Sports

Jaguars don’t have an actual plan, so opt for patting fans on head with Urban Meyer hire

He has ... no idea ... what’s in store here.

He has … no idea … what’s in store here.
Image: Getty Images

Lots of NFL teams become a joke year after year. Hell, I’m from Chicago and a fan of one of the bigger ones. But only one has risen to the level of a recurring one on a beloved, network sitcom. It’s the most memorable thing about the Jacksonville Jaguars.

That’s probably what Shahid Khan was trying to correct, and yet somehow dove even deeper into, by hiring Urban Meyer as the next head coach of the Jags. There’s nothing about Meyer that suggested he was the best — or even an acceptable — candidate for an NFL head coaching job, other than a lot of people in northern Florida will remember him from such episodes as “the highly successful coach of the Florida Gators.” This is lowest common denominator stuff, appealing to the basest of the base of the fanbase.

Quite simply, going from college to the pros doesn’t work. Nick Saban couldn’t do it. Steve Spurrier couldn’t do it. Pete Carroll did, but he had been a coach in the pros before he went to USC. Meyer’s hardass bullshit that worked with children simply because they had no choice isn’t going to fly with actual professionals with (legitimate) paychecks who can eventually move on to somewhere else of their own volition.

Secondly, the Jags are going to get Trevor Lawrence, the most exciting QB prospect in some time. But there’s nothing about Meyer’s track record that suggests he has any idea how to develop a professional quarterback. The only one who’s had any success in the pros after being under Meyer’s tutelage is Alex Smith, who was also a No. 1 overall pick, yet he didn’t find it until he’d been on the job for years. The Jaguars do not want to have to wait five years for Lawrence to be serviceable. Also, Lawrence will have the leverage to get Meyer fired, which Meyer has never had to deal with before, as all college coaches live in their unchallenged fiefdoms.

Compounding that is the buzz that Meyer will hire Scott Linehan as offensive coordinator, and Linehan has spent most of this century proving that it’s a minor miracle he can tie his shoes. Lawrence must be thinking more seriously about pulling an Eli Manning by the hour.

About the only thing Meyer has proven he can do at a NFL level is dismiss or cover up domestic abuse under his watch.

While Meyer earned the right, thanks to his successes at Utah, Florida and Ohio State, he could throw open the doors and welcome the country’s best recruits. He will not have anything resembling that talent advantage in Jacksonville. This is generally the biggest reason college coaches cough up a hairball in the pros.

This is a hire to grab headlines and placate whatever percentage of Jaguars fans yell “Chomp Chomp!” on Saturdays, which one can only assume is most of them (whether that’s because they’re Gators fans or just are yelling that incoherently, I can’t tell you). It’s meant to be a splash, or make some sort of statement, but the only statement it makes is that the Jaguars are being even more Jaguarsian than they were with Blake flipping Bortles.


Anyway, I haven’t been positive enough in this as much as I’d like, so let’s try to fix that. More NHL teams kicked off their season last night, and it was highlighted by King of Suck Balls Mountain Tony DeAngelo once again getting clowned, this time by the Islanders’ Mathew Barzal in a 4-0 Islanders ass-waxing of the Rangers.

You can actually see DeAngelo’s brain go into vapor lock during this, which admittedly is probably not that big of a task, given its pea-size. He just waves his stick in a vague fashion as Barzal is turning him into paste, like he’s trying to remember what it is he does in this situation, akin to a sophomore trying to remember his lines in the spring play. Not only does DeAngelo suck at life, but he sucks at his job, which kind of makes his whole existence just a waste of everyone’s time, and yet excellent television. Which is affirming. There is hope out there, people. You just have to look for it.

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