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Urban Meyer’s tenure as an NFL coach didn’t even last 14 games. Instead, Meyer’s tumultuous stint ended late Wednesday night, when he was canned by the Jacksonville Jaguars, as our Bobby Burack relayed.
Jacksonville is just 2-11, but from the sounds of things, it wasn’t necessarily what took place in between the goal posts that got Meyer fired. Worse for Meyer were the endless controversies that seemed to rule his year off the field.
He hired a strength and conditioning coordinator who had been accused of making racist remarks. He was spotted in a video with a woman who wasn’t his wife — but who was dancing near his lap — at a bar. He reportedly experienced loads of tension with the players.
In short, it was dysfunction junction in Jacksonville.
“After deliberation over many weeks and a thorough analysis of the entirety of Urban’s tenure with our team, I am bitterly disappointed to arrive at the conclusion that an immediate change is imperative for everyone,” Jaguars owner Shad Khan said in a statement.
“I informed Urban of the change this evening. As I stated in October, regaining our trust and respect was essential. Regrettably, it did not happen.”
Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will take over as interim coach and finish out the season.
A Statement from Shad Khanhttps://t.co/lyW8mY7J3S— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) December 16, 2021
“Trent Baalke continues as our general manager and will work with Darrell to ensure that our team will be inspired and competitive while representing Jacksonville proudly over our final four games of the season,” Khan said.
Meyer was blessed with first overall pick Trevor Lawrence, the former Clemson star quarterback who has seemed mostly lost in Meyer’s offense. It doesn’t help that Meyer and Lawrence haven’t had much with which to work.
Nor did it help that Meyer tried to use his old college tricks to motivate NFL players. Blame Meyer, blame the players. Either way, it just wasn’t a fit — much like when former Michigan basketball coach John Beilein took his best shot with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2019, and failed miserably.
Cavs players accused Beilein of acting more like a dictator than a coach, and the Jaguars seemed to share similar sentiments about Meyer.
“League sources confirmed to ESPN on Saturday an NFL Network report that Jaguars receiver Marvin Jones Jr. had to be persuaded to return to the team facility after leaving in response to Meyer’s published criticism of the wide receivers,” wrote Mike DiRocco of ESPN. “Sources also said that Meyer and Jones had a heated exchange at practice after he returned.”
Not all of the reports on Meyer are accurate. There generally is a feeling amongst media that cover pro sports that college guys such as Meyer don’t belong, and the reporting is occasionally slanted as such.
But clearly, some of the stories were true, and given the lack of cohesion on the field and chemistry in the locker room, Meyer likely only has himself to blame.
So what’s next? Expect Meyer to return to the college game to try to prove he can still accomplish great things. That is, assuming he gets the chance.