Urban Meyer has one of the toughest jobs in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
While it is exciting to have landed Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 overall pick, he is still coaching a team that went 1-15 in 2020.
So dominating like he is used to at the college level is likely going to take some time.
All Meyer needs to do is put his head down and get to work.
Yet he just can’t seem to keep his name out of the headlines.
The latest drama has to do with him insinuating that vaccination status had an impact on his team’s roster cuts.
To be clear, that is likely true for the Jaguars and teams around the NFL.
But saying it openly is a problem and has led to the NFLPA looking into this claim.
NFL and NFLPA have agreed that vaccination status will not be an issue in making roster decisions. NFL and NFLPA also have incentivized teams to shy away from unvaccinated players. Urban Meyer’s mistake came from admitting the obvious. It was an unforced error, plain and simple.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) September 1, 2021
Regardless, this became a national story and the team had to respond.
Statement from the Jaguars: pic.twitter.com/S5Wn1Crgqe
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 1, 2021
So what are we to make of all this?
Meyer Still Learning The Way
The NFL is much different than the college game.
The fact the NFLPA exists means coaches cannot come out and say things like Meyer did, even if everyone knows them to be the case.
If the NFL is not mandating a vaccine, then it can be seen as discrimination to cut a player over vaccination status.
Again, even if the status is an obvious factor, legal cases can arise from what Meyer claims is true.
He just has to keep learning that there is a difference between the amateur game and the world of the NFL.
It may be a good thing he got out of the college ranks before players started to get paid.
Will There Be Any Fallout?
The NFLPA can look into this, but it will be hard to prove anything.
This may just be a matter of the NFLPA sticking up for players even in just a symbolic way.
Coaches are not going to admit they cut a player over vaccination status at this point, unless they go rogue like Meyer did without realizing it.
Meyer has not even dealt with the hard part of being an NFL coach, which is trying to win actual games.
The initial signs are not good and his team did struggle early in the preseason.
He and the entire organization are now placing a world of faith in Lawrence to be a generational talent and guide the team for the next 15-20 years.
But even the greats have struggled early on and it could be another nightmare season for the Jaguars if they don’t get proper leadership from Meyer and his staff.