The 2021 Dynasty-Fantasy and NFL Impact of New Jacksonville Head Coach Urban Meyer
So, which is it with Urban Meyer in the NFL?
a) Long-time, multiple location, dominant college coach takes his wares to the NFL and falls right into his usual pattern of -- quickly dominates the NFL.
b) College is one thing, but the pro level is a whole different animal…one that can blow you out quickly.
It seems like it’s been a decade, but Meyer has only been out of coaching for two years (2019 and 2020). He hasn’t been gone that long. He was a forgettable college TV analyst for the past two years and after some pro flirtations the past two years, he landed in Jacksonville of all places.
It’s a good spot for Meyer, personally. He would want total control and expectations are low for the Jags (in general, year-to-year) and he has the #1 pick in the draft. Professionally, he hit the jackpot. Financially, he hit the jackpot.
Did Jacksonville hit the jackpot? Depends upon which Meyer they get.
If I were making a case for Urban Meyer, I would primarily point to his unbelievable college success. The guy can’t be a dummy with that track record.
If I were making a case against Urban Meyer, I would claim that Meyer isn’t going to be able to out-recruit and bend rules to game the system to his advantage. Lest we forget, Meyer left Ohio State under pressure – he was almost fired for a cover up/caught lying for one of his assistant coaches who had an ‘off-field incident’ (marital). Meyer got a 3-game suspension for ‘lying’/a part of a cover up (in a sense, my take)…that’s a big deal (the suspension) figuring the amount of weight Meyer can throw around. He left Ohio State not too soon after.
Meyer also left Florida in 2010, after a highly successful six season stint – but he left with some storm clouds (of behind-the-scenes player/recruiting issues) gathering around the program. He left ‘the scene’ just in time, potentially…and it was supposedly for ‘health reasons’ that he was retiring. Health reasons that magically cleared up in 2012, one year removed from Florida, so he could take the Ohio State gig.
There are reasons not to like Urban Meyer, as a person/coach. However, if you’re going to be a dominant college coach and snake your way up the chain from Bowling Green to Utah to Florida to Ohio State, always winning at a high level/rate, making tons of money, and then sitting out to wait for the right opportunity to pounce/cash in on at the pro level – if you’ve done all that, you’ve probably pushed the boundaries to ‘win’ and to personally ‘gain’. It’s not a bunch of choir boys at the top of any profession…unless your profession is youth choir, I digress.
You know who Urban Meyer is/reminds me of? Heisenberg. You know him? A.K.A. Walter White…A.K.A. the main character of the TV Show ‘Breaking Bad’.
Mild mannered, smart, seemingly harmless middle-class man finds his way atop a meth empire, with many murders and crimes committed along the way to the top – he didn’t mean for all the negatives to happen, but it was ‘business’ and self-preservation…and nothing was going to get in the way of the self-fulfillment quest. All the while, he keeps the mild mannered, regular guy with regular guy problems persona as a front to hide from the law in plain sight the entire time. Bottom line…Walter White ‘won’ a lot, and it wasn’t pretty…but he ‘won’ (economically). Urban Meyer has also won a lot in his career. He always wins. He always avoids the authorities. He always leaves the scene in the nick of time.
I watched Urban Meyer’s introductory press conference and some subsequent initial media interviews of him taking over – dull, milquetoast, safe, respectful to the questioner…saying a lot and nothing at all, by choice/by plan.
Bottom line…Urban Meyer ‘wins’. How he does it…that’s another discussion/investigation. Bottom line is…he wins.
Is he going to win in Jacksonville? I assume ‘yes’ because that’s what he does. Urban Meyer wins…and wins right away. There is no ‘Urban Meyer way’ people talk about…there is no “Oh, that’s the Urban Meyer style of offense”…or “You know Urban’s defense is known for that!” Urban gets good players and goes out and beats you…as he takes unorthodox, non-pro quarterbacks (Dwayne Haskins, Cardale Jones, J.T. Barrett, Tim Tebow, among others) and beats you. How? I don’t know. I just know – Urban wins.
You don’t think Urban is going to do whatever it takes to win…even if it crosses a line? Who did he hire for his strength and training coach? A recently disgraced/cancelled strength and conditioning coach formerly for Iowa named Chris Doyle…known as the best strength coach in all the game, and recently fired for accusations of his racism. Did Meyer consider the ramifications of such a hire…or worry about how it might make his staff or organization look? Nope. He hired Doyle because it was a great, beneficial opportunity for Meyer.
I’ll bet Meyer was surprised he got such pressure from the media and that forced Doyle to resign. I’ll bet Meyer is pissed too…you don’t mess with Heisenberg’s desires. Now, Meyer did issue a mild-mannerly statement/apology after Doyle resigned (as is his ‘character’)…and moved on – that was the front for the public. But I’m sure Doyle will be advising in some capacity. You don’t tell Heisenberg, I mean Urban Meyer he can’t do something.
