Urban Meyer is giving the NFL a shot for the first time in his impressive coaching career. ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum isn’t sold on the experiment working out.
Meyer took the job with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who had the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. That was probably a big reason why Meyer took the job in the first place, thanks to the chance for the team to take Clemson phenom Trevor Lawrence to be his franchise quarterback.
He’s hit a few hurdles already though. He’s already been hit with $100,000 in fines for violations during OTAs, to go with $200,000 for the franchise. He also tried to hire disgraced former Iowa strength coach Chris Doyle, ultimately reversing course after significant public backlash.
“I’ll try not to sound like a broken record, but this is not going to work,” Finebaum said on Friday’s edition of Get Up on ESPN. “It may work short-term because he has Trevor Lawrence and you can build a team, but ultimately, Urban Meyer is going to flame out.
“You laid it out very eloquently there,” Finebaum said to Mike Greenberg, who ran down the early Meyer controversies. “It’s already happening. This guy does not get along with rules. He does not like to be told what to do. It didn’t work at Florida when he fled, it didn’t work at Ohio State when he battled the administration and finally walked off, or was pushed out, and it’s not going to work here.”
Meyer should be on the short list for best college coach of all-time, however you cut it. He is 187-32 all-time at that level, winning a pair of national championships at Florida, and a third at Ohio State. He put together an incredible 83-9 (54-4) record with the Buckeyes form 2012-18. He also had an undefeated season at Utah in 2004, capped with a Fiesta Bowl win.
We’ve seen plenty of great college coaches struggle in the NFL, though. Meyer has always had full control of his programs, and he won’t be able to maintain that iron grip forever at the pro level. We’ll see how easily he adapts.