Urban Meyer says he tried to bring in QB Alex Smith

Urban Meyer's ready to build a winning NFL team in Jacksonville

There are a couple of things that can be said about Urban Meyer and how he’s worked as the Jaguars’ head coach since being hired in January. First, he has had some things to adjust to. Whether that was in hiring his staff or free agency, we’ve seen a couple of signs of growing pains.

Second, Meyer has been very upfront about what he thinks and what his expectations are. He doesn’t dance around many questions from reporters. This week, Meyer appeared on a podcast with Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin and admitted that he wanted to bring in Alex Smith, the former Washington quarterback, whom Meyer coached in college. And they might still.

“I wanted him here,” Meyer said. “You know, we talked to him about joining an errand. He’s had a tough injury. And I would tell people this when people didn’t know how tough he was, he’s one of the toughest cats I’ve ever been around. There are some medical people in our organization that we’re very concerned. And remember, our GM (Trent Baalke) actually drafted Alex at San Francisco. So you have two people in Jacksonville that love Alex. It was that was deeper than a player, now. He’s like our family. Both of us feel so strongly about them. But that’s something that we’re just going to keep an eye on because I hope he comes back.”

Meyer also talked about the Jaguars’ draft and the expected selection of Trevor Lawrence with the first overall selection. As he has said before, Meyer stressed how important it is for the Jaguars to hit a home run with the draft.

“This will be the biggest decision have made, certainly in the recent history of the Jaguars,” Meyer said. “This will set the path and we have very good draft capital and picks. We’re going about 10 hours a day right now. That’s not good for a guy like me with A.D.D. to watch all that film over and over and over again. But we cannot miss on this. We can’t miss.”

Meyer also gushed about Lawrence’s abilities, as he has before. He told Irvin that unless Jaguars’ ownership decides otherwise, Lawrence will be the Jaguars’ selection at number one. He also detailed the five traits that he looks for in a quarterback.

“The number one thing that every great quarterback shares is as a competitive spirit, the elite competitor,” Meyer said. “Number two is they have to be tough. This is the most unique position in all of sport, not just football, sport. You have to know what all 22 people--21 other people are doing on that field all the time. And you have to be a leader. I’ve had quarterbacks say, ‘Well, I’m just not a good leader.’ And I said, ‘You’re not a good quarterback.’You have to elevate those around you and as the quarterback, all 10 other players are going to be looking at you in between plays. You better know what you’re doing. Number three is, ‘Can you lead yourself and lead others?’ If you can elevate those around you you can you can play quarterback and be a great quarterback. And then last, your intelligence and adaptability. Nowadays Mahomes is a great quarterback because first of all, he’s a great skill set guy but he adapts to every situation so well. Defenses are so good now. You have to be able to adapt. So those are the five qualities that I look for in a quarterback”

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Cole joined News4Jax full-time in January 2017, but he has been a part of the team since he began filling in as a sports anchor in 2005.