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According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport the Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to move on from head coach Doug Marrone after 5 seasons. This has been all but done for weeks, but the team is likely to make the news official after their Week 17 matchup against the Colts.
As I mentioned, Marrone has struggled since taking over the Jaguars organization, posting a 23-42 record over his tenure. The news of his departure is far less surprising than that of his return would have been, but the real story here is the potential successor.
Rapoport and others have noted legendary college coach Urban Meyer as the Jaguars most likely target. With many speculating that Meyer wishes to return to coaching, there’s not too many better gigs for him to explore.
The 1st overall pick in a draft that features 2 of the best quarterback prospects in a decade is simply where the allure starts. Jacksonville is also only 4 years removed from an AFC Championship appearance, and though that roster is now mostly depleted there is optimism that the Jags could be competing again relatively soon. The AFC South is wide open, and with a coach like Meyer it’s hard to count any team out completely.
Now does this mean that we will see Meyer suiting up next season?
It’s certainly possible, and it also removes the doubts that Meyer has been linked to surrounding his legacy in his home state of Ohio. This is a fresh slate and if it crashes and burns, as most college coaches have in the NFL, then there is minimal impact on the way he is remembered. There is hardly a better available situation to build your program similar to the way he did in Columbus or Gainesville with a first pick and assumed full control.
On the other hand Meyer has one of the best gigs in the country at the moment. Big Noon Kickoff and his position at Fox are one of the best in college football media, and he is almost universally loved. It will truly come down to how bad that itch to return is, and I think there’s a 50/50 chance we see him in the NFL over the next couple of years.