both a weakness and a strength.
"He’s gonna be in the NFL for a little while. He really has a passion and a heart to be able to turn the culture and that the trajectory of the Jacksonville Jaguars program. He really feels an obligation to Shao Kahn, the owner. I feel like he has a passion for it. For Jacksonville, for the fans, for this team. When he gets into something he is, he goes all the way, and he’s very passionate, and that can be an awesome strength but it can also be a weakness you see one of the best things that that coach brings to the table, his, his, his passion, he is willing to suffer."
Tebow does believe that Meyer needs to make adjustments. Otherwise, “it will affect his health, his energy, and his stamina”. Co-host Stephen A. Smith opines that precisely because of that passion, the former Ohio State head coach won’t last in the NFL. He says that losing will take a toll on him, that he can’t stand to lose. Tebow’s counterpoint is that Meyer is transparent, “super resolute” and determined to turn things around. Here’s the whole clip in case you want to watch it.
Jaguars HC Urban Meyer is overseeing a lengthy rebuild.
In the clip above, Smith says that Meyer shouldn’t be so stressed about losing a game in the regular season. After all, nobody expects the Jaguars to be competitive in 2021. However, this team wouldn’t be able to thrive under a laid-back head coach. This is a development year for the Jags and they’re going to go through rough stretches before they start winning consistently.
A few weeks ago, a report surfaced about players not being thrilled with Meyer’s methods. But that doesn’t seem to be the case when you listen to players such as quarterback Trevor Lawrence and cornerback Shaquill Griffin speak. Of course, they’re disappointed they haven’t won games but they don’t sound like they’re ready to give up anytime soon.
Lawrence and Griffin are aware this is a process and remain unfazed. It’s not guaranteed Meyer will transform the Jaguars into a perennial contender but his players trust him, and it’s easy to see why. The team has been showing growth in the last three weeks after a forgettable season opener. The Jags are establishing the ball, the offensive line is performing at a high level and Lawrence is playing like a first overall pick in the draft.
If the team hasn’t shown growth after two years, Meyer should be heavily scrutinized. For the time being, he should get the benefit of the doubt. He hasn’t won a game yet but that doesn’t mean he will go 0-17 like someone recently suggested.