Jacksonville Jaguars fans are suffering from the nightmarish reality that Urban Meyer is as the head coach of the NFL. Those who still support Trevor Lawrence and his teammates might already be terrified at the mere thought of Bill O’Brien, the former head coach and general manager of the Houston Texans, replacing Meyer next season.
Wait, you haven’t heard us yet!
We promise that, as bad as things are right now, O’Brien could be the key to bringing the Jaguars back to semi-relevance and removing the destructive culture that Meyer created.
Bill O’Brien could be the perfect candidate to replace Urban Meyer on the Jaguars in 2022
Barring a miraculous turnaround in the final three months of the season, Meyer increasingly looks like a one-off coach in Jacksonville. The recent scandal involving the rookie head coach and a young woman from Ohio has only amplified the reality that he is unworthy of the NFL, both now and in the future.
It remains to be seen whether Meyer resigns for health reasons, as he did at the University of Florida and Ohio State, or resigns. Although the team may try to fire him for cause, he would have owed $ 12 million per season. These financial obligations would likely result in a lengthy legal process between the two parties.
For everyone’s sake, let’s assume Meyer isn’t with the Jaguars in 2022. Jacksonville is going to have to find a head coach for the third time in three seasons. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk recently suggested the team target Professional Football Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy, who works with Florio at NBC Sports, if the Jaguars need to replace Meyer before the end of this season.
If and when Meyer leaves, the usual names, ranging from Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy to Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, will appear on TV and social media. Don’t be surprised if O’Brien, who is currently Alabama’s offensive coordinator, emerges as a hot name in the market.
Last October, the Texans fired O’Brien, then coach and general manager, after a 0-4 start to the 2020 season. He went 52-48 in seven seasons with the Texans and won four AFC South Division titles.
There are huge differences between hiring Meyer and bringing O’Brien back to the NFL
We understand the fears over O’Brien taking over the Jaguars, especially after he infamously traded All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals in March 2020 for a bundle of not-so-magical beans, better known as the running back David Johnson and two draft picks.
However, O’Brien has at least experimented with the different nuances of the NFL. Meyer, who had never coached above college level before this year, lacked that experience.
Say what you like about O’Brien’s abilities as GM, but he was more than competent as Houston’s head coach. Before last season’s 0-4 start, he had recorded winning campaigns in five of his first six years. The only exception came in 2017 when Houston started 3-4 but lost eight of the last nine games after rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson tore his ACL.
The Texans’ only loss record in that streak came in 2017. Houston started 3-4 but has lost eight of the last nine games after rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson tore his ACL.
Watson has grown into one of the league’s top young quarterbacks under O’Brien’s tutelage and training. The Texans star caller has publicly defended his head coach on several occasions, before and after the dismissal, and said the two have a strong relationship due to their different backgrounds.
Jacksonville will benefit from the addition of a proven NFL head coach to help Lawrence bounce back from a frustrating rookie season. The Clemson product finished Week 5 with a 59.4% completion percentage and eight interceptions in six games.
O’Brien to be Nick Saban’s next assistant to relaunch his coaching career
For now, O’Brien is Nick Saban’s offensive coordinator and is trying to help him win his eighth national championship. Alabama has a lot of work to do on this front after a life-changing loss to Texas A&M on Saturday, October 9.
The Saban Coach Tree has been of great service to former Head Coaches in recent years. Perhaps best known for his infamous dismissals by the then Oakland Raiders and USC Trojans, Lane Kiffin modernized Alabama’s offense when he arrived in 2014. Kiffin won two championships in the US Conference at Florida Atlantic and is now in its second season at Ole Miss.
Steve Sarkisian, who replaced Kiffin as full-time USC head coach after the 2014 season, turned two stints in Alabama into the Texas Longhorns head coach position. Mario Cristobal, sacked by Florida International in 2012, became Oregon’s head coach in 2018 and dramatically changed the fortunes of the Ducks.
Don’t be surprised if O’Brien lands a college head coach job or other NFL opportunity after this season. If the latter is in the cards and the Jaguars separate from Meyer, it is a marriage that must be done as quickly as possible.
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