Urban Meyer downplays potential move to coaching in the NFL: 'I could never do that'

Urban Meyer retired as the coach at Ohio State on Tuesday, an announcement that was sudden but not necessarily surprising. Meyer, 54, has a documented history of health concerns, chiefly of which is a congenital arachnoid cyst on his brain that causes him painful headaches. It's a condition that has flared up on more than one occasion over the past few years and forced him to consider his future. 

As for what that future holds, it's undetermined. Meyer seemed adamant in a press conference to introduce his successor, offensive coordinator Ryan Day, that he would not coach again. This, apparently, includes the NFL. Following the dismissal of Packers coach Mike McCarthy, some wondered if Meyer would find himself on a different sideline in 2019. But Meyer shut that down quickly. 

"I could never work at a place … I see some of these guys' records because the NFL is so even," Meyer told Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports. "Some of these guys, their record is 74-58. I could never do that."

Of course, we've already been through Meyer's retirement once at Florida. Less than two years later, he was back in college at Ohio State. It's understandable if cynics are incredulous that he'll stay retired, and maybe he won't, but Meyer has a need to win that won't be satisfied at the NFL level. Consider that Meyer has a career .853 winning percentage spanning the better part of two decades at four different schools. Bill Belichick doesn't even have that at New England, where he's won five Super Bowls. And Meyer's health concerns are triggered by stress, which goes up in the NFL, not down. For a myriad of reasons, Meyer takes losses and stressful in-game moments harder than most. 

If Meyer returns to coaching, it'll be for a top-end job in college; he's not leaving the game to come back for anything less. But the NFL doesn't appear to be on Meyer's radar, either, if for no other reason than he's worried he'd lose too much. 

CBS Sports Writer

Ben Kercheval joined CBS Sports in 2016 and has been covering college football since 2010. Before CBS, Ben worked at Bleacher Report, UPROXX Sports and NBC Sports. As a long-suffering North Texas graduate,... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories