Urban Meyer getting his first NFL coaching gig at 57-years-old isn’t the strangest hire in NFL history. The Jacksonville Jaguars have been lost in the wilderness for years and thought a coach who won national championships in college at Florida and Ohio State might be able to add a jolt of energy into the franchise. The Jaguars are 2-11 in his first season and according to NFL lines on BetUS.
But the performance on the field hasn’t been as bad as what has occurred off of it. Meyer was caught on video letting a co-ed dance in his lap following a loss in Cincinnati earlier this season, and he has had a difficult time relating to his coaching staff and players.
While there is a lot of pressure to fire Meyer, Jacksonville may not need to take any action. NFL history indicates many of these situations work themselves out on their own.
Lou Stood Out in the Wrong Way
Lou Holtz is still the most recent coach to lead Notre Dame to a national championship, topping the polls in 1988, but his trip into the NFL was a disaster. Holtz inherited a roster with an aging Joe Namath and rookie Richard Todd at quarterback, and New York had a hard time figuring out ways to score.
Holtz oversaw six of the seven games where the Jets scored 10 points or fewer in a game. He wasn’t in charge for the seventh game where it happened, a 42-3 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals that dropped the Jets record to 3-11 because Holtz had already resigned to coach football at Arkansas. Holtz would later say God didn’t put him on Earth to coach the pros.
Petrino Leaves Dear John Letter
Bobby Petrino left Louisville for a rich new contract to be Atlanta Falcons coach in 2007. The hope was Petrino could help turn Michael Vick into a more complete quarterback. Petrino never got the opportunity, however.
Vick was found to have bankrolled a dogfighting operation and wouldn’t play in the NFL for two seasons. Stuck with veteran cast-offs Joey Harrington, Byron Leftwich, and Chris Redman at quarterback, Petrino had a rude awakening coaching the Falcons.
Atlanta started 1-6 before rallying for two straight wins over San Francisco and Carolina. After another four-game losing streak, Petrino resigned to take over coaching at Arkansas. He informed the players by a letter he left hanging in the lockers. Petrino finished his NFL coaching career with a 3-10 mark.
Saban Heads Back to College
Nick Saban has won seven national championships as a college football coach. His tenure as a professional head coach was brief and mediocre. Saban took over a Dolphins team that had Gus Frerotte and Sage Rosenfels at quarterback and started the 2005 season 3-7. Miami rebounded over the last month-and-a-half over the season, winning their final six games to finish with a winning record.
In his second season, the wheels came off. Miami once again got off to a slow start, falling to 1-6. While they played better in the second half of the season, the Dolphins finished the season 6-10, and Saban decided to resign to coach Alabama.
John McKay Is the GOAT
No one would objectively look at John McKay’s tenure with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and say he was a success on the court. The Buccaneers finished 44-88-1 during his tenure there from 1976-84. But the man who led USC to four national championships in college was quick-witted and made the best of being in a difficult situation.
The Buccaneers lost their first 26 games under McKay, but he had Tampa Bay in the NFC Championship game in his fourth season. McKay amused reporters with lines such as “We didn’t tackle today, but we made up for it by blocking,” and when asked about his team’s execution, McKay responded, “I’m in favor of it.”
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