Urban Meyer has never coached at any level in the NFL, spending his entire 31-year coaching career in college with an extremely high level of success. Meyer, who holds the third-highest winning percentage in FBS history, will have to adjust to losing in the NFL — the biggest difference between the pros and college.
As for the game itself? Meyer doesn’t see much of a difference between college and professional football, one of the reasons why the Jacksonville Jaguars were an intriguing job. The game has changed — and so has Meyer.
“Well, from Florida to Ohio State, I changed dramatically. Like a lot of former players from Bowling Green to Utah, I mean, the times are changing,” Meyer said on the differences between college football and the NFL. “College football is different, you know that, I mean, the days of coaching the way you did back when I was at Bowling Green or when I was an assistant coach. I mean, the whole country has changed, everything’s changed. And so you have to adapt, and those who adapt have success, those who don’t, fail.”
Failure will be something Meyer will have to get accustomed to — Meyer has lost just 32 games as a head coach in his 17 seasons as a head coach from 2001 to 2017. The Jaguars have lost 36 games over the past three seasons and have just one winning season since 2017.
Getting Jacksonville into the conversation as a prominent NFL franchise is what intrigued Meyer to give the NFL a shot. That’s the next challenge in Meyer’s career, one he’s ready for as the three-time national champion head coach looks to bring the Jaguars their first Super Bowl title.
“You’re in a league that is designed to be .500,” Meyer said. “You’re talking about coach [Bill] Belichick, one of my great friends, a person I’ve always admired. He’s the best of all time and you’re talking about a .686 winning percentage. You’re talking about the league is built to be .500. So that’s the biggest challenge, is looking across the field and saying they’ve got what you’ve got, or sometimes they’ve got more than you’ve got.”
“I’ve certainly have my failures along the journey, but for the most part, I can’t wait. That’s the part of the game that I love, is to be able to adapt to the NFL player and we’ve had no shortage of them the last 12 years, or whatever it’s been, but it is. Talking about grown men, you’re talking about — this is a business, you have a job to do.
“However, between the white lines, I don’t see a lot of difference. I’ve studied the NFL game now for really years, but really studied it for the first time in my life [over] the last six months.”