Urban Meyer will look at his team’s halftime adjustments

Jacksonville Jaguars v Cincinnati Bengals
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Urban Meyer’s adjustment from college football to pro football includes adjusting to an intermission that’s 40 percent shorter.

After trailing at halftime in the first two games of the season, the Jaguars took leads of 13-7 and 14-0 into the locker room after the first two quarters of the last two games. And as Jacksonville coach Urban Meyer tries to figure out what went wrong on Thursday night in Cincinnati, he’s looking at everything — including what does or doesn’t go on at halftime.

“I’m looking at it all,” Meyer told reporters on Friday. “I would imagine it’s not conditioning but I’m looking at the halftime adjustments. It seems like the first part of the second half is when we’ve had a couple issues. I remember that against Arizona and then as well as the one last night, they went right down the field on us. So, we’re looking at that, but I don’t believe it’s conditioning. I’m looking at the second half adjustments and what are we doing as opposed to [the other team]. I know Cincinnati came out and tried to establish the run early in the game and we played them very well. I talked to Joe Burrow after the game a little bit. Then [in] the second half, he wanted to empty it out and identify matchup issues, and that’s what they did. Their second half adjustment was better than ours.”

Some have tried to shout down the notion that halftime adjustments can become a factor in a game because Peyton Manning recently said during his Monday night companion broadcast that not much can be done during halftime of an NFL game. But, obviously, something can be done; it’s 12 minutes, not 12 seconds. If one team makes the most of that time and the other just dog paddles until the start of the third quarter, that can make a difference.

On Thursday night, for example, Bengals coach Zac Taylor took advantage of the opportunity to send a message to his team, which had narrowly avoided falling into a 21-point hole, that the 14-point deficit was not insurmountable.

“The message was that they beat us in all three phases,” Taylor told reporters after the game. “We had not played great football. They genuinely beat us in all three phases. I don’t know if it was their best shot, but it sure felt like it and we were not playing good football. We had a whole second half to play, so there was no reason to panic and nobody did. Everybody was calm and collected. They knew they were going to get the ball to start the half, and we’re usually pretty efficient in that. They just trusted that we were going to come together.”

It doesn’t take long for that message to be sent. The coach needs to send it, and the coach needs to grab his quarterback and offensive coordinator and finalize plans for the opening drive of the second half, which in this case allowed the Bengals to cut the margin in half.

What was Meyer doing with eight fewer minutes than he had between halves at Utah, Florida, and Ohio State? At this point, we don’t know. Whatever it was, he realizes he needs to consider whether he should be doing more with less time, in order to keep a 14-point lead from becoming a three-point loss.

18 responses to “Urban Meyer will look at his team’s halftime adjustments

  1. I hope it didn’t take three pro games to realize he needs to look at his halftime adjustments.

  2. I told you. Urban is getting ready to start making changes to his coaching staff. He had to throw together a staff real quickly. It will take a couple years to get the right staff together. He’s working with coaches he never met before. He’s learning about them every day, just as he’s learning about what his players can and can’t do. Then he’s going to start overhauling his personnel department. Urban is going to win. It takes a little time.

  3. It’s the NFL not the NBA, you just don’t come in and learn five plays (see Michael Ray Richardson) and set the world on fire-especially the quarterback position.

  4. I’m really pulling for Urban Meyer to succeed in the NFL and turn the Jacksonville Jaguars into a contender. Hopefully Urban doesn’t follow in the same failed footsteps as other all-time great college football head coaches like Steve Spurrier,Lou Holtz and Nick Saban. The NFL just feels healthier when teams like the Jaguars,Jets,Browns,Bengals and Lions field a contending competitive roster.

  5. Judging by the picture, Lawrence is being bombarded by “input” from too many sources. Not a good way to establish a young QB. Pick somebody and stick with it.

  6. Half time adjustments is a media thing it doesn’t really happen. It isn’t like these guys play both ways and don’t have access to snapshots of plays on the sideline. If an adjustment needs to be made why wait until halftime to make it? Have your coaches talk to the players on the sideline. Halftime is usually a medical check up for a lot of guys.

  7. I thought the pro rule of thumb was that if you’re waiting until halftime to make any adjustments, you’ve already lost…

  8. Halftime adjustments and offensive lines gelling are 2 persistent myths that fans like to cling to in a disappointing season. Most of these folks never even played the game, and just don’t know any better.

  9. Geez if they just would have scored from the 1-yard line we wouldn’t be having this hysteria. They barely lost by 3 points to the BEngals. Not the end of the world

  10. Man is famous for trying to micromanage what are the responsibilities of his staff. Taking on more work and headaches. He then burns himself out. He seems to already be putting himself into many different facets of the team instead of adjusting himself, to the league. And letting his assistants do their jobs and managing from above. Perhaps it’s just my perception but the offense and the way they are using Lawerence seems frankly a much more college approach also. Reticence to use the backs but instead Lawerence on quite a bit of designed runs. It’s a strength of Lawerence, but I think it’s also stunting his growth in the pocket. Plus Meyer doesn’t seem to have looked at the size of LBs and SS, DE in the NFL cause if one of them gets a center bull hit on Lawerence they are going to inflict pain and he will not hold up to that and lower his shoulder like he did at Clemson and remain available. Meyer is gonna get that guy hurt before he learns the NFL himself. IMO

  11. charliecharger says:

    October 2, 2021 at 11:13 am

    I told you. Urban is getting ready to start making changes to his coaching staff. He had to throw together a staff real quickly. It will take a couple years to get the right staff together. He’s working with coaches he never met before. He’s learning about them every day, just as he’s learning about what his players can and can’t do. Then he’s going to start overhauling his personnel department. Urban is going to win. It takes a little time
    ——–
    Smmmhhh 1st off to think Urban hadnt been looking at putting a staff together if he secured a head coaching job with whatever team had the 1st pick your crazy. Mid season last year there were rumors he could go to whichever team ended up with the 1st pick which meant he was likely back channeling to see what his staff would look like. 2nd if it takes “a little time” his track record shows he wont be there then 3rd your “I told you” based off your other wildly inaccurate observations(Rudolph/Falk/Kaeprnick being elite but not Watson and your other gem of Lynn being fired because of racism rather than his poor clock management and overall poor coaching skills)makes me even more confident then that he wont succeed in the nfl if you told us

  12. I’m not sure why so many people are trying to make such a big deal out of the fact that Urban has some adjustments to make after moving from college to NFL coaching. Is it really much different than if the Jaguars had hired an NFL coordinator to be their head coach? The coordinator would have to adjust to changes in his new position too. Urban is a smart man. Give him a little time and he will get it figured out.

  13. He needs more Jimmy’s and Joe’s too. It’s hard to compete when every week the other team just has better players top to bottom

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