By MARK LONG, AP Professional Soccer Author
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — City Meyer arrives at Jaguars follow lengthy earlier than anybody else. He has a drink in a single hand and an power shot in his again pocket as he leisurely strolls across the perimeter of Jacksonville’s three fields.
It’s the final break Meyer will get for a number of hours.
He finishes his lap, tosses his cup within the trash after which slams the power drink earlier than mingling with gamers. When the emcee (extra on that later) requires the exercise to start out, Meyer will get busy. He bounces from place group to place group, typically leaping in to show a way or show the correct hand/foot placement. He has a whistle hanging from his lips and sweat dripping from his long-sleeved shirt. The tempo is as intense as Florida’s sweltering summer season warmth. Meyer by no means strays too removed from the center of the motion, both.
It’s his first NFL season – evidenced by continued missteps – and his first style of actual soccer for the reason that finish of the 2018 season. It’s what he is aware of. It’s what he loves. It’s what he does greatest.
And he’s working the Jaguars very similar to he did his profitable school packages: Bowling Inexperienced, Utah, Florida and Ohio State.
He asks gamers to jog onto the follow discipline. He places guys in aggressive conditions each probability he will get. He charts winners and losers for each drill. He offers nobody a break day. It’s little doubt demanding.
Gamers are relying on it being equally rewarding.
“He’s received all over the place he’s been so it’s straightforward for us to purchase in,” veteran middle Brandon Linder mentioned.
Added linebacker Damien Wilson: “Coach, he’s been saying it perhaps a thousand instances. We’re not likely right here to get runner-up or simply win the division. Everybody right here desires a championship. That’s why we play the sport; that’s what we’re taking part in for.”
Meyer has three titles, two at Florida (2006, 2008) and one other at Ohio State (2014). He left the Buckeyes for well being causes in 2018 and spent the following two years working as a school soccer TV analyst. He first contemplated a transfer to the NFL in early 2020 and began finding out the nuances of the league lengthy earlier than Jaguars proprietor Shad Khan supplied him the job.
He admits having the chance to draft Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 choose was alluring. So was teaming with a billionaire proprietor who has a ardour for successful and the willingness to spend massive to get there.
Meyer already has began placing his stamp on each side of the group. At Meyer’s behest, the staff already has metropolis approval to construct a $120 million efficiency middle. Meyer already has revamped the sports activities diet division and turned a bit of the ability that used to function a media workroom right into a “rejuvenation room” for gamers.
It’s such a well-liked spot that gamers must make appointments to get within the door. As soon as inside, they’ll get red-light remedy and take a fast flip within the cryotherapy chamber. They’ll get a therapeutic massage, acupuncture and cupping. They’ll calm down in a Kyro-flotation tank or a cocoon infrared sauna.
It’s all a part of Meyer’s pledge to provide gamers “the perfect of the perfect.”
And that’s simply considered one of his many catchphrases seen or heard all through the constructing. There’s a “plus-two mentality,” which refers to giving just a little further on the end.
“If we ask you to go 10, go 12. Once we ask you to go 5 reps, give us seven. It’s only a mind-set,” Meyer mentioned. “What’s the distinction between a strain and a sack fumble? It’s the relentless end of a participant. What’s the distinction between a ball getting downed on the 1-yard line as an alternative of rolling into the top zone for a touchback?”
Meyer’s “personal it” motto is much more prevalent. It’s on each identify plate within the constructing and plastered on fences surrounding the follow fields.
“When individuals personal issues, my experiences are, you’re actually good. It means it’s yours,” he mentioned. “We would like individuals, together with everyone that steps foot on this facility that works right here, they should personal this. They should personal that Jaguar emblem. In the event that they don’t, they should go away. It’s the identical method we take with our gamers.
“This isn’t a one cease (the place) we’re going to hire the place for a number of months and transfer on. That doesn’t go effectively.”
Meyer’s college-like motivational ways are continuously evolving, too.
He gathers the staff round him for prolonged chats earlier than and generally throughout exercises, with one being timed at practically eight minutes. He welcomes visitor audio system: Jimmy Johnson, Michael Irvin, Lou Holtz, Dabo Swinney, Drew Brees and Willie McGinest are amongst those that have just lately visited. Brees even donned head-to-toe Jaguars gear for his daylong keep.
Meyer calls it a examine in human efficiency and habits.
“I simply can’t get sufficient finding out that, and of winners, nice gamers, the good coaches, the good groups,” he mentioned, including it began when Patriots coach Invoice Belichick invited him to New England. “They had been coming off back-to-back Tremendous Bowls and I used to be mesmerized with the way in which that group ran, the management inside the locker room.”
Meyer now has a chief of workers who additionally doubles as the general public deal with announcer throughout practices. Fernando Lovo was with Meyer at Florida and Ohio State. He counts down breaks, retains everybody abreast of what’s up subsequent and the place, and even reminds everybody “to get a rinse.”
Meyer most likely ought to take heed. He went so exhausting for thus lengthy in oppressive warmth in early August that he practically handed out. Group medical doctors suggested him to start out carrying a bucket hat to reduce solar and warmth publicity.
Sadly for Meyer, that is the least of his blips.
He needed to half with energy and conditioning coach Chris Doyle a day after hiring him in February due to a lawsuit accusing the previous Iowa assistant of racist remarks. Meyer additionally needed to change particular groups coordinator Brian Schneider, who stepped away from soccer for the second time in eight months. Each had been dangerous hires.
The Jaguars had been fined $200,000 and Meyer $100,000 on July 1. The punishment stemmed from an early June follow by which the league deemed receivers and defensive backs had an excessive amount of contact throughout 11-on-11 drills. He additionally was extensively criticized for signing quarterback-turned-tight finish Tim Tebow and for holding a QB “competitors” between Lawrence and Gardner Minshew.
Meyer’s newest problem stems from his admission that vaccination standing factored into the staff’s roster choices. Which may be true with many groups, however the NFL Gamers Affiliation launched an investigation in response to his feedback.
Meyer has mentioned repeatedly he’s nonetheless studying each day in regards to the NFL and the way it differs from school. Clock guidelines, problem guidelines, follow restrictions, having just a little give and take with millionaires who’ve lives outdoors of soccer, all of it’s new for Meyer.
Meyer’s adjusting as a lot or greater than gamers and assistants nonetheless determining his methodology.
“Love the power,” offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell mentioned. “I do not care if it is school, NFL, you need the power. You’re feeling the power, you’re feeling the urgency and everybody is aware of that once they step on this discipline they higher not be sleepwalking.”
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