Yes, we know. College coaches don't normally transition well to the professional game. There haven't been many successful coaches who have gone from the quote-unquote, wink-wink amateur ranks of the game to the professional realm and succeeded. But given the circumstances the Washington Redskins find themselves in, on multiple levels, they should heavily consider calling former Ohio State head man Urban Meyer and seeing if he'd be interested in being their next head coach.
Here's five reasons why it would be a good idea.
1 - Dwayne Haskins
Haskins spent three seasons under the tutelage of Meyers at Ohio State and excelled once he got on the field in 2018. This would all obviously be contingent on whether or not Meyer feels as if Haskins has the makeup to become a star in the NFL, but if he does, he'd be the perfect candidate to help guide that transition. If Meyer were brought on board, the synchronization between he and Haskins would be crucial to developing the one player who everything needs to be centered around. It's not an ego thing, but as a franchise quarterback, it's necessary for the entire organization to be on board with his ascension, something that clearly wasn't the case with Jay Gruden at the helm.
2 - Preparation for upcoming drafts
Jimmy Johnson is by far the most notable college-to-pro success story in football. Coming off a successful stint at the University of Miami, Johnson parlayed his knowledge of the incoming draft classes into one of the most stacked rosters the NFL has seen. Certainly this was built prior to free agency, but the idea of inside knowledge on draft acumen cannot be understated.
Ohio State wasn't recruiting two and three star athletes; they had the pick of the litter. Meyer and his recruiting team will have intimate knowledge of the next two draft classes and will still have tentacles all throughout the college landscape for the rising classes after that. With the Redskins destined for a top-3 pick and a franchise QB already in tow, they have multiple ways to accumulate a serious haul over the next few drafts; especially if they trade Trent Williams to get another first rounder. A top-5 college coach from a recruiting factory in charge of a monumental draft haul makes all the sense in the world.
3 - Replace Bruce Allen, or at least reduce his role
Allen should be fired at the end of the season, but nothing is promised in this strangely run organization. Whether having to work with Allen or being able to implement his own GM, Meyer would provide the organization a football man. After his retirement from coaching following the assistant coaching scandal of 2018, Meyer moved into the position of assistant athletic director. He's gotten an even better glimpse at the front office responsibilities and could parlay that into a better overall vision for the Washington organization. They've lacked a steady one for a long time.
4 - Change the on-field culture
Gruden was a player's coach, but seemingly only for those who don't like to work hard at their craft. That would not be the case with Meyer, a noted disciplinarian when it came to how the team practiced. That's not to say he'd be overbearing when it came to how players functioned on their personal time. There are mountains of rumors and stories of what Buckeyes players were able to do in Columbus when not on duty, but when it came down to playing football, it was a factory of getting players ready to be true professionals. One look around the league to see all of the top players from Ohio State who meet or outperform their draft status showcases this.
5 - He could be the next...
We know the horror stories of Steve Spurrier, Bobby Petrino, Nick Saban and countless other less heralded personalities. Oh, Redskins fans know the horror stories of Spurrier far too well, and it's likely jaded the fanbase and possibly the organization from ever dipping their toes into the college water again. But there is a flip side to those flops.
Asides from Johnson, there have been several other successful transitions.
- Barry Switzer
- Jim Harbaugh
- Don Coryell
- Dick Vermeil
- Pete Carroll
- Bill Walsh
That's quite a list of successful transitions, but the one I feel Meyer could most closely resemble is Tom Coughlin. Coughlin left Boston College to take over the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars. If we're being honest, the Redskins roster disaster most closely resembles an expansion team. At age 51, Coughlin molded the entire franchise and established them as a force to be reckoned with. He then moved on to Giants at age 59 and established a tradition in New York, leading them to two Super Bowl championships.
The general trend in the NFL is to find the next, great young offensive mind to lead an organization. In the end, that may be what Washington needs. In the here and now, they need guidance and a steadying effect to point the organization in the right direction. Meyer may just be that guy.
There are going to be plenty of worthwhile candidates to take over the Redskins head coaching job mentioned over the next three months. Meyer should be one of them.