Urban Meyer is having a rough start in the NFL
By: Jacob Keppen
Every year there is almost an obsession by football fans to fire coaches at the first sign of trouble. As with rookies, there is no leeway for coaches nowadays. Rookies are expected to produce results immediately despite typically going to rebuilding teams. Most of the speculation should be disregarded as fan and media talking points… but not Urban Meyer.
A team simply starting bad usually isn’t enough to get a first-year coach fired. Hue Jackson only won one game in his first two seasons with the Browns. Losing games AND the locker room can get a coach fired.
If someone was to write a book on how to not start a tenure as an NFL coach, they’d better get an interview from Urban Meyer. Even before he came to Jacksonville, Urban carried heavy baggage with him. This is the man who left two top college programs surrounded by controversy, and it’s looking like he might do the same in Jacksonville. Meyer was fined in July for violating practice rules. He brought in former Iowa strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle, a man who basically lost his job due to accusations of racism and bullying, for a day before backlash caused him to resign. This was one of Urban Meyer’s first moves in the NFL!
After losing a tough game to the Cincinnati Bengals in early October, Urban Meyer decided not to travel back with the team (something every NFL Head Coach does unless they are basically sick) and instead went to his own bar and danced with a woman who was not his wife. It created a lot of bad attention, controversy, and he appears to be losing the locker room for Meyer. Oh by the way, the Jaguars are 1-6 after a 31-7 loss to the Geno Smith-led Seahawks. For a move that looked bad to many on arrival, Meyer’s short term as head coach might not last into next season.
Oh how the mighty have fallen.
Just three seasons ago Matt Nagy was the hottest coach in the NFL. In 2018, the former Chiefs offensive coordinator took the league by storm, turning the 5-11 Chicago Bears into a rising 12-4 team (Khalil Mack helped too but let’s just forget about that.)
In just his rookie season Matt Nagy was named Coach of the Year. Of course, the Bears couldn’t get anything going against the 9-7 Eagles with Nick Foles, double doinking out of the Wild Card game despite being touted as a Super Bowl contender, but who cared! They were young, had their quarterback in Mitch Trubisky, and had an elite coach in Nagy.
Fast forward to 2021 and we now know Mitch Trubisky wasn’t the guy in Chicago and the questions about whether Nagy is the guy are rising in volume by the week.
After their 12-4 finish in 2018, the Bears followed up with two mediocre 8-8 seasons. The Bears play has been uninspiring, reaching peak levels of lethargy this year. It seems Nagy doesn’t quite know how to play call for a dynamic running threat at quarterback. For Justin Fields’ sake and for the fans’ sake, it might be time for Chicago to be searching for a new innovative mind at head coach.
Mike Zimmer may not be the worst coach in the league and he hasn’t been the controversial disaster that has been Urban Meyer’s tenure, nor have the Vikings been one of the worst teams in football such as the Detroit Lions or Houston Texans. Zimmer most likely will get another job in the league, but it just appears that a divorce is needed for both sides in Minnesota.
The Vikings possibly were just handed the biggest blow of the Zimmer era. In a game that they should’ve won against the Cowboys, with Dak Prescott out and backup Cooper Rush starting, the Vikings had a real chance to beat a top team in the NFL. Despite having a plethora of weapons against a defense that can still give up the big play, the Vikings were the same boring conservative team you’ve come to expect. Instead of featuring Adam Theilen and Justin Jefferson, you get throws before the sticks and C.J. Ham. Dak Prescott’s out, IT DOESN’T MATTER! Cooper Rush, a man who’s only completed one pass in his NFL career, is going to torch the defense for over 300 yards!
Despite Zimmer saying that the Vikings had “A lot of film” on Cooper Rush, players are saying that they were prepared for Dak Prescott and his offense all week. That’s just plain bad, but fitting for the man who attempted to call two timeouts in a row. The Vikings fans deserve better than what they are getting right now. This is a team with two pro bowl worthy wide receivers, and an All-Pro caliber running back. This team should not be the football version of melatonin. Something has to change in Minnesota.