Among the elites, Meyer comes with the pedigree of being a program builder, and someone who can instill his culture into a football team, and it appears that’s exactly what he wants to do in Jacksonville.
But first, Meyer must assemble his staff, his offensive and defensive coordinator will become the main attraction to the constant shuffling that is the Jaguars offseason. In speaking with Jaguars.com digital reporter J.P. Shadrick last night, Meyer mentioned the importance of building an “elite staff” and getting off to the right start for the city of Jacksonville.
“It starts with hiring an elite staff, and I’m gonna spend so much time on that,” Meyer told Shadrick. “We’ve had a lot of success in college and if there’s one strength I have, is surrounding myself with really, really great coaches and really great players, and we’ll work on that next, but Jacksonville deserves an incredible staff and we’re gonna do our best to do that.”
During his end-of-season press conference, Jaguars owner Shad Khan declined to say which assistant coaches could remain on the team’s roster. Currently, only former head coach Doug Marrone is the only coach that was let go shortly following the season.
“The assistant coaches, the ones that are under contract, we’re going to keep them,” Khan mentioned when asked if any of the assistant coaches would be let go on Jan. 4.
“We have some good coaches here. I want the head coach, whoever that might be, to be able to look at that and retain some of them, but that would be obviously the head coach’s decision.”
With Meyer in the fold, it is the expectation that he will assemble his own staff. While it is unknown whether or not Meyer will keep the current team’s staff, we do know he will build a staff that he is proud of, one that will give the city of Jacksonville hope for its future.
“It’s gonna be a seven-day-a-week, 24-hour (process), and I’ve already started,” Meyer told Shadrick.
“I’ve been working on it all day and the good thing is, the interest level on the outside [is high]. You know, I’ve heard that this is the best job available and I’ve heard that from many people, I don’t know the other ones very well, but I would agree that this is a great opportunity.”
The Jaguars are positioned to bring in a truly elite staff. With the No. 1 overall selection in this year’s draft, presumably Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence as the selection, along with the most projected cap space in the NFL at $73,369,558, according to OverTheCap.com, certainly the Jaguars are attractive.
According to a report from Josina Anderson, the Jaguars have already reached out to former Atlanta Falcons interim head coach Raheem Morris regarding the team’s defensive coordinator position. While DC Todd Wash is technically still on the payroll, it is unlikely he is retained, and Morris is one of the many names that are expected to be put in the hat.
I'm told Urban Meyer reached out to & spoke with former #Falcons interim HC Raheem Morris to preliminarily gauge Morris' interest in the defensive coordinator job in Jacksonville, per source.— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) January 15, 2021
There have been other coaches linked to the Jaguars’ staff too.
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, two former Meyer assistants have shots at making their way to Jacksonville. Fowler reported that Chris Ash (Mayer’s DC at Ohio State) as the defensive backs coach and Houston Texans defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver as the team’s head defensive assistant/defensive line coach.
One report that was confirmed today, came from LockedOnJaguars host Tony Wiggins, stating that Meyer intends to bring University of Texas “chief of staff” Fernando Lovo to the team in a similar position that he held at Texas.
Reliable source has informed me that 1 hire they are certain of is Fernando Lovo in a role similar to the "Chief of Staff" position that Lovo has at The University of Texas. Something to keep an eye on as Urban Meyer builds his staff. @LockedOnJaguars— Amp Wigg (@ShopTalkingWigg) January 15, 2021
But, what exactly made the Jaguars’ job attractive to Meyer? He says the opportunity, and after watching the film, understanding the salary cap situation and having the No. 1 overall pick were all key factors in making this decision. Meyer mentioned again that this was not a “knee-jerk” reaction, either.
“I love Jacksonville, you know, I’ve spent a lot of time in Florida, my family loves it here, and quite honestly Duval and 904 deserve a chance to go win.”
“We’re going to treat our players not good, we’re gonna treat our players great. We’re gonna love ‘em, we’re gonna grind ‘em, but they’re gonna be treated great. And how you treat ‘em great, you give 'em the best of the best, and then also you surround ‘em with an elite staff and that’s what I’m [going to] do.”