It’s been rumoured for months, now it’s official. The Jags have their man. Urban Meyer is the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. He gets the first, and probably the most challenging, head coaching job of 2021. The Jags broke the seal on this years coaching hires, being the first of the seven teams to fill their head coaching vacancy.
The Jags Need Saving
They’re only 4 years removed from being just minutes away from making their first Superbowl in 2017. Yet the team is unrecognisable from then, following a poor attempt as a re-tool. The Jags haven’t had a winning season in the 3 seasons since and the 9 prior. They’ve only made the playoffs 7 times in their 26 year existence, only 3 times since the turn of the century.
Urban Meyer, That Savior?
Meyer’s CV is packed; 3 National Championships, 3 Big Ten Championships, 2 SEC Championships. His career head coaching record of 187-32 is impressive, as is his 12-3 record in Bowl games. He’s been a position coach for defensive backs, linebackers, quarterbacks and receivers as well as being a head coach for 17 years. At the age of 56 he’s taking his first job in the NFL, and what a job.
Here’s what Meyer has to look forward to as he joins the Jags.
What’s not to like? You’re probably getting the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck in the form of Trevor Lawrence first in the draft. He’ll have a youthful, talented set of weapons to work alongside in Robinson at tailback and Shenault Jr. and Chark at receiver. Not just that first pick, but a whopping ELEVEN draft picks in total. 6 of which are in the top 100. Jacksonville also have a predicted $72m in cap space to work with in 2021 – the most of any team. Added bonus, it’s in Jacksonville Florida, not a huge market but a year round tan comes as standard.
Meyers M.O. is turning college programmes around. It’ll be different in the NFL but you can be sure he’s plenty of plans and ideas to get the Jags turned around pronto. There’s no way he’s accepted the job without reassurances from ownership on what and how he can control things, well beyond just coaching, in Jacksonville.
There’s a reason the Jags are picking first in the draft, have so many draft picks and so much cap space. They finished at 1-15, losing 15 on the bounce after a week 1 win against the Colts. Their leaky defence conceded 30.75 points/game, 31st in the league and the most in the teams history. The offence wasn’t much better, 19.1 points/game is 30th in the league.
Yes Trevor Lawrence is the nearest thing to a bullseye. But with that comes pressure. Take Andrew Luck, the last “bullseye” QB pick in the draft as a warning shot. Luck was special, he reaches the pro bowl in each season he played every game and reaches the playoffs 4 times (going 4-4), but never made a Superbowl. The Colts failed to protect Luck. Countless injuries were a huge factor in him hanging up his cleats after only 7 Seasons, one of which he didn’t take a snap in. It’s imperative for the Jags they don’t waste this once a decade opportunity.
The Jags need more than good coaching. They need an organisational change. Meyer is the man for that.
A paradigm shift is needed in Jacksonville, a change of culture top to bottom. It’s a huge opportunity for the Kahn’s, the Jags owners, to change the future of their franchise. A poor choice will result in continued bad results in North Florida.