Apr 29, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Indianapolis Colts fan Mike Bostic aka Clony Dungy dresses as former coach Tony Dungy during the 2021 NFL Draft at First Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

While there were lots of things in the Urban Meyer videos and photos that went viral last weekend that caused concern in NFL circles, one of the biggest issues that people took note of was the fact that Meyer didn’t travel with the team from Ohio back to Florida.

Many NFL people have said that they’ve never heard of a head coach not traveling with their team and you can add Tony Dungy to that list. The former Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach told Pro Football Talk that he never skipped out on traveling with his team and he’s not entirely sure why a head coach would think that was a good idea.

“I played football for probably 16 years, total,” Dungy said. “I coached for 28 years. I never went to a game where the head coach didn’t come back with my team, me and myself for 13 years as a head coach, 15 years as an assistant, 15 years playing when the head coach went to a game. When we returned the head coach came back with us. So that to me, I just don’t know how you do that and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to stay in Ohio.’ . . . That was the mistake to me. What happened in the bar or whatever, that’s secondary. You go back with your team. We finished by getting home and getting everybody — that’s your responsibility as the head coach to make sure everybody lands on that plane, safe, everybody gets back to the facility, then you do what you have to do.”

Dungy also said that he felt like it was the responsibility of the head coach to travel with the team if for no other reason than if something goes wrong and they need to take charge.

“You are responsible for those guys until the trip is over,” Dungy told PFT. “Someone could get sick on the plane. The plane might get rerouted and you have to land somewhere else. We had that happen where we had a snowstorm and we had to turn around and land back in the city we just left and spend the night. You never know.”

Urban Meyer has made a few comments about player responsibility and ownership in recent days. And while that’s true that everyone needs to take responsibility, being the head coach of an NFL team comes with some very specific responsibilities and Meyer is going to regret having abdicated this one.


About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.