Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer on the sidelines during third quarter action. The Jaguars were tied with the Bills 6 to 6 at the end of the first half and went on to win the game with a final score of 9 to 6. The Jacksonville Jaguars hosted the Buffalo Bills at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, FL, Sunday, November 7, 2021. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union] Jki 110721 Bsjagsvsbuffalo 52 Syndication Florida Times Union

Urban Meyer was fired as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars on Wednesday after 13 games in which he went 2-11. The move came just one day after owner Shad Khan made a statement in defense of embattled head coach Urban Meyer, who was facing a fresh round of leaked reports of behind-the-scenes drama while the team struggled on the field. Since then, former players, current players, and Khan himself have clarified their sentiments about the decision.

But what does Meyer think now that his NFL opportunity has ended so abruptly and with so much drama?

Meyer spoke for the first time since the decision, telling NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that the move was “devastating” and “heartbreaking.”

“I just apologize to Jacksonville,” Meyer said. “I love Jacksonville. It’s one of the reasons I took the job. I still think Shad’s a great owner. It’s heart-breaking. I just had a dream of it becoming a destination place with a new facility he agreed to build and someday to walk into that stadium where it’s standing room only. Because I know how bad the people of Jacksonville want it. So, I’m just heartbroken that we weren’t able to do that. I still believe it’s going to be done. It’s too good of a place.”

Amongst other things, Meyer denied all of the allegations leveled against him in his final week with the Jaguars, including reports of a heated argument with Marvin Jones and kicking former Jaguars player Josh Lambo. He also said the James Robinson benching was a miscommunication, though his explanation for what happened differed from his comments after that game.

The part in the interview that might have stuck out the most was Meyer blaming how “society has changed” for part of the reason why his coaching style might not have worked in the NFL.

“I think college has changed quite a bit, too,” Meyer said. “Just society has changed. You think how hard you pushed. … I believe there is greatness in everybody and it’s the coach’s job to find that greatness however you do that. Positive encouragement. Pushing them to be greater, making them work harder, identifying flaws and trying to fix [them]. I think everything is so fragile right now. And that includes coaching staffs. When I got into coaching, coaches weren’t making this kind of money and they didn’t have agents. Everything is so fragile where it used to be team, team, team. I remember talking about it in a staff meeting three days ago. I got into this profession because I had the greatest high school coach and it was all about team. All about the huddle.”

There’s a strange logic to Meyer’s thoughts here. He’s blaming the way things have changed, and yet many of the coaches succeeding in college football and the NFL are older than him and have found ways to adjust. Also, adjusting to changing factors is part of being a coach in any sport. It sounds like more of an excuse than an actual reason.

And plenty of NFL folks around social media seemed to notice that as well.


If Meyer was hoping to win hearts and minds with this interview, it appears he’s only reinforced preconceived notions about the way he works. He might still have a future in TV but it’s going to be a long time before he can prove to football fans that he’s the man of integrity that he claims to be.

[Ian Rapoport]

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.