Can Urban Meyer Succeed in the NFL?

In this weekend's Hot Clicks: The dance and rumors with Urban Meyer is finally over, but will he be successful in the NFL?
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Urban’s Shot

Butch Davis wasn’t leaving Miami, proclaimed Butch Davis several times during and after the Hurricanes’ 2000 season. He wasn’t leaving Miami for Alabama, who fired Mike DuBose after four seasons, nor was he leaving for the Houston Texans, an expansion team seeking their first-ever coach, or the Cleveland Browns, who won five games in two seasons under Chris Palmer.

Davis on Nov. 29, 2000: "I took this job [as Miami's coach] with the idea that this would be the last coaching job that I take.”

Dec. 30: “Don't [the Browns] have a coach? I'm happy in South Florida. My family loves it there. I plan to coach at Miami for a long time."

Dec. 31: "If I leave now, that makes me a deadbeat dad, because this is my family. I want to finish my career right here at Miami."

Jan. 2, 2001: “I have no desire whatsoever for the Browns to contact me.”

Jan. 20: "I will have a new contract, and I will be the coach at Miami next year.”

Davis was introduced as Cleveland Browns’ head coach on Jan. 30.

Butch Davis wasn’t the first coach to, at best, mislead and, at worst, deliberately lie about his career intentions, and he won’t be the last. Roy Williams did it 18 years ago, Bill O’Brien seven years ago, and Urban Meyer has done it several times over the last decade. In the case of Urban Meyer, at least he wasn’t misleading and/or lying to current players this time. However, given his delicate relationship with the truth throughout his career, the lying still matters and it’s hard to believe any promise or intention from his mouth.

Undoubtedly, Meyer and everyone else is allowed to mislead and/or lie about their career intentions, and his first-ever foray into professional football will be a fascinating experiment for our entertainment purposes. Still, it gets old. In the case of Meyer, a habitual liar who criticizes other liars, it gets really old.

Since 2000, 11 coaches have gone directly from college football to the NFL. And while Meyer had a two-year hiatus after a domestic abuse cover-up forced him out at Ohio State, for all intents and purposes, he’ll be the 12th. Of the previous 11, only three have posted records above .500 with that NFL team: Bill O’Brien (52–48), Chip Kelly (26–21), and Jim Harbaugh (44-19-1). Combined, the coaches are 216-237-2 (.477), and only one coached at least 65 games with that team (O’Brien).

“Meyer is ready for the challenge of the NFL, because he knows what the challenge is,” Albert Breer wrote last week. “...[F]rankly, it’s exactly what the Jaguars need. Jacksonville isn’t an offensive guru away from winning. The organization needs a top-to-bottom housecleaning, the way Buffalo did when Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane arrived in 2017. That means eradicating what one long-time team employee called a '9-to-5 culture' in the building and, really, that can be done only by taking the thing down to the studs, like McDermott and Beane did.”

Jordan McNair

Thirty-two months after Jordan McNair collapsed on the Maryland football practice field, his family reached a $3.5 million settlement with the University of Maryland.

McNair’s death on June 13, 2018 led to an investigation that revealed a toxic culture of intimidation by then-head coach D.J. Durkin. The culture contributed to the training staff’s treatment of McNair, who didn’t receive emergency medical care for an hour after collapsing.

“The reported incidents of extreme verbal abuse, using food punitively and commonly belittling and humiliating players prompted two lengthy external investigations into Maryland's football program,” wrote ESPN’s Heather Dinich, who reported the settlement details on Friday. "The findings concluded that members of Maryland's athletic training staff failed to quickly diagnose and properly treat McNair's heatstroke symptoms, and ultimately resulted in the firing of Durkin, who was hired last January as an assistant coach by Lane Kiffin at Ole Miss.”

Odds & Ends

Most popular NFL bets for this weekend … Brian Daboll is a favorite for the Chargers’ job … Andrew Brandt wrote a fantastic article on changing the model for GM candidates … The NFL rescinded Josh Gordon’s conditional reinstatement … Ralph Lauren dropped Justin Thomas after his anti-LGBTQ slur last week in Hawaii ... NBA Expansion: Largest markets without an NBA team … Cordarrelle Patterson is lobbying Deshaun Watson to Chicago … This is unbelievable … Career playoff experience on active rosters of Divisional Round teams.

Tacko From Deep!

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