Urban Meyer's ability to adapt to the NFL game and make a smooth transition from college is a topic of considerable debate in league circles, and there was no shortage of red flags this offseason, according to multiple sources.
There have been repeated issues with other coaches on staff, with Meyer's temper and lack of familiarity with the ebbs and flows of the NFL calendar rubbing the Jacksonville Jaguars staff and players the wrong way, the sources said. There is a disconnect at times between the members of the staff with extensive pro experience and those who lack it, and morale has suffered as the outbursts have continued. His fiery remarks to players and coaches after games have already struck many as bizarre.
"He has everyone looking over their shoulders already," said one source with direct knowledge of the daily operations in Jacksonville. "He becomes unhinged way too easily, and he doesn't know how to handle losing, even in the preseason. He loses it and wants to take over the drills himself. It's not good."
There were difficulties getting the schedule set and installations completed on time, sources said, with Meyer pushing to treat the preseason games more like the regular season in terms of how vanilla to keep the game plans and how much to play the most vital players. Meyer, who was wildly successful at the college level and often enjoyed superior personnel, has lashed out at his staff after exhibition losses and, sources said, called some of their job security into question despite them having yet to play a game that matters in the standings.
Another source said: "You can't freak out about preseason games and belittle your coaches -- on a staff you handpicked -- every time things don't go your way. It's not going to work here."
There are also some internal concerns about the personnel. Meyer does not have an NFL background and opted to put the franchise tag on tackle Cam Robinson and stick with the same offensive line unit that has had difficulty staying healthy and productive and is coming off a 1-15 season. Those results put them in position to select Trevor Lawrence first overall, but protecting him is paramount and the lack of urgency to upgrade that area surprised many around the league.
Questions persist about how Meyer will be able to endure the inevitable setbacks still to come during a 17-game NFL season, and based on the struggles and strife of the summer, with word spreading quickly in this league, those doubts persist as this grand experiment truly begins this weekend.
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