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Rival Views: Will Urban Meyer turn the Jaguars into a contender?

Urban Meyer
Urban Meyer (AP Images) National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney don’t always see eye to eye. In this edition of Rival Views, the two debate whether Urban Meyer can regularly take the Jacksonville Jaguars to the playoffs and maybe even the Super Bowl.


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Meyer has been a head coach for 17 seasons at four different schools and he’s never had a losing year, not at Bowling Green, or Utah, or Florida or Ohio State. He’s never really even come close to a losing season and that means two things to me: Meyer is a winner and he’s smart enough to only get into situations where winning is possible.

In Jacksonville’s last 13 seasons, the Jaguars have had only one winning campaign and that looks pitiful. The team was 1-15 this season which is downright abysmal and embarrassing. Meyer is truly starting from the ground floor and needs to work his way up.

This might sound like pie-in-the-sky optimism but there is young talent on the team in RB James Robinson, a bunch of skilled wide receivers and a defense led by linebackers Joe Schobert and Myles Jack who at least form a nucleus. Meyer and the new front office will take care of the rest.

Jacksonville will draft Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 pick. Meyer is too smart to take a risk on Justin Fields or Zach Wilson with that pick plus Lawrence, being from Cartersville, Ga., and playing at Clemson, could spark interest in an understandably melancholy fan base. There is your franchise quarterback.

Meyer is a phenomenal coach and far better than Doug Marrone or Gus Bradley, the two previous Jacksonville coaches. He is a brilliant tactician and there is young talent to work with and Meyer wouldn’t have taken this job if he didn’t think he could win fairly quickly.

Jacksonville won under Tom Coughlin. Those heights - and even more - will be reached under Meyer, one of the best to ever do it.


I simply don’t think Urban Meyer will last long enough to become a regular playoff team in Jacksonville. Trevor Lawrence is the prize of the century and the Jaguars have some young talent on the team but it’s going to take years to build out that roster even with the draft picks and cap space that the franchise has right now.

And all of this is without knowing whether or not Meyer can hack the NFL. There is no recruiting, no massive talent advantage like he had at Florida and Ohio State and the demands of the job are not a good mix with his health. Meyer will bring the Jags along a bit and might make the playoffs once but to be a regular he will likely have to hand things off to another coach who will reap the benefits of a great roster he will build.