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#pounditWednesday, October 5, 2022

Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer admits the 1 thing with Jaguars he could not overcome

Urban Meyer on the sideline

Urban Meyer experienced more losing in less than a full season with the Jacksonville Jaguars than he did during his entire seven seasons at Ohio State. While the coach faced many challenges with his first NFL gig, it sounds like the most obvious one bothered him the most.

Meyer spoke with Ian Rapoport of NFL Media about his firing on Friday. He discussed the difficulties of losing and said he always tells people it “eats away at your soul.” It was evident how hard of a time Meyer had with losing when he totally snubbed Mike Vrabel, one of his former assistants at Ohio State, after Jacksonville was blown out by the Tennessee Titans last week.

“Someone asked me about Vrabel’s [handshake], we’re really close,” Meyer told Rapoport. “That had nothing to do with him. That’s probably one of my issues why I’ve thought some of the things I said: I can’t take losing. I try to accept it, it just eats away at my soul. And I believe our players deserve better.”

That’s a significant admission from Meyer. Most of his skeptics predicted he would struggle with losing after dominating the college game for so long. There were many factors that went into his ousting in Jacksonville, but that was obviously one of the main ones.

Meyer said after the Jaguars lost their fourth game of the season that his players were “heartbroken.” He also set some ridiculously lofty goals for the team early on. He knew going from a dominant college coach to the coach of a rebuilding NFL franchise would be difficult, but he probably still underestimated the challenges.

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 offers first comments about Jaguars firing

Urban Meyer in Jags gear

Urban Meyer on Saturday offered his first public comments since being fired by the Jacksonville Jaguars, stating he was “devastated” by the firing.

Speaking to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Meyer denied the allegations made against him regarding his treatment of associates. He also blamed a lack of communication for the controversial benching of running back James Robinson following an early-game fumble.

“We discussed it as a staff,” Meyer said of the Robinson situation. “When you see someone lose the ball or even see them be loose with the ball, get them out of the game, get their mind right and then get them back in. When he fumbled, I said, ‘Take him out.’ We took him out and then we had lack of communication about when to put him back in.”

Meyer acknowledged “mistakes,” but questioned where the numerous claims about how he treated players and coaches had come from.

“It was like, ‘Wait a minute, where is this coming from?'” Meyer said. “I’ve certainly made a few mistakes but those weren’t right.”

The former Ohio State coach said he had not heard from anyone interested in his services as a coach, and his future is “to be determined.”

Meyer comes across a bit shell-shocked that everything fell apart for him so quickly in Jacksonville. That is understandable, though some of the mistakes like the Robinson situation could have easily been fixed. If he had done a better job on that front, he might still be in charge.

Though Meyer is taking a conciliatory tone right now, that may change if the Jaguars stick to their plan regarding the money their former coach is owed.

Photo: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Urban Meyer firing motivated by 1 key incident

Urban Meyer in a Jaguars jacket

The Jacksonville Jaguars’ decision to fire coach Urban Meyer seemed to be an abrupt one. A new report indicates, however, that owner Shad Khan decided to make the move after one key issue emerged.

Meyer’s handling of running back James Robinson’s benching was the final straw for Khan, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. Robinson had been benched on Dec. 5 after fumbling early in the game, marking the second consecutive week the running back had an extended spell on the sidelines after a fumble. Meyer deflected the blame to running backs coach Bernie Parmalee, but that did not stop quarterback Trevor Lawrence from publicly urging the Jaguars to keep Robinson on the field.

That controversy gained more legs when a bombshell report emerged about Meyer’s treatment of players and coaches. In totality, Khan concluded that Meyer’s dishonesty, character, and leadership warranted the coach’s immediate removal. The mild-mannered Lawrence going public with his frustrations about the Robinson situation was the key factor, and it reportedly had little to do with former kicker Josh Lambo’s allegations on Wednesday.

Interestingly, this backs the assertion Khan made in a statement late Friday.

The Jaguars will contend that Meyer was fired for cause, and do not intend to pay him the remaining money on his contract. The Robinson issue is hardly a breach of contract, so Meyer may well use a report like this to battle that assertion.

Report: Jaguars don’t intend to pay Urban Meyer’s remaining contract

Urban Meyer on the sideline

Urban Meyer became the first NFL coach fired this season when the Jacksonville Jaguars and owner Shad Khan pulled the plug on Wednesday. But this story is only just beginning.

Jeff Darlington and Adam Schefter of ESPN report that the Jaguars fired Meyer for cause and do not intend to pay out the remainder of his contract.

The Jacksonville Jaguars fired their former head coach Urban Meyer for cause, sources tell ESPN, with the intention of not paying him the remaining four years of his contract.

A source within the organization said the Jaguars’ reasons for withholding the remaining guarantees are not tied to one specific incident — but rather a cumulation of instances that Jacksonville’s officials believe justified the firing.

Meyer, of course, became an instant lightning rod in Jacksonville. He was widely panned for his decision to sign Tim Tebow to play tight end and things only spiraled from there.

In August, Meyer was investigated for comments he made about vaccinated players. The following month, reports began to surface about conflicts Meyer was having with players. Then came broken media traditions, rumors of Meyer leaving for USC and, of course, a viral video in which the Jags coach could be seen grinding on a young woman who was not his wife.

Somehow, through it all, Meyer remained Jacksonville’s head coach. But the trouble would continue to snowball.

Following a 20-0 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 14, Kahn had enough. A fruitless locker-room conversation that provided no long-term answers sealed Meyers’ fate. Accusations of disparaging coaches and players certainly didn’t help, either.

Now the entire situation will become a legal mess, ESPN predicts.

It is not unusual for situations like these — involving negated guarantees — to later be negotiated by the two sides in order to avoid a prolonged legal situation. It will be up to the lawyers involved in any negotiation between the Jags and Meyer to try to figure out if they can resolve the situation.

If the past is any indication, do not expect Meyer or his family to roll over. They’re likely to fight this until the bitter end.

Image: 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

Shad Khan offers bizarre clarification about Urban Meyer firing

Shad Khan smiling

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan issued a rather strange statement Friday night clarifying the timing of his decision to fire Urban Meyer as head coach.

Khan issued a statement Friday through his PR representative asserting that the owner’s decision to fire Meyer did not come in response to former kicker Josh Lambo alleging that Meyer had kicked him prior to a preseason game. Khan claimed instead that he had made the decision to fire Meyer on Sunday night, but the owner waited to make the announcement public until after an NFL owners’ meeting.

On Saturday, a very unflattering report detailed Meyer’s interactions with players and staff and caused great embarrassment for the Jaguars. Still, Khan publicly stood by Meyer, though there were definitely hints that the coach’s future was uncertain. The fact that Meyer’s firing went public just hours after Lambo made his statement led many to conclude that that was the last straw for Khan.

The notion that Khan decided to leave Meyer hanging as long as he did does not make sense if the decision was made on Sunday. That would mean Khan simply stood by and let Meyer look silly at his press conference while biding his time and waiting to make the decision public. That’s just strange, and for that reason, Khan’s statement probably isn’t going to win a lot of believers.

Photo: Oct 17, 2021; London, England, United Kingdom; Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan (Shahid Khan) watches from the sidelines during an NFL International Series game against the Miami Dolphins at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jaguars player offers telling quote about ideal Urban Meyer replacement

Urban Meyer in a Jaguars jacket

At this point, it is no real secret that Jacksonville Jaguars players did not like playing for Urban Meyer. One quote from Thursday will provide some context as to why.

Jaguars cornerback Shaquill Griffin discussed what he wanted to see in the next coach on Thursday, one day after Meyer’s firing. The traits Griffin singled out are quite telling: someone who listens to players and does not treat the job like a “one-man show.”

That tells you a lot about how Meyer was perceived by Jaguars players. It’s very clear there was a perception that Meyer didn’t care about what his players had to say about anything, and that it was his way or else. The way he reportedly treated everyone else in the building certainly backs this point up.

Griffin was not the only one who felt this way about Meyer judging from the response the coach’s firing apparently got.

Photo: Joseph Maiorana-USA Today Sports

Multiple Jaguars players sent same text message after Urban Meyer firing

Urban Meyer on the sideline

Urban Meyer was fired by the Jacksonville Jaguars early Thursday morning in a move that felt long overdue, even if he only coached the team for 11 months. Meyer quickly wore out his welcome with both players and his assistants, and some of them seemed happy to see him go.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Network spoke with an agent who represents multiple Jaguars players. He asked the agent how his clients reacted to the Meyer news. The agent said his firm texted the players to let them know Meyer had been fired, and they all sent the same reply back — a peace sign emoji. In other words, “peace out.”

That is hardly a surprise. Meyer had plenty of issues with players during his brief time in Jacksonville. The final straw for him was when former Jags kicker Josh Lambo came forward with a story about how Meyer kicked him and berated him. There was also the report about Meyer having a huge blowout with veteran receiver Marvin Jones Jr. Meyer denied that the argument ever took place. Jones, however, confirmed there was some sort of issue.

Jaguars players are almost certainly looking forward to a fresh start.

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 daughter Gigi defends father in social media posts

Urban Meyer poses with his daughter Gigi

Urban Meyer has a close-knit family that has always come to his defense in the wake of criticism, and that trend continued after the coach was fired by the Jacksonville Jaguars early Thursday morning.

Meyer’s daughter, Gigi, took to Instagram on Thursday to defend her father’s character. She said anyone who knows the Meyer family “knows how incredible (Urban) is as a person.” She also ridiculed the media over the barrage of unflattering reports we have seen about Urban in the past several months.

You can see the posts below:

Meyer was fired after former Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo came forward with some troubling allegations. That was only the latest in what has been a long string of unflattering reports about Meyer.

Gigi has spoken out against her father’s critics many times in the past.

Josh Lambo said Urban Meyer was ‘completely unfit’ to lead Jaguars

Urban Meyer

Josh Lambo put the final nail in Urban Meyer’s coffin with the Jacksonville Jaguars when he came forward with a troubling story about the coach, but he says that one incident was part of a pattern of behavior for Meyer.

Lambo, who was released after Jacksonville’s first game of the season, said Wednesday that Meyer kicked him in the leg before a preseason game and told him to “make your f—ing kicks.” When Lambo challenged Meyer and told him to never kick him again, Meyer allegedly said he’s the head coach and will do whatever he wants.

In a later interview with First Coast News, Lambo explained that he decided to come forward after seeing the report about Meyer berating his assistant coaches. The free agent kicker says Meyer was “completely unfit” to coach the Jaguars.

“For me, I would say completely unfit and that is my observation from what I saw day in and day out for a lot of months this year,” Lambo said. “The way that he treats the guys in the locker room, there’s this pompous nature that he has that he can get away with anything.”

Lambo also mentioned how Meyer recently threatened to fire anyone who leaked information to the media. He said the coach essentially tried to do the same with him.

“He’s trying to shut everybody else up and he tried to shut me up once,” Lambo said. “I want to make sure it doesn’t happen again. … My observation of it was he couldn’t stand being challenged. His manhood, his pride and his ego were challenged, and so he threatened me.”

Jaguars owner Shad Khan initially looked like he was going to stand by Meyer, but he fired the coach shortly after Lambo came forward. Meyer is unlikely to ever get another shot in the NFL, and he may not want one.

Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Urban Meyer had some trash talk for his assistant coaches

Urban Meyer on the sideline

All sorts of stories have been leaking about Urban Meyer’s problems with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Now we can add another to the list.

Meyer was fired on Wednesday night after going 2-11. The firing came after Meyer faced negative reports regarding his alleged treatment of his players and assistant coaches.

Some recent reports said Meyer ripped into his assistant coaches, challenging them regarding their resumes.

Aaron Wilson reported Wednesday that Meyer even told his assistants that he had a better staff at Bowling Green, which was Meyer’s first head coaching job.

Whether this was Meyer’s way of trying to motivate and rally his troops is unclear. What is clear is that it didn’t work and instead just seemed to tick people off and contribute to his ousting.

The other thing to be said is that this reflects terribly upon Meyer. Not only does it make him look like a bad leader, but he looks incompetent since he’s the one who hired them in the first place! If he didn’t think they were any good, he should have hired better people.

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