The Jaguars are expected to move on from head coach Doug Marrone, and a familiar face is reportedly the top target for the team with the first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Via NFL Network Insider Ian Rappoport:
The team has shown interest in former Florida and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, who has been lining up a staff and telling people he’s close to in the football community that he expects to land in Jacksonville, per sources.
The Jaguars won’t make a firm and final decision on Marrone until after the season, but this is the expected outcome provided Jacksonville feels confident it can find Marrone’s replacement.
Marrone, 56, led the Jaguars to an AFC Championship Game appearance in the 2017 season. The team feels Marrone is a good coach who has been doing his best with a young roster and publicly committed to letting him finish the season even after it fired general manager Dave Caldwell on Nov. 29. But the Jaguars have now lost 14 games in a row, dropping Marrone’s record to 23-42 over five seasons and securing the No. 1 overall pick in April’s draft.
It’s considered likely, though not certain, that Marrone will be fired at some point following Sunday’s finale against the Colts, and the pursuit of Meyer will be a factor.
If Meyer is not the eventual choice, or decides to stay retired, Jacksonville is expected to look hard at the offensive side of the ball. Ohio State coach Ryan Day, whose team is currently set to face Alabama in the NCAA National Title game, is also set to receive interest from the Jaguars.
Meyer has weighed big-time job opportunities in the past, with the University of Texas being the most recent. Over the past two years, NFL head coaching jobs are said to have intrigued him.
However, Meyer has not firmly committed to coaching at all next year. Currently, he is a Fox Sports college football analyst and to grab any job would take him away from his family, including his grandchildren.
The Jaguars have one of the most attractive openings, with the top pick that may turn into Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, multiple first-round picks, a patient owner, some young talent and plenty of cap space.
Meyer previously retired from coaching due to myriad health reasons, including an enlarged congenital arachnoid cyst on his brain that has led to aggressive headaches, causing him to drop to his knees during a Buckeyes game against Indiana in October, 2018. Meyer retired after the season. He previously stepped down from Florida in 2009 due to stress-related health concerns that caused him to be admitted to a hospital because of chest pains.