Urban Meyer is taking losing hard four games into his NFL tenure, and the Jaguars should already be considering these candidates to replace him.
When the Jacksonville Jaguars hired Urban Meyer as their new head coach, apparently with one other team also interested in him, it was easy to question how long he’d last. Over a successful run as a college coach, he is simply not used to losing and the Jaguars were 1-15 last year. A rebuild is not going to be one or two-year process, even with No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence as a solid starting point.
The Jaguars simply couldn’t stop the Cincinnati Bengals in the second half Thursday night, surrendering a 14-0 halftime lead in a 24-21 loss. A decision to go for it on fourth down unsuccessfuly as the end of the first half came, instead of taking a field goal, loomed large in hindsight.
After the game, Meyer’s had some pointed words.
“It’s devastating, heartbreaking,” Meyer told reporters after the game. “Usually I’m not wrong about stuff like that that I just see a good team in there. I see good guys, good hearts. I see guys at work and I told them I’m not wrong about that stuff. This team is going to win some games.”
“It’s heartbreaking. That’s a heartbroken locker room, so we’ve got to get them back,” Meyer said.
Meyer rarely lost four games in a season at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and Ohio State. The Jaguars are of course now 0-4, with the first four-game losing streak of Meyer’s career as a head coach.
Meyer is more likely to walk away one year in then be fired by the Jaguars, with a major college job that he’s been tied to open (USC) and another school possibly willing to consider him when they inevitably relieve their coach of his duties. Health concerns that led to him leaving coaching twice before also loom as a factor.
The Jaguars should already be considering what they’d do to replace Meyer. These three candidates make sense.
3 candidates the Jaguars should already be considering to replace Urban Meyer
3. Brian Daboll, Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator
The progress Josh Allen has made is a feather in the cap for Daboll, now in his fourth season as Bills’ offensive coordinator. He will inevitably be a head coach soon, with a long resume prior to Buffalo as an offensive assistant ranging from a tight ends coach to quarterbacks coach and a coordinator.
The No. 1 priority in Jacksonville is the development of Lawrence into the star he has been anointed to be. Daboll has shown he can work with a raw young quarterback and make him into an MVP candidate. The Jaguars should already be eyeing Daboll to replace Meyer if it comes to that. The bigger question will be where they’d fit among the other opportunuities he’ll have in front of him at season’s end.