Urban Meyer made his debut as an NFL coach on Saturday night, the first of at least 20 games to be played.
How did he feel in his first game as a pro coach?
“I felt great until I looked up and saw 85 yards at halftime,” Meyer told reporters after the game.
Meyer is keenly aware of that fact. Beyond pointing out that they have one down and 19 to go at the outset of his postgame press conference, he mentioned the total numbers of games later in the session.
“The newness to me is the length of the season,” Meyer said. “I keep hearing that over and over again. I’m learning.”
His biggest concern for the first game of 20 centered on the offense. Specifically, on the way it moved.
“I don’t like slow offenses. . . . I don’t wanna be one of those slow, wallowing offenses,” Meyer said. “And we’ll get that fixed. . . . We’ve just got to get it and go, go, go.”
Meyer didn’t blame quarterback Trevor Lawrence for the pace of the offense. Meyer, however, believes that the rookie quarterback possibly held onto the ball or too long. Meyer said he’ll review the film and speak to Lawrence about that.
“I kind of felt he did [hold the ball too long] on one of them,” Meyer said. “I do believe he held the ball a little bit, and we’ve gotta find out why.”
One point made by a reporter questioning Meyer — “you had most of your starters and they had most of their backups, third-teamers.” Is that concerning to Meyer, given that the Browns had a 13-0 lead at the half en route to a 23-13 win?
“Concerning? Yeah, everything’s concerning,” Meyer said. “It’s my job to be concerned.”
It’s his job to be a lot of things as the head coach of an NFL team. And he’ll continue to learn. This year, he’s got at least 19 more opportunities to do so.