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NFL Rumors: Urban Meyer Isn't 'Full Steam Ahead' on Accepting Jaguars HC Job

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 12, 2021

FILE - In this Dec. 2, 2018, file photo, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer takes part in a news conference following the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game against Northwestern, in Indianapolis. Ohio State says Urban Meyer will retire after the Rose Bowl and assistant Ryan Day will be the next head coach. After seven years and a national championship at Ohio State, the 54-year-old Meyer will formally announce his departure Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, at a news conference.  (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Urban Meyer to the Jacksonville Jaguars may not be a done deal just yet.

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported Tuesday that Meyer "hasn't been full steam ahead with regard to taking the Jaguars job."

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

From NFL Now on @nflnetwork: The #Jaguars are waiting on Urban Meyer, who seems like he's still trying to decide what he wants to do. Figure this comes to a head one way or another soon. https://t.co/168QC9kV0h

Last Saturday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Meyer had begun sounding out coaches who could join his staff in Jacksonville and that his final decision on the offer "is expected this week."

Stylistically, the 56-year-old is a great fit for the Jaguars. He has long remained on the cutting edge on offense and played to the strengths of his quarterbacks. Alex Smith, Tim Tebow and Dwayne Haskins Jr. were all first-round picks after playing for Meyer, and J.T. Barrett finished up at Ohio State in 2017 having broken a slew of school and Big Ten records.

Jacksonville has the No. 1 pick in the 2021 draft, giving the franchise an opportunity to build its future around Clemson star Trevor Lawrence. Hiring a head coach who's a strong offensive mind makes sense.

However, some have raised questions over whether coaching in the NFL suits Meyer after health problems forced him to walk away from his posts at Florida and Ohio State.

Meyer has never lost more than five games in any of his 17 seasons as a college head coach. The Jaguars would probably consider an 11-5 mark a massive success in 2021 since they haven't won that many games in a single season since 2007.

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Perhaps Meyer would put less pressure on himself since a team can still win a title despite losing six or even seven games in the regular season.

Still, The Athletic's Stewart Mandel argued that coaching the Jaguars may present a more difficult challenge than he'd be bargaining for:

"But the NFL is its own year-round grind, between months of draft prep, followed by free agency, then training camp, all leading into 16-plus weeks of endless film study and game-planning. With no 20-hour rule like college limiting the amount of time coaches can spend with players. ...

"Meyer has orchestrated quick turnarounds before, taking Bowling Green from 2-9 to 8-3 and Ohio State from 6-7 to 12-0, but building an NFL team can be a lot harder because there's less within the coach's control. He doesn't have the autonomy of a college coach to build the roster in his own vision. He can't woo potential free agents with cool social media graphics."

Should they strike out with Meyer, it's unclear whom the Jaguars would target as their next No. 1 option. Veteran NFL reporter Josina Anderson reported Jan. 5 that Jacksonville was looking to interview Atlanta Falcons interim head coach Raheem Morris and Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. 

Between Lawrence's imminent arrival and a bounty of salary-cap space, the Jags figure to be a highly sought-after post this offseason.

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