Urban Meyer is a Jacksonville Jaguar – What to Expect on Offense

By Casey Sully

Urban Meyer’s offense is all about the Spread. That should be music to Trevor Lawrence’s and Jaguars’ fans ears. Jacksonville is perfectly suited to run the Spread offense with James Robinson at running back and DJ Chark, Keelan Cole, and Laviska Shenault playing receiver. Of course, the cog to make it all go will be Trevor Lawrence. Perhaps not coincidentally, Lawrence ran a pro-style Spread offense with Clemson to great success.

Urban Meyer’s offense is coming to Jacksonville
Tim Heitman / USA Today Sports

Urban Meyer’s Spread offense

The Spread offense, as its name suggests, is all about spreading out the defense. By using four receivers, you force the defense to cover those players which removes them from contributing to stopping the run. That leaves you with usually four defensive linemen and two linebackers in the box. To combat that, you have five offensive linemen, your quarterback, and your running back. That’s where the RPO and read option can start to come into play. If you read and throw off of one of those box defenders, all the sudden you’re five-on-five for blocking. The numbers advantage is back to the offense. There are a ton of variations on who to option and how. Don’t take my word for it, though, listen to Urban Meyer break it down for you.

Quarterback designed runs

At the college level at least, Urban Meyer ran a ton of quarterback power and counter to help give his offense that numbers advantage he’s always looking for. By using the quarterback as a viable runner, which Trevor Lawrence has shown he can do, you gain a blocker. Urban runs these plays out of empty sets or as a counter or power option, the idea is the same as the zone read, just with a different blocking scheme.

Urban’s college scheme is predicated on the quarterback being able to run the ball. Without that, it loses some potency and explosiveness.

West Coast influences

Urban Meyer’s passing offense on the other hand, has a lot of West Coast influences. There are a lot of short, possession pass routes that let his receivers run after the catch. He loves to get the ball into his playmakers hands. Whether that’s handing it off, letting his quarterback run, throwing RPOs, or using timing and rhythm throws that get his guys on the move.

Final Thoughts

Obviously, a lot is yet to be seen about whether Urban’s offense will transfer over to the NFL. Running your #1 overall pick frequently throughout a season could lead to some problems. We’ve seen Cam Newton deteriorate in recent years so you have to be wary of running that system. Urban will have to find a happy medium between utilizing his college style spread offense and keeping his quarterback healthy. One thing is for sure though, there is a lot to be excited about in Jacksonville.

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