After an amazingly successful college coaching career, Urban Meyer found the professional ranks much tougher, failing to make it through even one season as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Since his firing in mid-December with the Jaguars sporting a 2-11 record, Meyer has kept his thoughts pretty much to himself. However, he appeared Monday on Outkick’s “Don’t @ Me With Dan Dakich” to discuss the NFL playoffs and the differences he experienced between pro and college football.
“Used to be in college, the reality is you spend 75% of your time recruiting,” Meyer said. “In professional football, there’s no recruiting. So it’s all scheme and it’s all roster management. You’re getting guys rolling in on your organization on a Tuesday and they’re gonna play for you on a Sunday. So there is some obvious differences to the two games.”
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After winning so many games in college – often by large margins – Meyer also mentioned the differences in amount of time spent on, and the importance of, the two-minute drill in the NFL.
But the biggest difference for Meyer was learning to handle losing after winning 85% of his games (187-32) in college.
“It was the worst experience I’ve had in my professional lifetime,” Meyer admitted. “What really got me, I almost don’t want to say people accept it, I mean, you lose a game, and you just keep … I would seriously have self-talk.
“It eats away at your soul.”
Meyer did address his tenuous relationship with the media, and he denied one of the most explosive allegations made during his time with the Jaguars — about an altercation in the preseason with kicker Josh Lambo.
“You know when you come out and say there was a player kicked … That’s not true. That’s not true at all,” he said. “To say I didn’t tap him with my foot … To kick someone? Come on. I’ve done this 37 years. Kick a player? The other players came up to me and said, ‘We saw the whole thing.’ Because I’d mostly forgotten about it.”
In the end, Meyer and the NFL just weren’t a good fit. Dakich asked him if the adage that college coaches can’t succeed in the pros might be true.
“Well, I certainly didn’t help it,” Meyer replied.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Urban Meyer on Jaguars tenure: Losing in NFL ‘eats away at your soul’