When getting grilled in a way that he was never really grilled in Gainesville or Columbus, Jaguars coach Urban Meyer defended his decision to hire controversial former Iowa strength coach Chris Doyle by citing a past working relationship with him.
“I’ve known Chris for close to 20 years. Our relationship goes back to when I was at Utah, and he was the No. 1 strength coach,” Meyer said Thursday.
While Meyer was indeed the head coach at Utah and Doyle was indeed the strength coach, their time at Utah never actually overlapped.
Doyle spent one year at Utah, in 1998. Meyer didn’t arrive at Utah until 2003, five years later. The duo never otherwise worked together.
It’s a bizarre claim, given the ease with which it was debunked. And it’s a powerful contention, given that it’s far easier to vouch for Doyle if Meyer had actually worked with Doyle. As it turns out, Meyer never actually worked with Doyle.
That doesn’t mean Meyer didn’t know Doyle. Meyer presumably did. But it’s one thing to know a guy and it’s quite another to acquire the more intimate knowledge that would come from spending time in the same program, grinding away day after day.
Meyer’s success has allowed him to compile political equity in his prior stops. He arrived in Jacksonville with a certain amount of that same vibe. But the Doyle hire quickly has shrunken Meyer’s overall leeway.
Indeed, the Fritz Pollard Alliance has pivoted from praising the Jaguars for their hiring processes regarding Meyer and G.M. Trent Baalke to condemning the decision to hire Doyle. Others may begin to feel the same way, putting even more pressure on Meyer to win quickly or risk having a Nick Saban-style short stay in the NFL.