Dan Mullen discusses his thoughts on Urban Meyer’s jump to the NFL

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Tyler Nettuno
·2 min read
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It’s no secret that successful college coaches rarely succeed in the NFL. For every Jimmy Johnson, there are dozens of Chip Kellys. And Greg Schianos. And Doug Marrones.

When it comes to new Jacksonville Jaguars coach Urban Meyer, who has spent 15 years as a head coach but has never once coached at the NFL level, it’s clear that history isn’t exactly on his side.

But few coaches achieve what Meyer has at the college level. And Florida coach Dan Mullen, a former longtime assistant under Meyer, believes that his mentor will succeed coaching in the NFL, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

“I do think Urban’s a great head coach, great leader, great motivator of players, obviously, and his staff and people that work for him does a great job of developing them,” Mullen said. “He always surrounds himself with great people. He sets a very high standard and sets the bar extremely high within the organization and has been successful everywhere he’s been.

“So you’d think he’d be successful with the Jags.”

Mullen conceded that the gig will present a challenge to Meyer. After all, connecting with college players (who are 18-22 years old) and fully grown, multi-millionaire NFL players are two very different things. But he also correctly points out that the circumstances can often explain struggles more than coaching itself, as evidenced by Bill Belichick’s difficulties as the coach of the Cleveland Browns.

“I guess we’re going to have to see,” Mullen said. “Let’s see how that works. I think you can look at a lot of different coaches in a lot of different areas. There’s a lot that have gone from college to the NFL and been extremely successful and some that haven’t. It might not just be that coach.

“Whether it’s NFL to NFL, college to the NFL, NFL back to college, I think there’s a lot of different circumstances that go on within organizations sometimes. The easiest thing to do is say this coach was successful here, but not here, and why that didn’t work. I think there are so many different things to go in and say ‘Hey, this guy is good here and not here.’”

There aren’t many coaches more familiar with Meyer than Mullen, so Jaguars fans will hope his prediction is accurate. After all, Shad Khan’s last two head coaches were already in the NFL, and it didn’t lead to success. Maybe Meyer, who has a different background, could bring different results.