Urban Meyer said there’s “no chance” he’s leaving the Jacksonville Jaguars for the recently available Southern Cal head coaching job, adding he’s “here and committed to trying to build an organization.”
Urban Meyer not leaving for USC
Meyer’s name, remarkably, became linked to the USC opening in the hours since the Trojans fired Clay Helton two games into the season. But Meyer is just one game into his NFL career — a 37-21 loss to the Houston Texans. There would be no precedence we can think of in which an NFL coach bolted for college that quickly into his tenure.
“I was warned many, many, many times, it’s a journey, it’s not a sprint,” Meyer said of his rough start to his time with the Jaguars. “We’re healthy. Our attitudes are good. We have good players and we’re building something.”
On the surface, it’s patently absurd that reporters even had to ask Meyer about the opening. He was fine sitting out of football for two years, waiting for the right opportunity.
Here’s #Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer being asked about the USC job.
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) September 15, 2021
The Jaguars, with the ability to draft Trevor Lawrence as their quarterback, was that opportunity for Meyer. The terms of the contract he signed with Jacksonville are unknown, but they are believed to be quite generous (likely eight figures annually).
Meyer has not yet adjusted well in his short NFL tenure
Still, Meyer has been a bit of a fish out of water in his first eight months on the job — complaining about free agency, accidentally admitting to using a player’s vaccination status when deciding cuts, and just generally looking in pain on the sidelines.
The Jaguars’ performance surely has played a role in that. This is a talent-bereft roster and one of the best players they did have — first-round running back Travis Etienne — is out for the year with a foot injury.
“Like every team, I don’t want to ever fall into the trap and say, ‘this is a four-year plan, three-year plan,’” Meyer said. “That’s not fair to players. This is a one-game plan, and then we’ll worry about the next game. There are some guys who have a played a lot of football in that locker room and they deserve our best.. Other than a bruised soul that we have right now, we’re still swinging away.”
Nonetheless, until he finds success, Meyer’s name will pop up in speculation for the biggest college football jobs. He’s a three-time national champion and has been a transformational influence on every program he’s worked for.