While we’re still in a relatively quiet period with regards to NFL news and events, Jacksonville Jaguars fans are trying to soak up every little tidbit about what their new regime will do to turn things around.
After all, Jacksonville only won one game last season, and it was the very first contest against the Indianapolis Colts.
They endured (perhaps strategically) 15 straight losses following the Week 1 triumph, and are now looking to turn the page to a brighter future.
Rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence and new head coach Urban Meyer will have their hands full in Year 1.
However, there’s always a bit of an adjustment period, especially when the head coach hasn’t been in that position before.
For all of his success as a college football program maestro, Meyer will need to find his footing in the league on the fly.
Here are three ways that Meyer himself can doom Jacksonville in 2021.
3. Sticking By His Plan For Travis Etienne
After the Jaguars used the No. 25 overall pick in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft on Clemson running back Travis Etienne, Meyer was quick to point out that the rookie was going to be a complementary part of the team’s offense.
It’s possible that the new head coach made these comments to promote an atmosphere where everyone has to earn their job, which is commendable in some respects.
However in reality, there’s no way an NFL team can justify using capital that precious on a player who will fill in some blanks.
Incumbent running back James Robinson came out of nowhere in 2020 to have a great year, but was clearly not viewed as a long-term solution by the franchise due to their draft actions.
Jacksonville will need to unleash Etienne to maximize his skill set, and should not wait long to do it.
— Madden NFL 22 (@EAMaddenNFL) April 30, 2021
2. Overlooking Attention To Detail
There’s no reason to believe that Meyer and his staff won’t have the Jaguars prepared and meticulously drilled heading into 2021.
But it’s incredibly important that Meyer cross every T and dot every I leading into the season.
His teams in college were usually just so much more talented than their opponents, making execution and penalties less of a factor play in and play out.
Meyer was recruiting the best talent in the country at Ohio State and Florida, which made game-planning a little less important.
However in the NFL, scheme and strategy are everything. Jacksonville won’t be able to overcome mental mistakes, and Meyer can’t put his team behind the eight-ball with poor clock management.
We’ll find out early on whether the Jaguars are humming in this aspect.
1. Motivating Players In The Wrong Fashion
In addition to the puzzling quote about Etienne, Meyer had another suspicious statement about wide receiver D.J. Chark.
He told reporters that Chark was not as physical as he needed to be at the NFL level, and thought he played smaller than his size.
For what it’s worth, the young receiver responded publicly in a positive fashion, accepting the challenge his new head coach laid out in front of him.
It’s possible Meyer knew the type of personality Chark had, and knew that this was the right button to press.
But for someone with zero NFL head coaching experience, dropping names and questioning toughness is a dangerous game to play.
We getting to it.. I promise pic.twitter.com/m9OcD1mMaP
— DJ Chark (@DJChark82) June 5, 2021
Locker rooms usually respect head coaches more when they get out in front of situations and don’t throw players in the line of fire.
If Meyer continues this approach, it could lead players to feel attacked rather than supported.