At least, Meyer has his new defensive coordinator Joe Cullen still employed – he of the arrested multiple times in the past for things such as drunk and disorderly (asleep in a car at a drive thru at a fast food place if I remember it correctly)…and for nude driving/drunk (yep). Yes, it was about 15 years ago or so that Cullen lost a coaching job for his off-field problems, was arrested a couple of times, and then rehabbed his way back to the coaching employ. Putting people’s lives in danger with drunk driving can be forgiven, and you can redeem yourself from it (as Cullen has) -- but no one ever thought Cullen would ever be a top coordinator with his background…even though most say he’s the best D-Line coach in football. No one would promote him to a front and center position with his past. Well, he wasn’t hire-able for a top job…until Heisenberg wanted to assemble a staff. Then it all didn’t matter. Urban Meyer doesn’t care what the public thinks, and maybe rightfully so – he only cares about winning, and the body count left behind and the necks stepped on to get to the next level…the price of doing business.
…and he will go out and give the media a nice, friendly, monotoned presser and no one is the wiser.
A cold-blooded assassin (Urban Meyer) is about to enter the pool sharks…and he will be looking at ways to eat all the other sharks, while the public doesn’t even think he’s a shark. I don’t know how it will work out, but I would not cross Urban Meyer and I would not bet against him.
Jacksonville is one of the great, untapped opportunities to win/build a dynasty in all the NFL. Great weather. No state taxes. Friendly media. The perfect place for ‘mild mannered’, successful Urban Meyer to build his empire (by any means necessary) right under everyone’s noses.
My first reaction of Urban’s plans/actions tells me his entire offensive staff is ridiculous (Brian Schottenheimer as a pass game coordinator, really? And Darrell Bevel as O-C?) and that Urban’s eye for talent is off (he still talks about Dwayne Haskins as NFL elite, to this day)…and I question how hard Meyer wants NFL coaching greatness more than the millions of dollars. Is he just taking one more huge payday and letting the assistants run the day-to-day?
But here’s why Urban is probably the Walter White hiding in plain sight here… I mentioned Urban Meyer talking about how great Dwayne Haskins is – I’ve seen/heard him mention it multiple times the past few months back to 2020. Well…
Urban Meyer was hired January 14, 2021.
Dwayne Haskins signed a basic deal with Pittsburgh January 21, 2021.
Why wouldn’t Meyer reach out to and secure Haskins with ease, make him a backup to groom, if he thought he was so great? It would have made all the sense in the world…and I’m sure Haskins would have LOVED to reunite with his former college coach. Nope. Haskins took a deal a week later with Pittsburgh. He would only have taken the Steelers deal if the Jags weren’t interested…if Urban Meyer wasn’t interested (which flies in the face of what Meyer says publicly).
Urban Meyer talks nicely about Haskins to the public but given a chance to sign him for nothing…Meyer wasn’t interested. Why? Probably because Meyer knows Haskins sucks at the pro level and is a mess off the field, but to our faces he praises him without prompting. Urban suckers other teams into wasting their money and payroll. Very devious.
That’s Urban Meyer, to me, in a nutshell – stone cold, cold blooded and always with a poker face…and he always wins.
He’s probably going to be the new cold-blooded Belichick with personnel and general management – only Meyer does his ruthlessness with a smile, a friendly-front, and sweatshirts with full intact sleeves.
Here’s a vision from the future on Meyer when asked who won the Super Bowl in the year 2025: https://youtu.be/OKKSBHlxRdg
Urban Meyer’s impact on Fantasy Football?
It seems to me like Meyer is going to try and be a run heavy offense. Darrell Bevel as his O-C. Run game guy from Seattle (recently), Brian Stettheimer as ‘pass game coordinator’. Run the ball. Play smart. Mobile QB. Just win.
I believe Meyer is going to add a starter running back talent, and completely collapse James Robinson’s value. There’s no way Meyer is going into the 2021 season with James Robinson as his workhorse back. No way.
Trevor Lawrence is not as good as people are making him out to be, but with Meyer it might not be so bad for FF because Meyer’s QBs typically ruin the ball a lot and Lawrence is a bit of a runner at heart. Not Lamar Jackson style, but more Carson Wentz or Alex Smith style…as needed, at opportune times. Read option, heavy run game, mobile-ish QBs.
I also would not be shocked if Meyer traded out of the #1 pick for a massive deal…in part, because he sees the Lawrence issue.
Impact on the WRs and TEs for Fantasy? I suspect Meyer is going to want to replace everything and everybody with ‘his guys’…but we’ll have to see what that means ahead. Jacksonville has a ton of CAP space and great draft picks – Meyer can really overhaul this team as much as he wants the next 60 days. We’ll just have to see what route he takes – does he buy offensive weapons (RB-WR-TE) or drafts them…or both?
Meyer is loyal to no one…only loyal to what benefits him in the moment. Who those ‘winners’ for FF will be with Meyer…too hard to say today. The ‘winners’ are not likely on the team this moment. I am interested in the Jags lead RB for 2021 for fantasy…but I don’t think any of us knows who that is today.
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