- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Urban Meyer has been a wildly successful head coach. Some think he could be a successful NFL coach. Some NFL teams have inquired about whether he’s interested in interviewing for an NFL head-coaching job.
Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports that at least two teams have reached out to Meyer about potentially interviewing for head-coaching jobs. Meyer intends to decide within the next week whether he’s interested.
Meyer has been out of coaching for two years, but he has become a respected college football analyst with FOX. Last year, a FOX report suggested that the Browns had “strong interest” in Meyer. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam quickly knocked that down, saying that the Browns are focused on a coach with NFL experience. (It’s possible, frankly, that Haslam’s conclusion was reached after Meyer made it known that he’s not interested in the job, if he indeed did.)
Schefter’s article links Meyer to the job in Jacksonville, given Meyer’s connection to the University of Florida. Another team that may be doing due diligence with Meyer is the Lions, given that former Ohio State standout Chris Spielman now works for the team and advises the owner. Spielman defended Meyer in 2018, when Ohio State placed Meyer on administrative leave in connection with the Zach Smith domestic violence investigation.
“Well, you know, everybody around here and everybody that will see this, understands the seriousness of domestic violence and there’s nobody that’s a proponent of that,” Spielman said in 2018, coincidentally while visiting Lions’ training camp. “I know what you know. I don’t know what Urban knew and when he knew it. I have no idea. I do think Ohio State had no choice to put him on paid administrative leave, until they can sort this out. . . . I know Urban and Shelley Meyer are great people and they do a lot for the community. I think Urban needs to and deserves to be heard when it’s the appropriate time.”
Anyone who does their due diligence on Meyer will have to consider the Zach Smith situation, along with the various and persistent account of player off-field incidents that may or may not have been properly explored or reported or investigated or prosecuted during Meyer’s time in Gainesville.
Then there’s the health angle. Meyer has admitted that he has an arachnoid cyst in is brain, and his final season at Ohio State included images of in-game anguish prompting speculation that he was enduring symptoms of the cyst. Meyer left Florida 11 years ago due in part to health concerns triggered by a bout of chest pains.
Addressing the issue during the Spielman & Hooley podcast in 2018, Spielman said that he believes Meyer has “nothing health wise that’s of any concern,” and that any signs of anguish or whatever possibly flow from lingering frustration over the placement on administrative leave. Spielman also shared some excellent advice for Meyer at the time. (I took the time to hunt and peck my way through all of it because it really is excellent advice.)
“The one thing that I always enjoyed and I think what makes you one of the best coaches in the history of college football is this: That you love to compete,” Spielman said. “You enjoy the journey. And that if you start living and dying every single play, it’s going to catch you and it’s going to get you, because it can get to anybody. . . . I’m gonna say you either control ‘it’ — ‘it’ being that consumption of your life — or eventually ‘it’ will control you. And it changes who you are. So you need to maybe hit a reset button, not anything major but just say, ‘Wait a second, I have a dream job here. I’m the head coach of Ohio State. My legacy is sealed. I want to enjoy this journey. I don’t want this journey to be miserable.’
“And the only reason I go with that . . . is from my own experience. When my late wife, one night after we lost and I was physically ill, throwing up, because we lost. And I walked out of the room looking for some type of sympathy, pity, ‘It’s OK,’ ‘I understand your anger.’ She said, ‘Toughen up buttercup. I’ve never seen somebody that’s living their dream that’s so freaking miserable. Why don’t you just start living your dream instead of turning it into a freaking nightmare?’ Then she walked out of the room.
“So, Coach, I love you, man. Just take a second and say, ‘Wait a second. This isn’t going to have lasting effects on my life unless I let it. This will not affect my health unless I let it. I’m the head coach of The Ohio State University. There’s gonna be ups and there’s gonna be downs. And what I’m going to do from this point on is I’m going to enjoy this journey. And I’m going to compete like crazy and coach hard and love what I do, but I’m going to enjoy it. Because in the long run, and this is true for everybody, ‘it’ controls you, or you can control ‘it.’ But ‘it’ is coming and you better figure out how to deal with ‘it.’ And that’s just not for Urban Meyer, that’s for every coach, player, and G.M. that plays this great game at a high level.”
Inspiring words, and if Meyer and Spielman were together in Detroit, Spielman would be in position to give Meyer than reminder as often as he needed to hear it.
Report: Two teams have inquired about Urban Meyer as head coach originally appeared on Pro Football Talk