Urban Meyer coached the Jaguars for just 13 games, but his time there was bad enough to leave a mark on the former college coach.
Meyer spoke about his time with the Jaguars in “Don’t @ Me with Dan Dakich” by Outkick and detailed what bothered him most about his NFL tenure: losing.
“It was the worst experience I’ve ever had in my professional life,” Meyer said. “The thing that really got me, I almost don’t want to say that people accept it, I mean, you lose a game, and you just stay… Seriously, I would have an internal dialogue. I also went through the whole depression thing, where I looked at the ceilings and [think] ‘Are we doing everything we can?’ Because I really believed that we had a roster that was good enough to win games. I don’t think we’ve done a great job.”
Meyer also added that losing “eats your soul.”
It’s easy to see why losing bothered Meyer so much. He posted a record of 187–32 in college stops at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and Ohio State. His .854 winning percentage ranks seventh among the highest of all time, and he never lost more than five games in a single season.
With the Jaguars, Meyer posted a record of 2-11 in 13 games. The 11 losses were more than Meyer recorded during his entire seven-year tenure at Ohio State, during which he had just nine losses.
Beyond that issue, Meyer admitted he had trouble adjusting to the NFL’s practice schedule. A lack of league practice time was a hurdle he struggled to overcome.
“It’s very different,” Meyer said of the NFL compared to college football. “Just the amount of time you spend with your quarterback. Just the amount of time you spend with your team. The roster management. How you practice. You know, the number of reps you do before you go play a game. , for me, it was surprisingly low. For example, we would practice, maybe you get a rep or two on something, next thing you know you’re calling it in-game.
“In college, you never do that. In college, you’ll have at least a dozen opportunities to practice that before you ask a player to do it in the game. So there are a lot of differences.”
Another major problem Meyer faced was roster management. Meyer was used to spending a lot of time recruiting, but at the NFL level, his job required more game planning and tinkering with the 53-man roster.
“I used to be in college, the reality is you spend 75 percent of your time recruiting,” Meyer said. “In professional football there is no recruitment. So it’s all schema and it’s all list management. You’re getting guys into your organization on a Tuesday and they’ll play for you on a Sunday. So there are some obvious differences between the two games.”
Meyer acknowledged that it “certainly didn’t help” put an end to the old adage that college coaches can’t be quality coaches in the NFL. However, he denied one of the most serious allegations that led to his departure from the Jaguars. He says he didn’t kick then-Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo during preseason practice.
“You know when you come out and say there was a kicked player… That’s not true. That is not true at all,” Meyer said. “Saying I didn’t touch it with my foot… Kick someone? Come on. I’ve done it for 37 years. Kick a player? The other players came up to me and said, ‘We saw everything.’ .’ Because he had almost forgotten.
However, Meyer was fired shortly after Lambo aired his accusations. As a result, the Jaguars are looking for a new coach for the second time in as many years, while Meyer’s tenure in the NFL will be one of the worst in NFL history.