Head coach Frank Reich didn't wait long to find a new job after being dismissed by the Indianapolis Colts last year. Just a few months later, he got the same position with the Carolina Panthers. But surprisingly, he was given his walking papers after going 1-10 in 2023. Meanwhile, Urban Meyer went 2-11 before getting the Jacksonville Jaguars kicked him to the curb, making his stint a more "successful" one.
It's important to point out that Reich and Meyer were fired for totally different reasons. It's true that Reich failed to get the most out of Bryce Young, the first overall pick in this year's draft, but that was always going to be a tough task with an owner as meddling as David Tepper, who's shown no patience since buying the franchise in 2018. Since then, Tepper has had three full-time head coaches, Ron Rivera, Matt Rhule, and Reich.
Frank Reich had a more successful run in the NFL than Urban Meyer
While owners should always move on from mistakes instead of doubling down on them, it's fair to say that he didn't give Reich enough time to install his vision. To make matters worse, Tepper has gained a reputation as an owner who wants to call the shots despite the fact that he has no clue how to do it. Per Benjamin Allbright of KOA Colorado, he one time went to an offensive coordinator and told him to use a random play that the Cleveland Browns had run the previous week.
Meanwhile, Urban Meyer showed from the get-go that he was ill-equipped to run an NFL team, hiring a coach with an alleged history of abuse and using racial slurs to be the team's director of sports nutrition. When asked about it, he said he had run a background check on him and felt comfortable with the decision to bring him aboard.
But once the hire came under scrutiny, Meyer pointed fingers at everyone but himself. Chris Doyle resigned in shame just one day after the full staff was announced. That's pretty much how Meyer's tenure with the Jaguars went, always making sure to blame others but never himself.
Had the Jaguars won under him, maybe owner Shad Khan would have been more patient, but things got progressively worse by the week. In Jacksonville, Meyer was routinely making the news, whether it was for his shenanigans at a bar in Ohio or antagonizing the staff he himself picked.
Less than a year after bringing in Meyer, the Jags made him walk the plank, and with good reason. He had built a toxic environment for both his coaches and his staff. That wasn't the case with Frank Reich, who may not have been as good in his first year with the Panthers but wasn't given a fair chance to turn things around.
The truth is that Carolina was going to have a hard time making an impact in Reich's first season at the helm. Besides a handful of chip players such as Ikem Ekwonu, Tayler Moton, and Brian Burns, they lack star power (and depth) at most position groups.
The silver lining for Reich is that he possesses a robust background in the NFL. Before joining the Panthers, he spent five years as the head coach of the Colts. He also has lots of experience as a former quarterback. He will surely find another gig in the league soon, probably as an offensive coordinator, given that he's failed in his previous two stops as the head honcho.
The bottom line is that not many things went right for Urban Meyer when he was "leading" the Jacksonville Jaguars but at least he can say that he lasted more games than Frank Reich in Carolina, even if their circumstances were far from similar.