Even if the Jacksonville Jaguars fall in love with Urban Meyer, they’re going about it all wrong.
After finishing his career with a 23–43 record, the Jaguars understand they must hold themselves to a higher standard than Doug Marrone. On Monday, the fifth-year coach was canned and the search for the next head coach began.
Or, has it already ended?
According to reports from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Jacksonville is highly interested in bringing on former Ohio State and Florida coach Urban Meyer. Meyer, who “retired” following the 2019 Rose Bowl, believes the job is his for the taking as he’s reported to have staff members ready.
All eyes now on Urban Meyer. https://t.co/LyQvblPfCc
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 4, 2021
Maybe Meyer will work on making the jump from college to the pro? Perhaps this the kind of mentality the Jaguars need to help young talent thrive early?
Even if Meyer is the Jaguars’ guy, this creates a multitude of problems.
The Rooney Rule should overpower this move
Before Marrone was even fired, the report was Meyer was next in line. How would that be possible as Jacksonville still had a coach prepping for a season finale while another was ready to take over?
There’s also the potential breaking of The Rooney Rule. When NFL teams are looking for new head coaches, it states they are required to at least interview one diverse candidate. The rule was created to help the hopeful spread of diversity of coaches across the NFL and give a fair opportunity to all races.
Meyer is white and the front-runner for the position. Right now, there isn’t a second option. However, if the rule stands true, Jacksonville still must interview one minority coach for the position.
The closer you look at NFL coaching searches the more you see the “Rooney Rule” interview as a formality. Teams start & end their search with a short list of desired candidates & if you listen hard enough you will realize those list don’t include minority coaches. pic.twitter.com/YWY8c2dYgB
— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) January 8, 2020
Name a coach after hearing the report that would like to interview for a position that clearly isn’t going to end with them landing the role?
Of the 32 head coaches in the NFL, four are minorities (three Black, one Latino). The league is made up of nearly 70 percent of players who are black. Yet, unless several minority coaches are given a fair chance to become head coaches, the league will only have 12.5 percent of head coaches look like the players they are coaching.
This past offseason, the NFL made strides alongside the Black Lives Matter movement and started the campaign to “end racism.” Players wore the names of black lives that were lost due to police violence and the league released a promo stating how “it takes all of us” to help better the world we live in.
Yet, as of the firing, Meyer remains the only candidate for the Jaguars role, who also happens to have the No. 1 pick come April. Will the NFL respond in similar fashion?
Meyer’s potential hiring already comes with skepticism following his controversial endings at both Florida and Ohio State. More than that, it breaks protocol all teams are asked to follow each offseason.
The NFL has an easy call to make, but then again, nothing seems to ever be done easy.