Former New York Jets and Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan didn’t hold back on Sunday when discussing Trevor Lawrence’s former head coach Urban Meyer, who was fired this past week just 13 games into his tenure with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Now an NFL analyst for ESPN, Ryan reacted to Meyer’s firing on Sunday NFL Countdown and broke down why he wasn’t at all surprised by the firing of Meyer after watching his attempt to take on the NFL following years as a college head coach at Ohio State (2012-18), Florida (2005-10), Utah (2003-04) and Bowling Green (2001-02).
Ryan — who has said that Meyer wasn’t ready for the “men’s league” — was asked why he thinks it went down this way with Meyer and Jacksonville after seeing what transpired during a tumultuous stint with the Jaguars during which there was plenty of drama and incidents on and off the field.
“Well, because he has no experience that way,” Ryan said. “This is the best of the best — and it’s not just the best players, it’s the best coaches in the country. There’s only 32 of these jobs right here. Don’t come into this league if you’re going to get crushed, and that’s what happens to these college guys.”
Ryan blasted Meyer, saying he knew Meyer would be outcoached at the NFL level, and told Meyer to “go back to college where you belong.”
“These college guys… It’s funny,” Ryan said. “Urban Meyer, I talked with Urban Meyer when he got the job, and he said, ‘Well explain it, why?’ I said, ‘Because it’s the grind, it’s the work you’ve got to put in. That’s what they’re putting in going across ya. It’s not that you’re just playing Alabama every week, which is the case.’ He didn’t listen, I knew he wouldn’t listen. He told me about recruiting. I go, ‘Recruiting? That’s a picnic.’ Like you’re going to go talk to a kid and talk about football, talk to their parents and have a meal and all that type stuff. Great. I’m talking about the grind. I’m talking about your job as an NFL coach is to put your players in the best position possible to be successful. That’s your job. You want to see what a players’ coach is? That’s a players’ coach. They respect that, they respect your work ethic. You’re there in the office three, four times a week, not taking a phone call from some kid and thinking that’s work.”
“I knew he’d get outcoached. He did,” Ryan continued. “Go back to college where you belong.”
Ryan, who won a Super Bowl as the defensive line coach for the Baltimore Ravens in 2000, added that he respects Meyer as a college coach but “knew this was going to happen” with Meyer in Jacksonville.
“I called it, I told you so. Guess what, I was right again,” Ryan said. “OK, why? Because I’ve been around this game all my life. Those are the guys you ought to be looking at if you’re an owner. Hire somebody that’s been around this game all his life. That’s what you ought to be looking for, and somebody that can relate to motivating a man instead of a young man. It’s a huge difference, and to me, I’m not shocked by this whatsoever.”
–Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images
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