After three decades of coaching in college football, Urban Meyer has moved to the NFL ranks. He's not a fan of at least one aspect of his new job.
The Jacksonville Jaguars' new head coach gave reporters a review of his first foray into NFL free agency Friday. It's safe to say he disliked the process, specifically the legal tampering period when most deals are struck.
Here's Meyer, from ESPN:
"Yeah, that was awful. I don't agree with it, but no one asked my opinion. I guess in the old days you could bring them in and meet them, have dinner with them, you find out the football intellect, find out their character. The thing you don't [do], I found out, is call someone who has skin in the game because they're going to not quite — I don't see honest as a very appropriate [word]. So we did a deep dive. Every guy that we signed, we did. ...
"To answer your question, that was awful, and I don't believe it should be that way. Not when you're making organizational decisions. I'm not sure how that rule came about, but to me that's not good business."
It's worth noting that this was another unusual year for NFL free agency, as teams are still unable to do the usual in-person meetings with interested players, making the change even more jarring for Meyer in his first year as an NFL head coach.
Meyer missing the world of college recruiting isn't a surprise. The former Ohio State and Florida coach was among the best recruiters in modern college football history, and losing that advantage in the more equitable free agency can't be a good feeling. There is also something to be said about the personal connection of recruiting, though it's a bit rich to hear a coach with Meyer's past complain about not being able to gauge character.
Jaguars' free agents include some familiar faces
Meyer's Jaguars have been an active team in the five days since the NFL's legal tampering period opened. Among the team's notable deals are cornerback Shaquill Griffin (three years $44.5 million), safety Rayshawn Jenkins (three years, $35 million) and wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. (two years, $14.5 million).
One free agent signing Meyer should be familiar with is running back Carlos Hyde, who played under the coach at Ohio State and agreed with the Jaguars on a two-year, $6 million deal. ESPN also notes that five more of the Jaguars' 11 free agents have played under Meyer's assistant coaches.
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