Does Urban Meyer Really Want To Be An NFL Head Coach?

Jan 10, 2021, 1:37 PM

Urban Meyer - Ohio State Buckeyes...

Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer calls for a play during the first half in the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2019 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Urban Meyer has a new itch to scratch and it is looking like the NFL is what just might satisfy him and get back into coaching football.

Meyer has no NFL experience but he is arguably one of the most successful college coaches of all-time with three national titles while at Ohio State and Florida. He led the first non-power team to bust through the BCS with Utah, and he has been to 10 major bowl games in 17 seasons.

He stopped coaching due to health issues and now he has the coaching itch once again but his eye is toward the NFL and is looking at a potential landing spot with the Jacksonville Jaguars and reportedly wants $12 million per year, but that amount has been disputed.

It is also being reported that Meyer is meeting with the Jaguars to discuss their head coach opening. Meyer should know that while football is played at the pro and college level, they are two very different types of football.

In college, Meyer can pick and choose who he wants and makes all of the personnel choices but in the NFL there is a general manager and only a fraction of the players that can be brought in via the draft or free agency, plus there is the salary cap to deal with and these football players are making money and have a lot more say in their career.

It has been rare to see college coaches have great success in the NFL.

KSL Sports’ Alex Kirry brings up Pete Carroll as one of a few exceptions who succeeded, but even his first attemp in the NFL he flamed out with the New York Jets and New England Patriots before finding success at USC and has now won a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks.

“What he had to do was to figure it out that first time he was in the NFL and then going back to the college game, it is a totally different deal,” Kirry said on KSL’s Unrivaled. “Very few people are able to make that jump.

“Urban Meyer, this is a fool’s game. You will not suddenly change the Jacksonville Jaguars into something totally different with what they’ve always been, which is not a winning place,” Kirry added. “Even if you take on that GM tag, which is, I think the only way that he’s going to be able to do it is if he’s able to control. Urban Meyer is a control guy. The NFL cannot be controlled at that level.”

If Meyer were to take over for the Jaguars, he has a decent hand dealt with the first overall pick and Jacksonville will very likely Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. They already have a young core in running back James Robinson and wide receiver D.J. Chark to build upon. While Jacksonville was 1-15 this past season, there is reason for this team to have a bright future.

Why Get Back Into Coaching Now?

Meyer has a real cushy gig with FOX being a studio analyst and he seems to be pretty good at it as well while looking like he has having a lot of fun talking college football. He really wants to get back into coaching and not just talking about football. The NFL is a grind and there is arguably even more pressure at this level than the top jobs in college football.

What is there to gain for Meyer to jump into the NFL ranks as a head coach for the first time? He is one of the greatest of all-time coaching college but the business side to the NFL makes things different. Going to the the pros could tarnish what he has done at the college level.

“I think it’s insane that a guy who, I know he’s Urban Meyer and we look at him like he’s kind of on the recent Mount Rushmore of college football coaches, if not one of the greatest of all time,” Kirry said. “Considering what he does in such short time and all the places that he goes and he is just a winner.”

In the NFL, he may not be that winner. However, KSL Sports’ Jeremiah Jensen points out what Meyer can do is command a whole lot of money from a desperate organization who wants to make a big name hire. This looks like exactly what the Jaguars are trying to do.

“I don’t know how bad he wants to coach. I don’t know,” Jensen said. “This is the thing when you’re somebody that’s been as successful as Urban Meyer, you have leverage because you can go just about anywhere you want to go when an opening comes up, because you’re held in that much regard. And in a franchise like Jacksonville that’s desperate to find an identity, desperate to win, would look at Urban Meyer as a possibility to come in and do that.”

This all could be a ploy for Meyer to get as much money as possible, and he can demand that with his success at college. If some team is willing to pay him about $12 million per year he likely will take it, but he is throwing out a number that would put him at the very top of all NFL coaches and he would be making the same salary as six-time Super Bowl winning coach Bill Belichick.

“If somebody is willing to pay him twelve million dollars a year, you’d probably go back and do it. But that’s the kind of outrageous number you throw out there when you really aren’t that serious about.”

Sometime coaches want to coach and that seems what Meyer wants to do or at least has the ego to want to see how much money he could land from a desparate NFL organization.

Tune into KSL Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 7-9 p.m., or subscribe to the podcast. Also, download the all-new KSL Sports app on iOS or Android.

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Does Urban Meyer Really Want To Be An NFL Head Coach?