Urban Meyer to Migrate down to Jacksonville? What that Means for the Jaguars By Ryan Kelsey
Image Via Zimbio.com
After a needless to say disappointing 2020 season in which the Jacksonville Jaguars will finish in last place of the AFC South, there are franchise alternating changes expected to come after the conclusion of Week 17. Not only do the Jaguars already have the first pick of the 2021 NFL Draft locked in, but over the weekend Ian Rapoport reported that the Jags are set to fire head coach Doug Marrone after the team came away with just one win entering the season finale against the Indianapolis Colts.
Prior to being named the head coach of the Jaguars, Marrone spent two seasons as the head coach for the Buffalo Bills and had a total record of 15 wins and 17 losses before migrating south to Florida. In 2017 Marrone led the Jags to the AFC South title with a record of 10-6 which was also good enough for the team to make the playoffs and advance all the way to the AFC Championship game before falling short to the New England Patriots 24-20. However since that season, the Jags have been declining the past three years years as the team won 5, 6, and now just 1 game respectively. Last year Marrone caught a break as the team was riding high on quarterback Gardner Minshew II, and the “Minshew Mania” that the media and fans fed into, but after the hype train came to a sudden crash, the team is ready to move onto a different direction with not only their quarterback, but with a new head coach as well.
Throughout this very long season for Jag fans, analysts and fans have made the assumption that the team would be considering drafting a quarterback in this year's upcoming NFL Draft. The two highly sought out quarterbacks for this year's draft are no other than Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, and Ohio State’s Justin Fields. Many pundits have predicted that t NCAA National Champion, Lawrence will be selected by Jags and be the “chosen one” to lead the team back to the playoffs. Now, after Ian Rapoport announced that Marrone and Jacksonville are set to break up, Justin Fields might be the man instead.
The major reason why Jacksonville may shock the NFL and fans by selecting Ohio State standout, Justin Fields over Lawrence is because of who Jacksonville is eyeing as their next head coach; former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer. Meyer, who is well known for being the former head coach for both the Florida Gators and Ohio State, has had a great deal of success as a coach as he has 187 wins on his resume and just 32 losses. Meyer is also a three-time National Championship winning coach (2006, 2008, and 2014), and was even named Sports Illustrated Coach of the Decade in 2009.
Meyer, who last coached at Ohio State, retired after the 2018 season due to health reasons, could be the man that Jacksonville will give the keys to considering the fact that not only does the team have two-first round picks in this years draft, but also has an expected $83.99 million dollars in cap space in 2021 that the team can use to sign free agents. If Urban Meyer does not accept the coaching job for the Jags and decides to continue his current broadcasting career at FOX Sports, Jacksonville is also reportedly considering current Ohio State coach, Ryan Day.
Although Urban Meyer never had the chance to coach Justin Fields, Meyer has praised Fields not just in terms of his playing style, but also his personality and leadership skills. On the other hand, Day has obviously coached Fields so the connection to the Ohio State program between Fields and both head coach candidates could be something that is worth keeping an eye on as the Jags wrap up their season, and Draft Day gets closer. For now though, we just have to sit tight and enjoy the ride.
PHOTO CREDIT: https://www.instagram.com/justnfields/