Meyer may not want to coach in the NFL, but the Bengals at least need to find out
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - The Bengals have to make the call, right? They have to kick the tires, correct? They have to run the idea up the flag pole, no?
It's still unknown whether the Bengals will fire Marvin Lewis after this season, and it's a strong possibility that if they do that they will hire Hue Jackson to replace him. Yet now that Urban Meyer is on the open market they have to at least ask him if he wants the Bengals head coaching job.
Meyer may really be retired this time or maybe it will be at least a year before he decides he's not, especially if the USC job comes open following the 2019 season. But the Bengals have to call him to find out.
Even if it's for public relations sake, they have to do it and they would be wise to let the public know as much.
The eroding fan base needs some level of hope for the future, and what better way to give them some hope that it won't be the status quo at Paul Brown Stadium than to make a play for the uber-successful head coach of THE Ohio State University.
Meyer would bring instant credibility in a locker room that includes some players he coached in college.
I know that successful college head coaches don't always make successful NFL head coaches. Nick Saban, Chip Kelley, Steve Spurrier and even current Ohio State associate head coach/defensive coordinator Greg Schiano are great examples of that.
But there are certainly examples of head coaches who made the successful transition from college to the NFL: Pete Carroll, Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer all won national championships and guided a team to a Super Bowl title. Tom Coughlin and Bill Walsh also transitioned from college head coach to leading NFL teams that won the Super Bowl, although both had been assistants in the NFL prior to going back to college to be a head coach, and Carroll had also been a head coach in the NFL prior to going to USC.
Bengals rookie center Billy Price played for Meyer at Ohio State and said he believes he would be successful in the NFL.
"Whatever he puts his mind to I think he would be good at, it just depends on what Urban wants to do," said Price.
Meyer is 82-9 with one game pending in his Ohio State tenure, but it seemed like the nine losses ate at him far more than any satisfaction he derived from the 82 wins. He appeared to be in physical agony during this season's 52-51 overtime win against Maryland.
Meyer could lose nine games in a season in the NFL and he told Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports on Wednesday: "I see some of these guys’ records because the NFL is so even, some of these guys, their record is 74-58. I could never do that."
Bengals rookie defensive lineman Sam Hubbard said he doesn't believe Meyer would want to coach in the NFL because losing can take its toll on him.
"He hates to lose," said Hubbard. "The NFL you've got a lot of games and a lot of competition. I think he would be successful. He really spends a lot of time developing relationships with players and the way that players are in and out in the NFL that's just the way the business is I think that would be hard on him. I think he really was one of the best college coaches in history. I don't know if he has sights set on the NFL."
Perhaps he doesn't, and perhaps he'll decide to never coach again on any level, although I doubt it. Coaching is in his blood and at age 54 that's simply too young to not do it again.
Whether to coach in the NFL or if at all are decisions only Meyer can make. Those are tough.
The Bengals decision should be easy: At least call the man to find out.