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The Russell Report: The Urban Meyer era has begun in Jacksonville and the Bills are the feel-good story of the NFL Playoffs

Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 5:48 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The Urban Meyer era has officially begun with the Jacksonville Jaguars after he accepted the job a few days ago.

He was the guy owner Shad Kahn wanted from the get-go and he got him. Some are skeptical of Meyer and I understand that, given how he has left some jobs previously because of stress or illness. But one thing is for sure, he has energized a fan base that sorely needs it as season ticket sales have skyrocketed, and expectations are great that he will pull this lowly franchise into the upper echelons of the NFL.

Can he handle losing? The rebuild might take some time, but he has the No. 1 pick, a lot of cap space money to spend and you know he will work relentlessly to succeed. I’m rooting for him.

Speaking of the NFL, the Buffalo Bills continue to be a great story.

They get another playoff win against the Ravens and now get to play in the AFC championship game this weekend. The Bills got a win earlier in the playoffs for the first time in 25 years and I’m happy for that organization and its fans.

Buffalo is a unique franchise, with a fan base that spans all of upper New York State; it’s almost a regional team and those fans are all in on the Bills. In a season of a lot of downs in sports, this is a nice feel-good story.

Don’t look now but the Florida gymnastics team is ranked No. 1 under head coach Jenny Rowland, who has done a tremendous job with this program.

Florida beat arch-rival Georgia at home over the weekend and they have the look of a team that could win a national championship. Some believe the Gators would have won it last year until the pandemic ended their season, and even though some of the team couldn’t compete for months because of COVID, this group has the grit, determination, talent and the right coach in Rowland to perhaps add to the national titles former coach Rhonda Faehn won in her time at Florida.

Finally, this was the month the NCAA was set to approve a one-time, no-penalty transfer rule for all Division I athletes to transfer without having to sit out a year where they would be immediately eligible.

It was also to vote on legislation that would allow student-athletes to profit from the use of their name, image and likeness by establishing their own endorsement deals. But those votes have been postponed by the NCAA because of concerns over anti-trust violations in the image and likeness bill.

Don’t ask me to explain it, I can’t, but change is coming... It’s just a matter of when and how.

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