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#pounditSaturday, May 28, 2022

Articles tagged: Jacksonville Jaguars

Report: Jaguars to interview 4 notable coordinators for head coach job

Kellen Moore

The Jacksonville Jaguars have officially begun searching for a head coach to replace Urban Meyer, and their list of potential candidates is taking shape.

The Jaguars have asked for permission to interview Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, according to reports. They have also requested permission to interview Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

Leftwich and Bowles have been with the Bucs since Bruce Arians took the head coaching job in 2019. Both assistant coaches helped Tampa Bay win a Super Bowl last season.

Leftwich also played for the Jaguars. They drafted him with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2003 draft. The 41-year-old played for the team from 2003-2006. He was asked about being a head coaching candidate for Jacksonville earlier this month and was in no mood to answer the question.

Moore has been linked to multiple head coaching jobs over the past two seasons. The Cowboys almost lost him to a college job last offseason.

Both Bowles and Quinn have previous NFL head coaching experience. Bowles was the head coach of the New York Jets from 2015-2018. Quinn coached the Atlanta Falcons from 2015-2020. He led the team to the Super Bowl in 2016.

Photo: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Jaguars finally get some good news to celebrate

Shad Khan smiling

All seems to be pretty negative for the Jacksonville Jaguars at this time. The team has been embarrassed both on and off the field. They’re 2-12. They got shutout last week and lost to the lowly Houston Texans this week. They just fired their head coach in embarrassing fashion.

But there is one silver lining to this entire mess.

With their loss to the Texans and the Detroit Lions’ surprising win over the Arizona Cardinals, the Jags have now moved into position for the No. 1 draft pick.

The Jags had the No. 1 pick last draft after going 1-15 last season and they selected Trevor Lawrence. If this holds, they would be able to have the top pick for the second straight year.

Jacksonville already has their franchise QB, so they could explore trading down to stock up on picks, or they could go with the guy Jim Harbaugh suggests. Detroit also reportedly has someone they’re eying for their first-round pick.

The Jags have lost six in a row. They’re remaining games are at the Jets, at the Patriots and home to the Colts.

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

Trevor Lawrence makes request for Jaguars’ coach search

Trevor Lawrence celebrates

The Jacksonville Jaguars are facing a particularly important head coaching search, and rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence is taking an interest in the process.

During the broadcast of Sunday’s game between the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars, broadcasters Andrew Catalon and James Lofton said on the air that Lawrence told them he would like to have a say in the hiring of the team’s next coach, via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Lawrence said he would like “some role” in the process of finding Urban Meyer’s replacement, though he acknowledged that he was not qualified to make any decisions.

Interestingly, owner Shad Khan apparently agreed with Lawrence and said his rookie quarterback deserved at least some input in the hiring process.

Some might suggest that Lawrence is too young and inexperienced to deserve any say in the Jaguars’ hiring process. However, there’s no doubt that he is their franchise quarterback. The team has staked its future on the development of the first overall pick, and it’s pretty much essential that they get this hire right if they want to maximize Lawrence’s potential.

Lawrence has already shown a willingness to speak out and lead, even if it means clashing with coaches. No wonder giving him input makes sense to Khan and the Jaguars.

Photo: Oct 10, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) gestures after scoring a touchdown during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

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

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

New Jaguars coach has already made 1 big adjustment

Darrell Bevell at a press conference

The Jacksonville Jaguars are preparing for their first game of the season without Urban Meyer, and it sounds like their interim head coach is already trying to clean up some of the mess that Meyer left behind.

Running back James Robinson was benched for large stretches in consecutive games recently due to some ball security issues. There were reports that assistant coaches wanted to put Robinson back in the game during those times, but Meyer forced Robinson to sit out. Jaguars interim coach Darrell Bevell was asked about Robinson’s status on Thursday, and he gave a very telling response.

“James Robinson is our starting running back and he will be played as such,” Bevell said sternly.

Bevell’s smirk said it all. Keep in mind that he’s also Jacksonville’s offensive coordinator. It’s possible he was one of the people who was overruled by Meyer when Robinson was pulled out of games.

Robinson sat for 20 consecutive plays after he fumbled against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 13. He was benched for 16 straight plays when he lost a fumble against the Atlanta Falcons the week before. Carlos Hyde also fumbled against L.A., but he was back on the field on Jacksonville’s next drive.

Robinson rushed for over 1,000 yards last year and has averaged 4.8 yards per carry this season. He’s clearly Jacksonville’s best back. Benching him was viewed by many as a major misstep for Meyer, and even Trevor Lawrence made it clear he did not approve.

Video: Byron Leftwich not in the mood for questions about Jaguars job

Byron Leftwich

Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich is a rising star in NFL coaching circles. For that reason, it was perhaps inevitable that his name would be linked to the Jacksonville Jaguars’ head coach position, especially since he spent much of his career there.

Leftwich was asked about the Jaguars’ opening at his press conference on Thursday. He responded by getting up and laughing as he walked out, adding that he was “trying to win the division.”

Reporters had already been told the next question to Leftwich would be the last one, so it was not as if he was storming out prematurely. Plus, judging from the smile on his face, he found the exchange somewhat funny, unlike another prominent coach.

Leftwich played for the Jaguars from 2003 to 2006, and has reportedly been eyed for at least one college job. He’ll probably be asked about the Jacksonville job again before all is said and done.

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

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