Former college coach Urban Meyer formally interviewed with Jaguars owner Shad Khan on Friday, league sources said, and continues to be viewed far and wide as the frontrunner for that job, should he want it.
Meyer, who has been talking to associates and former assistants as he mulls the composition of a potential NFL staff, has also informed others that he has a strong possibility to coach the Chargers, league sources said, although the veracity of that sentiment is being disputed. League sources indicated that it would be highly unlikely for the Spanos family to cede the kind of control and structure that Meyer would demand; he does have ties to owner Dean Spanos, however, and has been around the team in recent years and attended some games as a guest of the team at their old venue in Carson, Calif.
Meyer has been in contact with Khan for weeks, sources said, and Jacksonville’s interest in him was first reported here in Week 16. Their interest is significant and many who know Meyer well concede that the process would not have reached this point if there was not already significant headway made. There is a strong sentiment in the coaching and GM community that this coupling is an eventuality should Meyer decide he is healthy enough and ready to coach again, with Khan not blanching at the inevitable financial commitment and power structure that hiring a coach like this will require.
Jaguars sources caution that this is just one of numerous interviews that Khan is conducting and that the process remains in its early stages, with former coach Doug Marrone just being relieved of his duties on Monday. Meyer walked away from Florida and again Ohio State for health reasons, and has been a college football analyst for Fox in recent years. He has a special allure in the Jacksonville area given his success with Florida and Jacksonville product Tim Tebow, who won a national championship and Heisman Trophy there.
If Meyer were to take the job in Jacksonville, league sources have pointed to former Browns general manager Ray Farmer as a possibility to serve in a general manager role, while Meyer is also a big proponent of Ohio State’s assistant athletic director, player personnel, Mark Pantoni, who has earned numerous accolades for his recruiting evaluations and who also worked for Meyer at Florida.