Four games into his first stint as an NFL head coach, Urban Meyer is making headlines all over the league. Unfortunately, they’re all for the wrong reasons.
After this past Thursday’s devastating overtime loss to the Cincinnati Bengals (the team’s 19th loss in a row), the 0-4 Jaguars head coach was caught on film participating in some embarrassing off-field activities at his bar/restaurant in Ohio.
Immediately when he landed the head coaching gig in Jacksonville, people wondered how Meyer’s old-school college coaching style would translate to the NFL.
So far, it hasn’t.
During Tuesday’s episode of The Pat McAfee Show, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was asked about the biggest differences between coaching at the collegiate and professional levels.
According to the former Cal Berkeley star QB: college = “healthy fear” and NFL = mutual respect.
“I think one of the biggest differences is in college, you call your coaches ‘coach.’ In the NFL, you call them by their name,” Rodgers said, per 247Sports. “Now that might seem like a small detail to some, but it’s not to those of us who’ve played. And the understanding is there’s not a fear. You know there’s a fear in college that this person controls my ability to move on and play this game professionally, and in an instant I could go from a first-round pick to an afterthought and this person could trash me to any team calling, so there is a healthy fear.
“… It’s not coach this and that. And it’s not the disrespect, it’s just that we are professionals, we are both getting paid professionally to do this, I’m getting paid and you’re getting paid, and we’re both going to respect each other and respect the roles, you’re coaching and I’m playing. But there’s a level of respect that’s earned in the league and it’s earned through communication and honesty and work ethic and discipline and that’s not given free. I think in college there’s this automatic, ‘I’ve got to respect and fear my coach because he can make one sweep of his hand and I’m out of here.’ The NFL is like, ‘No, you can’t do that.’”
Coaching success at the NFL level relies on respect from players. And after this past weekend’s scandal, it appears Meyer has lost much of that respect in the Jaguars’ locker room.
“He has zero credibility in that stadium. He had very little to begin with,” an anonymous player told NFL insider Michael Silver.
It’s unclear what Meyer’s future with the team will look like, but there’s no doubt something needs to change if he wants to hold onto this job any longer.
Meyer and the Jags will look to stop the bleeding with a win over the Tennessee Titans this weekend.
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