Former Ohio State Star Cardale Jones Doesn’t See ‘Old Dog’ Urban Meyer Coaching Again: ‘Those Ways Are a Little Behind Us’

Article Highlights:

  • Former Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones is skeptical about Urban Meyer’s chances of coaching again
  • The Jacksonville Jaguars fired the three-time national champion, who won a title with Jones in 2014, earlier this month
  • Don’t be surprised if Meyer returns to Fox Sports in the coming months

Football fans spent much of the 2021 NFL season waiting to see how long it’d take before the Jacksonville Jaguars fired Urban Meyer. Those who guessed “14 weeks and 13 games” are still counting their winnings.

It remains to be seen if the 57-year-old Meyer will return to the sidelines anytime soon. His resume, including three national championships, speaks for itself almost as much as the lowlights of his relatively brief stint with the Jaguars.

For what it’s worth, don’t count Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones, who played for Meyer from 2012-15, among those expecting to see Meyer coaching again.

Cardale Jones is skeptical about Urban Meyer ever coaching again

If Meyer returns to coaching, it almost certainly won’t be this cycle. And, at the risk of assuming, it feels safe to say no NFL team is likely hiring him in any capacity. As for college teams, the wounds and stink from his Jaguars stint are still too fresh and, well, stinky.

In a recent interview with TMZ Sports, Jones admitted he doesn’t see the three-time Big Ten champion taking another coaching job. As of publication, Meyer had not been credibly linked to any coaching positions at any level.

“Urban is at a point in his career where he had so much success coaching a certain way. It’s almost like the term ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.’ Urban’s ways made him who he is. Those ways are a little behind us when it comes not just to society but [to] football. I don’t see him really going back to college and doing some of the things that he’s accustomed to doing to build a team and a culture.”

Cardale Jones

Jones clarified he doesn’t believe Meyer’s coaching style is outdated, especially considering the legendary coach went 83-9 at Ohio State and won the Rose Bowl in his final year there. However, Meyer would need to deal with a significantly different college football landscape, one that now features the transfer portal and players profiting off the new NIL rules (Name, Image, and Likeness).

“I don’t know if he’s willing to make that sacrifice and change in his demeanor, his personality, his coaching style to keep up with times today,” Jones explained.

Jones’ points appear accurate after Meyer’s recent interview with NFL Media

Meyer’s time in Jacksonville doesn’t change the fact he’s among the greatest coaches in modern college football history. Coaches don’t win 85.4% of their games by accident.

However, Jones is correct that the college football landscape has drastically changed since Meyer coached his final game at Ohio State. The NCAA introduced the transfer portal in October 2018, just over two months before Meyer retired, and allowed NIL opportunities to begin earlier this year.

When he spoke with NFL Media after his firing, Meyer suggested his coaching style might not mesh with how sports and society have changed in recent years.

“When I got into coaching, coaches weren’t making this kind of money, and they didn’t have agents. Everything is so fragile where it used to be team, team, team. I remember talking about it in a staff meeting [before his firing]. I got into this profession because I had the greatest high school coach, and it was all about [the] team. All about the huddle.”

Urban Meyer

That philosophy worked when Meyer arrived at the University of Florida in 2005 and when he took over Ohio State after the 2011 season. However, expecting players and coaches to buy in if he took over a Group of 5 program in 2023 is a tall task, especially after how poorly things went in Jacksonville.

If Meyer doesn’t take 2022 off, a return to Fox Sports could be in his future

Meyer turns 58 in July 2022 and has a history of health issues. Perhaps the best solution for him, his family, and the football world is if he remains away from the sidelines indefinitely.

With that said, don’t expect Meyer to spend the rest of his life exiled away from football. Only hours before the Jaguars fired Meyer, the New York Post reported Fox Sports is interested in hiring him as a studio analyst. The iconic coach worked on the network’s Big Noon Kickoff pregame show from 2019-20.

As of publication, neither Fox nor Meyer had publicly commented on those reports or announced his return. Former Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops filled the “former coach role” this season.

But, Meyer has surprised us all again. Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised if he’s coaching in the American Athletic Conference come 2023.

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