Urban Meyer always had a staffer locked in on the behavior of an opponent’s head coach. Here’s why

We’ve touched on the genius of Urban Meyer’s addition as an analyst a number of times here before, and enough good things can’t be said about what he brings to the table in that role.

His segments breaking down X’s and O’s and providing insight into coaching decisions has made his appearances some of the most anticipated for coaches everywhere since Jon Gruden was sitting down with some of the top quarterbacks coming out for the NFL Draft in those QB Camp segments.

The latest invaluable insight that Urban shared was actually just an afterthought he shared while digging into a BTN segment centered on how to motivate your team when playing as a monumental favorite. Urban starts the clip by talking about Ohio State’s surprise onside kick vs. Maryland.

“I’m going to give you one other coaching point,” Meyer starts by telling DiNardo.

“I would always know if the head coach was involved in special teams. For example, if the head coach was always in kickoff, then I would always know. I would have a get back coach always tell me where he’s at,” Urban explained, while pointing out on screen that Day is located right by where the onside kick is about to take place.

“I would be over here staring right at him, or have someone always watching and tell me where the head coach is at. If he’s normally not involved in kickoff, and I see him there [where Day is standing on the clip], I’m calling a timeout. Or I’m giving some type of signal to say, ‘Wait a minute. Why is he there?’ I’ve done that many times on punt.”

Meyer later shared that it was often a graduate assistant under one of his assistant coaches that he tasked with locking onto the head coach at those moments.

“So a head coach…and I won’t give you their names, but some of them never watch special teams. So if I see them…and it happened about three or four times, I see him watching close, I always had a hand signal to say we’re going punt safe because they’re going to run a fake.”

How did Urban know if a head coach outside the league that he was unfamiliar was hands on and involved in special teams, and what units he leaned toward? He picked up the phone and called coaches he knew and trusted in the profession.

See the full clip with Meyer for more.