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Urban Meyer was named the Jacksonville Jaguars’ head coach this month and the decision has come with many supporters. It’s come with many doubters, too, as Meyer has never coached in the NFL.
Of course, one example of the past that has been brought up is Meyer’s former co-worker at Fox Sports, Jimmy Johnson, who made the same transition successfully in the 90s. In Meyer’s first press conference, he told the media that he would rely on Johnson’s advice often. Meyer also revealed that he already had a few phone calls with Johnson since he was on the Jags’ radar.
This week, Johnson revealed some of the key advice discussed in those conversations, which hopefully will help Meyer on his journey.
“There are two things, really,” Johnson told USA TODAY Sports personality Mackenzie Salmon. “Number one: bring in the right coaches obviously. And him not having pro experience, he is going to have to bring in coaches with professional experience. Number two: bring in talent, and utilize the information that he has got.”
Well, it’s safe to say Meyer has listened to Johnson so far. While his staff hasn’t been made official, he’s brought in several coaches with NFL experience, especially for his main roles.
Darrell Bevell is going to be the Jags’ offensive coordinator, Joe Cullen will be the defensive coordinator assistants, and Brian Schneider will coach the special teams group. Between the three, there are over 40 years of NFL coaching experience. That doesn’t include the years of NFL experience that assistants Sanjay Lal, George Warhop, and other assistants will bring to the mix.
As for bringing in talent, that will come later. The Jags are projected to have over $73 million, which would be a league high. They also have 11 draft picks in April’s draft. Of course, that includes the No. 1 overall pick, which is expected to be spent on Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
While serving as a coach on the collegiate level at Ohio State, Meyer recruited and coached some of the players who are in the NFL, or with the Jags right now. That’s exactly the type of knowledge that helped Johnson and could aid Meyer in adding to the Jags’ roster.
A prime example Johnson used was his knowledge of Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin through his days as a college coach and recruiter for Miami. As fans are aware, both were key contributors for Johnson while with the Dallas Cowboys and the trio won two Super Bowls together.
“He knows all of the great players around the country,” Johnson added. “So utilize that expertise to bring in talent. So if he brings in the right coaches and he brings in the right talent he is going to be successful.”
Of course, Meyer will have to ultimately prove himself through his results on the field. However, his ability to add proven NFL assistants from great franchises and his use of the resources he has should make fans confident about his chances to succeed.