Whether it was at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida or Ohio State, Urban Meyer has been the head coach of plenty of elite football teams.
Therefore, Meyer should know what makes a team or coaching staff “elite.” It’s not a designation he takes lightly, as he made clear during a recent Q&A with Jaguars.com.
“You’re going to hear the word ‘elite’ all over the place around here,” Meyer said. “Elite is hard. I take a little bit of offense when I hear people use that word loosely. I’ve been fortunate to be around elite. You see some of the high draft picks, some of the great players we’ve been around. Those are elite players. I’ve also had elite coaches. I take that word very seriously.”
The three-time national champion, who is now running an NFL team for the first time, expounded on where the separation between good and “elite” lies.
“There’s a term we’re going to use. ‘The edge’ is where average stops and elite begins. The greatest way to visualize that is practices. The first five practices in training camp your body’s fine, your mind’s fine . . . everything is good. But what about after practice five? What about after practice 15? That’s when your body starts shutting down on you a little bit and fatigue starts to take over. What does the average player, the average coach, do at that time? They step backwards. What do elite people do? They push right through that edge. I like to say the edge is where average stops and elite begins. That’s what I looked for in my coaching staff. In free agency and then draft, that’s what we’ll look for in players.”
Since he took over the worst team in the NFL, Meyer has to realize he is quite a ways from making the Jaguars an “elite” team. However, the foundation can start to be laid this offseason.
It all begins with free agency this month and the selection of quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 overall pick in April’s draft.