Urban Meyer’s first season in the NFL has gone about as poorly as one can go and there always seems to be something worse around the bend.
Before the season even started, there were rumors of discontent and investigations into his way of handling COVID-related decisions involving the roster. Meyer’s viral video incident, which happened when he skipped the flight back to Florida, only seemed to build a rift between him and the rest of the team. Even owner Shad Khan had to publicly smack him on the nose. There were rumors of resigning but it was presumed he’d keep his job, at least for now. The Jags won a couple of games but have since slid backward, leaving their coach looking miserable on the sidelines. Rumors ran rampant again over Notre Dame and, while he denied it, he also admitted he didn’t expect to be 2-9.
Last week, running back James Robinson has spent an inordinate amount of time on the bench this season and that situation came to a head this past Sunday when he carried the ball just eight times for 24 yards in a 37-7 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Meyer said he didn’t know why his star running back was out of the game other than to assume he was injured, But Robinson, later said he was benched. Meyer seemed to deflect any blame or idea of how his team was being run, a bad look even if it’s true. Even Trevor Lawrence publicly rebuked the idea.
Saturday, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported that Meyer has been involved in two incidents with the Jaguars, one with a player and one with his assistant coaches.
Per Pelissero, Meyer got into a heated argument with receiver Marvin Jones that led the veteran to leave the team facility. Jones reportedly had to be convinced to return to the facility and the team.
In another reported incident, Meyer “delivered a biting message that he’s a winner and his assistant coaches are losers.” Meyer also reportedly challenged “each coach individually to explain when they’ve ever won and forcing them to defend their résumés.”
Finally, the report says that it was indeed Meyer who ordered Robinson to be benched following an early fumble on Sunday.
While these are all secondhand and unconfirmed, they help to paint a larger picture that Meyer remains very much in the dark on how to handle coaching an NFL team, especially one in dire straits like the Jaguars.
Meyer has certainly gotten a fair share of criticism this season, and he got plenty more on social media on Saturday.
“Who could’ve predicted all this” feels like the thing to say, but I think we’re beyond even that. I want a comedy series based on the book about this team. Give me Urban Meyer as Dread Lasso https://t.co/4puwZoum8g
— Jason Kirk (@thejasonkirk) December 11, 2021
What’s funny is that Dan Campbell was supposed to be the joke that wouldn’t work out and Urban Meyer was the guy everyone took seriously.
— Mike Payton (@POD_Payton) December 11, 2021
I can’t believe Urban Meyer turned out to be a bad guy. If only there were some warning signs that could’ve tipped us off ahead of time.
— Scott Bell (@sbell021) December 11, 2021
Apparently being a power tripping jerk that no one likes isn’t as effective when you don’t just get the best players https://t.co/8vBpkz7PIm
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) December 11, 2021
we’re this close to an angry, red, nude urban meyer challenging the entire jags locker room and staff to a fight
— Brian Floyd (@BrianMFloyd) December 11, 2021
I 100% believe Urban Meyer hasn’t coached his final college game. I don’t care how much he allegedly hates recruiting now. He won’t let himself end his career with this Jaguars disaster.
— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) December 11, 2021
It’s getting harder and harder to see Urban Meyer remaining as the Jaguars coach next season, but we’ll see how this all plays out. Jacksonville has to contend with a very good Titans team on Sunday and, presuming they’re 2-11, we’ll see what else transpires in this never-ending soap opera.