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#pounditWednesday, October 5, 2022

Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer says 1 rumor about him was ‘so silly’

Urban Meyer in a jacket

There were a lot of unflattering reports about Urban Meyer during his brief tenure with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The former coach has denied most of them, and he says he found one in particular to be quite laughable.

A piece that was published in The Athletic last month claimed Meyer was so unprepared with the Jaguars that he had never heard of certain star players, including three-time Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald. Meyer mocked the report during an appearance on “The Tim May Podcast” this week.

“Someone told me that,” Meyer said, via Bryan DeArdo of CBS Sports. “I’ve heard silly things in my life. You shouldn’t even address things like that, it’s so silly.”

Meyer supposedly indicated to his staff that he was unfamiliar with Donald when he asked them, “Who’s this 99 guy on the Rams?” The quote sounded like it would have been sarcasm. It is impossible to believe that anyone who knows anything about the NFL — let alone an NFL coach — would have no idea who Donald is.

Meyer was run out of Jacksonville in a hurry. He said he believes the team’s losing record was the main reason for that, though he did generate plenty of negative headlines.

Photo: Joseph Maiorana-USA Today Sports

Urban Meyer gives big hint about next career move

Urban Meyer in a dress shirt

Urban Meyer dropped a fairly significant hint about his career plans following his unsuccessful tenure as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In a recent appearance on “The Tim May Podcast,” Meyer said he hopes to return to college football coverage in the fall, and hinted at returning to previous work with FOX Sports.

“I love FOX. I love their team,” Meyer said (around 32:10 in the video). “There’s nothing been finalized yet, but I plan on going back and doing it. I really enjoyed that. I enjoyed celebrating those who play it, celebrating those who coach it, not kind of ripping people to shreds, but just celebrating this incredible game and most importantly the players that do this game. I plan on being back in the fall doing something like that.”

Meyer spent two years at FOX as part of its “Big Noon Kickoff” show in 2019 and 2020. He was widely praised for his work on television, and many would be happy to see him return. Others have suggested that this scenario is a strong possibility, too.

FOX brought in Bob Stoops to replace Meyer for 2021, but he was hired as one of the XFL’s new group of coaches on Wednesday. That would theoretically leave a seat open for Meyer if FOX wants him back.

Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Could Urban Meyer return to FOX as college football analyst?

Urban Meyer with a headset on

Urban Meyer flamed out rather spectacularly as the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. But he was actually very good as a TV analyst for FOX before heading to the NFL.

Could Meyer make a return to FOX’s airwaves? One reporter thinks so.

Austin Ward covers Ohio State for Lettermen Row and was talking about the Buckeyes on their “Ohio State Football Podcast” show. In Monday’s episode, Ward volunteered that he thinks Meyer will be back at FOX.

“I do think Urban will be back in college football as an analyst sometime soon. I think he’ll be returning to FOX,” Ward said. “I can’t say that it’s done, I just think it’s gonna happen again.”

Ward added that he felt there was a dropoff from Meyer to Bob Stoops, who replaced the former Ohio State coach on the FOX college football show.

We concur.

Meyer was great on air. He speaks with authority and had the credibility and aura of one of the greatest college football coaches.

Some are probably wondering whether Meyer’s credibility has been undermined by a poor tenure with the Jacksonville Jaguars that included multiple controversies. Whether it was the allegations from Josh Lambo or videos with a blonde at a bar, Meyer’s image took a big hit.

While all of those factors probably hurt Meyer’s credibility, he still has a major name and legacy in college football. The more time he spends out of the spotlight — and another four months of the offseason should help — the more the public will forget about some of the nonsense that encompassed him in Jacksonville.

If Meyer doesn’t return to FOX until just before the season, that will probably be enough time for the negative cloud surrounding him to have dissipated. Plus, FOX’s biggest audience are Big Ten fans — and Ohio State ones — and many of them probably are willing to overlook the Jags issues.

H/T Awful Announcing
Photo: Oct 10, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer reacts during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Urban Meyer had no idea who Aaron Donald, other stars were

Urban Meyer with a headset on

Urban Meyer did a lot of things wrong in his first stint as an NFL head coach, which is why he lasted less than a full season with the Jacksonville Jaguars. There have been countless stories about Meyer’s coaching style not being fit for the professional level, but his reported lack of preparedness may have been even more alarming.

Jayson Jenks and Mike Sando of The Athletic published a piece on Monday details some more of the ins and outs of Meyer’s brief tenure in Jacksonville. There were apparently signs of trouble early on, with Meyer demonstrating to people that he had not done his homework on teams and players around the NFL.

Sources told The Athletic that Meyer was shockingly unfamiliar with several star players around the league. On one occasion, he indicated to a member of his staff that he barely knew anything about Los Angeles Rams star Aaron Donald.

“Who’s this 99 guy on the Rams?” Meyer reportedly asked the assistant. “I’m hearing he might be a problem for us.”

That almost reads like sarcasm, but it supposedly was not. Meyer was said to be unfamiliar with other top players like San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel and Seattle Seahawks All-Pro safety Jamal Adams.

Meyer came into Jacksonville criticizing the way things were done in the NFL, even though he had never coached in the league. Sources told The Athletic that he once said in a staff meeting that he hates scouts because they are “lazy.” There were scouts present at the time of the meeting.

Unflattering reports about Meyer are certainly nothing new. There was the infamous incident with kicker Josh Lambo and many others. That said, it is downright shocking to hear that an NFL head coach had never heard of arguably the best defensive player in the league. If that is true, it’s even less of a surprise that Meyer was run out of Jacksonville so quickly.

Photo: Oct 10, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer reacts during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Urban Meyer has new gig with Ohio State

Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer is heading back to Columbus — sort of.

The former Ohio State head coach is joining the board of directors of THE Foundation, an organization founded to support Ohio State’s NIL efforts. The collective, co-founded by former Buckeyes quarterback Cardale Jones, bills itself as “supporting OSU student athletes using name, image and likeness to help promote worthy charitable causes.”

Former Ohio State quarterback JT Barrett also joined the board of directors along with Meyer.

There is some irony in Meyer jumping into anything NIL-related. He was quite critical of the idea of it before the NCAA ultimately relented and allowed it. Of course, that was before Meyer’s awful tenure with the Jacksonville Jaguars dramatically hurt his reputation and significantly narrowed his career options.

Some Ohio State players had some unflattering Meyer stories from his time as head coach, but there is no doubt that he is still very popular among the fanbase. Plus, his NFL tenure aside, his name still means a great deal in the college landscape. Anyone associated with the Buckeyes is probably happy to take advantage of that.

Photo: Oct 10, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer reacts during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Urban Meyer responds to Josh Lambo kick allegation in new comments

Urban Meyer in a Jaguars jacket

Urban Meyer is once again denying kicking former Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo in a new set of comments.

Meyer spoke to OutKick’s Dan Dakich on Monday and addressed a number of topics, including some of the controversies he encountered in Jacksonville.

Lambo’s allegations came up, and Meyer issued another firm denial.

“I certainly did not,” Meyer said regarding the kicking allegation, via Matt Hladik of The Spun. “To kick someone? Come on. I’ve done this 37 years. Kick a player? The other players came up to me and said, ‘We saw the whole thing.'”

Lambo claimed that Meyer had kicked him during warmups prior to a preseason game. Meyer denied the allegations when they were originally made and was fired less than 24 hours later.

The Lambo allegation certainly became a popular talking point in the wake of Meyer’s dismissal, but it certainly wasn’t the only factor. Some of the Jags’ players seemed happy about Meyer’s firing. The team also was not winning, though not much was expected out of them after they went 1-15 the season before.

Even if Meyer didn’t kick Lambo, that was hardly the only distraction the coach brought to the Jaguars.

Photo: Joseph Maiorana-USA Today Sports

Urban Meyer changes story on Trayvon Martin photo

Urban Meyer on the sideline

Former Ohio State defensive back Marcus Williamson made some disturbing claims about Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes football program on Saturday, and Meyer was quick to deny one of them. The former coach has since changed his stance.

Williamson, a fifth-year senior who says he has retired from playing, went on a Twitter rant during the Rose Bowl between Ohio State and Utah on Saturday night. He bashed Ohio State fans and the team’s coaching staff. He also said Meyer once used a photo of Trayvon Martin in a PowerPoint slide that informed Buckeyes players of the team’s “no hoods” policy.

Meyer responded on Sunday. He told author Jeff Snook that the claim about the Martin photo was “absolutely false.” He did, however, confirm that Ohio State had a no hats, hoodies or sunglasses rule for team meetings. Meyer has since learned the photo was used, though he insists he had no prior knowledge of it.

On Monday, former Ohio State safety Tyvis Powell took to Twitter to provide some context for Williamson’s troubling claim. Powell said he was told by Buckeyes players that an Ohio State staffer did, in fact, use the Martin photo. Players believed the staffer was truly unaware of the story behind the photo.

Meyer told Rob Oller of The Columbus Dispatch on Tuesday that he just this week learned that the Martin photo was used.

“I didn’t know about it until one hour ago, until after talking to (Powell),” Meyer explained. “I wasn’t there (in the meeting). None of the coaches were present. It was a support staffer who was in error and apologized.”

Meyer added that players should be careful about using the “‘R’ word” (racism) in association with Ohio State. He insists the program advocates for players and genuinely cares for them. Some players attested to that when defending Meyer and Ohio State earlier this week.

Meyer was fired by the Jacksonville Jaguars last month following a brief yet disastrous tenure with the team. There have probably been more negative headlines written about him in recent months than in all of his previous coaching years combined.

Photo: Oct 10, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer reacts during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Urban Meyer responds to former Ohio State player’s troubling allegation

Urban Meyer in a Jaguars jacket

Former Ohio State defensive back Marcus Williamson made some disturbing claims about Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes football program on Saturday, and Meyer felt the need to respond to one of them.

Williamson was one of several scholarship players who did not join Ohio State for their Rose Bowl game against Utah. He then went on a Twitter rant during the game in which he revealed he has retired from playing. Williamson, a fifth-year senior, bashed Ohio State fans and the team’s coaching staff. He also said Meyer once used a photo of Trayvon Martin in a PowerPoint slide that informed Buckeyes players of the team’s “no hoods” policy.

Jeff Snook, an author who has written several books about Ohio State, reached out to Meyer to ask him about Williamson’s claims. Meyer admitted he had a no hats, hoodies or sunglasses rule for team meetings, but he said it is “absolutely false” that he used a photo of Martin.

“Our team rule was no hats or hoodies or sunglasses of any kind but only in team meetings, just so we could see their eyes and make sure they were paying attention and not asleep. We did not, and never would show a picture of Trayvon Martin. My gosh, no,” Meyer said. “That is absolutely false and you can check with any other player on my teams during that time to confirm what I am saying. Other players know what he is saying is false. I would never do that. He is crossing the line here. It seems people are just piling on now. But that never happened.”

Other players who played under Meyer defended the coach.

Meyer was fired by the Jacksonville Jaguars last month following a brief yet disastrous tenure with the team. There have probably been more negative headlines written about him in recent months than in all of his previous coaching years combined. Williamson managed to add to that.

Photo: Joseph Maiorana-USA Today Sports

Former Ohio State star has warning for Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer on the sideline

Urban Meyer’s future in coaching is murky, and one of his former players believes we may have seen the last of him on the sideline.

Former Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones, who won a national championship under Meyer in 2014, admitted that Meyer may not coach again after being fired by the Jacksonville Jaguars, citing his unwillingness to adapt to the changing sport.

“I wouldn’t say [his coaching style] is outdated, because he was just coaching college three years ago,” Jones told TMZ Sports. “It’s just times have changed. And I don’t know if he’s willing to make that sacrifice and change in his demeanor, his personality, or his coaching style to keep up with times today.”

Jones added that he feels Meyer’s style of coaching is “a little behind us” and that Meyer’s refusal to change may mean the end of his coaching career.

We know that Meyer won’t get another shot in the NFL. He’d have to go back to college if he wants to work again, and his NFL tenure was such a disaster that some schools might have reservations about bringing him in. He’d also likely be very picky about the jobs he would take. One option could be a return to television, where some of his on-air work proved ironically prescient ahead of his NFL tenure.

Photo: Oct 10, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer reacts during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Urban Meyer’s lawyer sent threatening letter to reporter

Urban Meyer in Jags gear

One reporter whose story contributed to Urban Meyer’s firing by the Jacksonville Jaguars detailed on Monday what the final day of Meyer’s tenure looked like.

We were aware that Meyer was part of game-planning for the Jaguars at the beginning of last week. He left the practice field some time on Wednesday afternoon, leaving his assistant coaches in the dark.

During that time, Meyer and the Jaguars apparently worked to prepare a response to the report they knew was coming.

The Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud published a story in which former Jags kicker Josh Lambo accused Meyer of kicking him in August.

The story contained enough allegations and negative information about the already-embattled Meyer that the Jags fired the coach later that evening.

Stroud was a guest on “The Rich Eisen Show” on Monday and talked about what went on prior to the story being published. Stroud described the Jags and Meyer as being in “crisis mode” as they prepared a response. Stroud even said he got a threatening letter from Meyer’s attorney, who was aware of the damaging accusation from Lambo.

“All I can say is when I did the story, they were in crisis mode in Jacksonville. I had a lot of conversations with them. They begged me to hold the story until 4 o’clock. I got a statement from their legal counsel first. I got a threatening letter from [Urban Meyer’s] attorney about publishing the story without certain information. We waited for their statement,” Stroud said.

Stroud said that Meyer’s side wanted to offer off-the-record sources to Stroud who would dispute the degree to which Meyer kicked Lambo.

“They reached out and they wanted to offer up a couple of players, but only off the record … to corroborate not that he didn’t kick [Josh Lambo], but the degree to which he kicked him,” Stroud said.

Stroud also expressed great skepticism over the Jaguars’ insistence that they had made the decision to fire Meyer on Sunday night.

It’s not unusual for an attorney to try and threaten a reporter as Stroud alleges. We have received similar legal threats, and they typically come from people trying to protect damaging information from being published about their clients.

Ultimately, no letter or threats prevented the story from being published, and Meyer lost his job. The only question is how much of his remaining contract he will be paid.

Photo: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports