Paul Finebaum describes the greatest challenge for Urban Meyer in the NFL
It seems imminent. Urban Meyer, more than likely, will be the next head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, taking his first head coaching job in the NFL.
News surfaced on Thursday morning that the two parties were closing in on a deal and later, photos surfaced of Meyer getting off a plane in Jacksonville. There’s a good chance that Meyer ends his retirement after two years to step back onto the sideline.
The NFL is going to be quite different for Meyer, though, who has never coached in the league before. While he’s been incredibly successful at the college level — winning three national championships and never having a losing season in 17 years as a head coach — there’s some skepticism about whether his style will translate to the professional ranks or not.
On Thursday, SEC Network host Paul Finebaum joined SportsCenter to discuss the potential hire. He believes that there’s one significant challenge facing Meyer if he coaches in the NFL.
“I think dealing with defeat,” Finebaum said. “Urban Meyer has lost very few times in his career, and each loss, it nearly killed him — I mean that literally. He left Florida and he left Ohio State because of health issues, because he takes it so hard. All coaches do, but he elevated that to a level we have not seen. So if he can deal with that — and the NFL’s a very difficult situation where sometimes going 9-7 is considered good enough — Urban Meyer has to deal with that. It’s not life or death if you lose the game as long as you can get to the playoffs.
“So ultimately, I think that’s the real task. But don’t forget this — in the last 20 years, outside of Nick Saban, Urban Meyer is the best coach in college football. He was absolutely unbelievable and I think that can translate over to the NFL, if he has the right staff and the right complements of players — which I think he will, this year, because of the draft.”
Meyer, 56, is 187-32 as a head coach with stops at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and Ohio State. He’s won three national titles, three B1G crowns, two SEC titles and a pair of Mountain West championships.
But in the NFL, with a more level playing field, there’s a chance that losing games eats away at Meyer. At least according to Finebaum.