First-year NFL coach Urban Meyer made a remark about the league that’s sure to get a kick out of Alabama fans and elicit groans from the Jaguars faithful.
Meyer, the embattled coach of 0-2 Jacksonville, reportedly told Denver coach Vic Fangio on Sunday that the NFL is “like playing Alabama” every week. Fangio recalled the anecdote Wednesday when speaking to reporters ahead of the Broncos’ meeting with the Jets.
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Meyer’s quip came after his team lost 23-13 to the Broncos:
“I don’t know Urban Meyer at all really, I met him the other day, shook his hand before the game and after the game and his comment to me was, ‘Every week it’s like playing Alabama in the NFL,'” Fangio told reporters Wednesday.
“And that’s it. Everybody’s capable of beating everybody in this league.”
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That’s not what a fan base starved for success wants to hear from their head coach, especially one with such a successful track record at programs such as Ohio State, Florida and even Utah. But therein lies the problem: Meyer has not had a smooth transition from the college game, where he could easily out-recruit opponents and simply beat them with his team’s vast advantage in player size, speed and overall talent.
In college, Meyer enjoyed coaching several NFL-caliber players, whereas most of his opponents had considerably fewer. Now, everybody is an NFL-caliber player, and Meyer’s coaching ability has yet to make up the difference. The level of parity is higher in the NFL, where, as Fangio noted, “everybody’s capable of beating everybody.” That has yet to bode well for Meyer, even with quarterback Trevor Lawrence — considered the No. 1 overall pick since early in his career at Clemson — running his offense.
Reports out of Jacksonville suggest Meyer’s coaching style is “unhinged,” one which players “aren’t thrilled” to experience. Consider also that Meyer is already breaking NFL rules, brought on former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow to try out as a tight end and had head strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle resign shortly after announcing his hiring, and it’s no wonder Jacksonville is 0-2 in 2021.
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That 0-2 skid is the first time since the 2013 college football season that Meyer has suffered consecutive losses; that year his squad lost to Michigan State in the Big Ten championship and Clemson in the Orange Bowl. This year’s start led to the Jaguars making an ill-fated social media post telling fans to “hang in there” with the team … in Week 2 of the season.
Jacksonville has looked dysfunctional not only in its first two games this season but also in the preseason, where the team quickly became the butt of NFL jokes. So where do Meyer and Co. go from here? For starters, they host the 2-0 Cardinals. If they lose to Arizona, it will mark the first time Meyer has lost three straight games since 2010 when his Florida team lost to LSU, Mississippi State and … you guessed it: