Will Urban Meyer, one of the most successful coaches in college football history, make a jump in the NFL?
This is a hot topic heading into “Black Monday”, the day after Week 17 of the NFL season when a handful of coaches are usually fired. Meyer, who retired as a coach at Ohio State after a college football season of 2018 with a career record of 187-32, spent the 2019 season at Fox Studios as an analyst. The last time Meyer took a year off, he was preparing for college.
Could this happen to him in a move in the NFL? If this is the case, then three groups seem to make the most sense to consider whether jobs are available. The Redskins already have a vacancy and the Cowboys and Browns may not be far behind.
Which of these teams would be the best option for Meyer if he decides to make the move?
Urban Meyer to the Cowboys
The Cowboys are built to win now, assuming they lock Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper with contract extensions. They have enough talent to make the playoffs in a terrific season (which could happen next week), and Meyer would lead a locker room around star running back Ezekiel Elliott.
Urban Meyer and Ezekiel Elliotthttps: //images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/d3/d3/meyer-elliott-122319-getty-ftrjpg_8k86jlfy9det1etqv9qv472kg.jpg? T = 870874223 & w = 500 & quality = 80
Jerry Jones’ top Cowboys coaches were over-successful college coaches, and Meyer is in the same form as Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer. It is a relationship that may not last more than five years. It cannot last more than three years. But there is this shot at the Super Bowl right now and it is a worthwhile opportunity given that the Cowboys have the 11th best record in the NFL since 2010.
Of the 10 teams ahead of Dallas, only Kansas City was not in the Super Bowl in that stretch. Meyer could be the voice that helps the Cowboys get to the top.
Wasn’t Bill Parcells supposed to be this voice? Or Gareth?
Meyer would still have to work with Jones and that would cause an overflow of drama. Meyer had several of these at the college level and the long-running Cowboys personality conflict would be monitored on a weekly basis.
Is 55-year-old Meyer, who has been dealing with health issues in Florida and the State of Ohio, ready for it again? The focus of Dallas is bigger than that in Gainesville, Florida or Columbus, Ohio.
Of the three jobs, this comes with the biggest pressure to win right away.
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Because Dallas’ job is better than going back to college
Urban Meyer at Browns
Meyer grew up in Ashtabula, Ohio. He played college football in Cincinnati and won a national championship with the Buckeyes. If Meyer took on a team desperately in need of the right coach and took the Browns to the AFC playoffs, then it would be side by side with Ohio native Paul Brown in many coaching discussions.
Cleveland has enough talent to make a Super Bowl run in that window and the Browns have the largest space between the three teams. The list still holds Baker Mayfield and Myles Garrett on the lead, and Meyer has had success managing the ego on extremely talented runners in Florida and Ohio. The NFL is a different game, but Cleveland is so hungry for success.
Meyer would galvanize the large cross-section of the fan base for the Buckeyes. If anyone can edit the “Cleveland vs. the World” angle, it’s Meyer. That would play well inside the AFC North.
Urban Meyer at Clevelandhttps: //images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/43/11/urban-meyer-122319-getty-ftrjpg_1hu3jwtdv73oo1o15i6arpq77j.jpg? T = 871227015 & w = 500 & quality = 80
Yes, the Browns try this approach with Freddie Kitchens and so you see the results.
The Cleveland-against-the-world thing doesn’t work when the team can’t get out of its own way. This franchise has been doing this since 1999. The Browns are running from top to bottom, and this is one of the NFL’s most unruly teams.
How will Meyer define it? How could Meyer, a notorious controller, handle a roster that includes Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr.? These are two personalities that are much bigger than the old coaching college.
Meyer’s inexperience in the NFL could also be exposed here. He would have to weigh whether this is worth the risk given his success in the State of Ohio. Ron Rivera, who was fired by the Panthers this season and has a Super Bowl experience, would have a better lease for Cleveland.
Falling down what needs to change in Cleveland
Urban Meyer at the Redskins
Meyer will have the opportunity to continue working with franchise coach Dwayne Haskins, who has shown improvements in stretching for a team that is falling this season again. Terry McLaurin, another standout rookie from the state of Ohio, is one of the all-time favorite Buckeyes.
In Washington, Meyer would not face the pressure to win immediately as he would in Dallas. It will not face the burden of changing the course of the city of Cleveland. Any success or failure in Washington would come at a low cost to Meyer’s legacy. Steve Spurrier Fails in D.C. after two seasons, but went on to coach in South Carolina later.
Dwayne Haskins and Urban Meyerhttps: //images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/bd/32/haskins-meyer-122319-getty-ftrjpg_1x52co4rxz31v18lmnhpbg7ohe.jpg? T = 871630671 & w = 500 & quality = 80
If Meyer had to take this job, he could also be able to land Chase Young with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. This is another Beltway Buckeye that the home crowd will love.
The Ohio State Redskins may have the opportunity to be an NFC wild-card team.
Meyer would work for a franchise that has sifted seven coaches and two interim coaches since Dan Snyder took over in 1999. That includes big NFL names (Marty Schottenheimer, Mike Shanahan), big names Redskins (Joe Gibbs) and Spurrier. Washington has literally tried everything and none of it has worked.
Spurrier tried to win in Washington with former Florida players, and the plan failed to have a 12-20 record after two seasons. Meyer cannot be treated with as much patience by the Redskins as he would by the Cowboys or Browns who gave Washington history. The Redskins also have the minimum amount of capitalization of the three categories in 2020.
Where should Urban Meyer go?
Cross Washington off the list first. Except for the ties with Haskins, it’s not the right one for Meyer. It would be better to stay in the Fox studio.
The other two jobs are much more interesting.
It really comes down to Dallas (the best application) and Cleveland (the emotional application). Of those two, the Cowboys do the best job for Meyer. Jones made it work with old college coaches, and his organization has shown he can get closer to a Super Bowl than Cleveland. At this point, the Browns would be happy with the win.
This emotional factor dragged Meyer back to Columbus, but could Cleveland pull him back for a much more difficult job? The Browns can take an interesting step, but it would not be better than what the Cowboys have if Jones wants Meyer.
Here’s the big difference: The Cowboys haven’t won a Super Bowl since 1995. The Browns have won their last playoff game since last season. Does Meyer want to break a playoff playoff drought in Cleveland or a Super Bowl drought in Dallas?
Those who followed his college career know that Cleveland may look like Plan A. But the big answer is Big D.