The Jacksonville Jaguars have officially announced Urban Meyer's coaching staff for the 2021 season.
Meyer, who was named head coach on Jan. 14, had not formally announced any assistant coach hires up until Thursday, but the wait is now over. Meyer emphasized the importance of hiring a strong staff during his first press conference with the Jaguars.
"First of all, I’ve got to get a great staff, not a good staff, a great staff. And when people are recommended, I’ve had a multitude of people calling and my comment is to save the recommendation unless you feel that person is elite in all areas," Meyer said at his introductory press conference on Jan. 15. "Because that’s what Jacksonville deserves and that’s what we’re going to have on our staff."
Meyer's coordinators will be Darrell Bevell (offense), Joe Cullen (defense), and Brian Schneider (special teams). The full list of assistants who will be joining Meyer in the NFL includes over two dozen names. The list is as follows, per the Jaguars:
Bevell most recently was the offensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions during the last two seasons of the Matt Patricia regime. He stepped in as interim head coach following Patricia's firing. Detroit finished 20th in points per game in 2020 and 18th in 2019, but Matthew Stafford found success under Bevell.
Before then, Bevell served as the offensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks for seven seasons (2011-2017), where he helped the Seahawks reach two Super Bowls and win one. Bevell served as a key piece of Russell Wilson's early development before the Seahawks fired him following the 2017 season.
Cullen will be a first-time NFL coordinator in 2021. He has spent the last five years as Baltimore's defensive line coach. During that time, the Ravens never finished lower than 9th in total defensive DVOA. Cullen previously served as a defensive line coach for Tampa Bay, Cleveland, and even Jacksonville from 2010-2012.
Cullen will be tasked with turning around a defense that finished 31st in many major key statistical areas, such as points per game, defensive DVOA, and pass defense DVOA.
Schneider is another former Seahawks assistant joining Meyer. The former Seattle special teams coordinator had been with the Seahawks since Pete Carroll first arrived in Seattle in 2010.
Passing game coordinator Brian Schottenheimer joins the Jaguars after three years as Seattle's offensive coordinator. Seattle finished in the top-nine of scoring in each of Bevell's three seasons, but he and the Seahawks parted ways following 2020 due to what the team described as "philosophical differences".
Offensive line coach George Warhop is a longtime offensive line coach who was first brought to Jacksonville by former head coach Doug Marrone in 2019. He has now been retained by Meyer and will return for his third season in 2021.
Wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal will replace Keenan McCardell and oversee a position group that features DJ Chark, Laviska Shenault, and Collin Johnson. He was a senior offensive assistant with the Seahawks in 2020. Lal has been a wide receivers coach in the NFL since 2009, including with the Dallas Cowboys (2018-19).
Tight ends coach Tyler Bowen will join Meyer's staff after becoming a rising star in the college ranks. He was Penn State's Co-offensive coordinator, offensive recruiting coordinator & tight ends coach in 2020 after serving as tight ends coach from 2018-2019. He called plays for Penn State in the 2019 Cotton Bowl, a game in which they set a school record for points scored in a bowl game.
Running backs coach Bernie Parmalee joins the Jaguars after three years in Atlanta (2018-2020) as running backs coach. Before then, he coached in the same role for the Raiders from 2015-2017. He will now be the leader for a running back room that will be returning James Robinson, one of the NFL's most productive rushers from 2020.
Defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi has spent his last two years in the NFL. He was the Browns' defensive line coach in 2019, a year in which they finished with 38 sacks and were 12th in the NFL in pressure percentage. Last year, Lupoi was the defensive line coach and run game coordinator for the Falcons. The Falcons finished 23rd in the NFL in sacks with 29 and were ranked No. 14 in pressure percentage.
Outside linebackers coach Zach Orr is a former Ravens linebacker who was forced to retire due to a congenital neck/spine condition. He has been an assistant coach with the Ravens for the last three seasons.
Inside linebackers coach and assistant head coach Charlie Strong was a linebackers coach and defensive coordinator for Meyer's Florida Gators teams and will now join Meyer in Jacksonville. He was a defensive analyst with the Alabama Crimson Tide last season after three years as USF's head coach.
Defensive backs/safeties coach Chris Ash is another former Meyer college assistant set to be on the staff. Ash was a defensive analyst for the Longhorns in 2019 before stepping into the coordinator role in 2020. He has previously coached for Meyer as Ohio State's co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach from 2014-2015.
Nickel coach Joe Danna and cornerbacks coach Tim Walton are both holdovers from the last Jaguars coaching staff and will share responsibilities with Ash in the secondary.
Meyer also made several non-coaching hires, including Chief of Staff Fernando Lovo. Among those hires is a particularly controversial one: new Jaguars Director of Sports Performance Chris Doyle, the former strength and conditioning coach who Iowa cut ties with in June 2020 following allegations from several former players of racism and mistreatment.
"There are too many racial disparities in the Iowa football program. Black players have been treated unfairly for far too long," former Iowa offensive lineman James Daniels tweeted last June.
"Coach Doyle is the problem in that building. And so is Brian ferentz. Things won’t progress until those two fix themselves. They know they’re a problem. KF isn’t. I respect coach ferentz wholeheartedly. It’s the other in the building," former Iowa defensive lineman Jaleel Johnson replied.
According to the Jaguars, Doyle will assist the Jaguars strength and conditioning and athletic training programs.
The Jaguars will also have several other assistants on their staff that are new to Jacksonville, including senior defensive assistant Bob Sutton. Sutton served as Kansas City's defensive coordinator under Andy Reid for six years and was the New York Jets' defensive coordinator for three years before then.
The hiring of Sutton, as well as distinctions on inside and outside linebackers coaches, suggests the Jaguars will be moving to a 3-4 defensive scheme. The Jaguars have run the same variation of a 4-3 defense since 2013, but most of their defensive assistants have experience running other types of schemes.
Meyer, Bevell, Cullen, Strong, and Schneider will all be made available to speak later on Thursday.