By Andrew Grenier
As most of us were falling asleep Wednesday night heading into early Thursday morning, news broke out about the firing of Jaguars HC Urban Meyers. The firing comes to no surprise due to multiple on and off the field issues that have been stacking up ever since the 2021 season began. Myers’ 2-11record this season did not help, but it seemed the damage what was already done.
Let's start by going over how Meyers got to Jacksonville in the first place. Aug 1st, 2018, Meyers was put on administrative leave at Ohio State after not saying anything about a domestic violence incident regarding one of his assistant coaches. After the Assistants firing, allegations spread that Meyers knew of these incidents before they became public. Before Ohio State had to officially fire him, Meyers resigned from OSU after the teams bowl game following the 2018 CFB season.
Meyers then took some time off away from the coaching game and became a T.V personality for FOX Sports by providing insight on mostly college football.
After an abysmal 1-15 2020 season, the Jags were out looking for another head coach. With multiple coaching candidates out there such as Chiefs OC, Eric Bieniemy, and 49ers DC Robert Saleh, the team had their hands full seeking for who they wanted to lead their franchise.
Since Urban Meyers left OSU in 2018, many people have been speculating when his return to football coaching would come. If it ever came. Eventually, Meyers was in the pool of candidates for the Jags head spot.
Lots of people had their concerns towards him due to his past after the scandal that ran him out of Columbus. Owner Shahid Khan and GM Trent Baalke did their due diligence, and felt as if Urban Meyers was the best candidate to fill their HC vacancy.
From a football perspective, this was not a bad hire in the sense that in Meyers' past at Florida and OSU he had 3 National Championships ( 2006, 2008, 2014), 3 Big Ten Championships ( 2014, 2017, 2018), and 2 Sec Championships ( 2006, 2008). It also helped that he had a .854 win percentage as a collegiate coach.
However, many still had their doubts about his past with the way things ended at OSU.
For a couple months, things were quiet. Enter: the 2021 NFL Draft. The Jags had the #1 pick, and selected the QB favorite, Trevor Lawrence, from Clemson.
After selecting Lawrence, they used their second first rounder on Travis Etienne, the HB from Clemson. Lawrence's #1 weapon, and partner in crime at Clemson. This pick was slightly questionable because of the team's only bright spot the year before being James Robinson, an Undrafted FA HB that lit the league up.
With having the number one pick on your team comes tons of media attention especially when it's a QB.
Not only was that enough, but on May 20th Meyers decided to add former QB and ex-baseball player Tim Tebow to the team as a TE. This blew up in the media, and just made the team start to become a reality tv show instead of a football team.
Questions raised about what Tebow's use was and if he really was going to play TE and not QB or was he brought in to help out the rookie QB Lawrence.
After the media got enough of that story, things once again cooled down in Northern Florida.
Moving to July 1st, the Jaguars were one of 3 teams fined $200,000 for breaching practice rules in violation with the NFL CBA. Meyers was also fined $100,000 personally for this.
After all the buzz around Tim Tebow, the Jags cut their experiment on August 17th.
September 12th, week one is now upon us, and before the ball is even kicked a report comes out that Meyers is already rubbing the players the wrong way. They ended up dropping a 37-21 contest to the Texans.
During the first couple weeks of the NFL season, Meyers was already answering questions related to the head coaching opening at USC. He did not say anything about leaving to take that job, but the fact that these questions are coming up was troubling at the time as people were questioning his commitment to the team.
September 30th, The Jaguars played the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday Night Football. The outcome resulted in a loss, but that was not the only concerning thing about that trip to Ohio. After the game, Meyers did not return to Jacksonville with the team. He instead stayed in Ohio for a little longer. The thought was that he stayed to catch up with old friends and family since he was from Ohio. Unfortunately for Meyer a video had surfaced of him at an Ohio bar with a younger woman dancing on him. The seemingly harmless trip to Ohio hurt Meyers reputation within the locker room, and with his wife.
Now we skip to December 11th, as reports of Meyers saying to his team that he is a “Winner” and his assistant coaches are “Losers”. This of course did not go over well with most because of the whole aspect that football is a team sport. Meyer singling himself from the team basically saying he is better than everyone did not help his growing issue with the team.
Finally, just days ago on Dec 15th, another report came out that Meyer had kicked the Jags kicker during warm ups for a pre-season game. Josh Lambo, the kicker, had talked to the Tampa Bay Times describing his experience with Meyer. He said that coach Meyer came up to him and told him to make his kicks in a rude way with explicits in which I have left out of this article.
Meyer's response was, “I am the head ball coach… I'll kick you whenever I want to.”
He also had been reported saying his coaching staff was inept, and that he had better coaches when he was in college. The irony is that Myers picked out his coaching staff.
Meyer basically had himself believing he was innocent in the teams 2-11 record. He took absolutely no responsibility for the team.
Then, on Dec 16th, the Jaguars officially fired Urban Meyer just 13 games into his first year in the NFL.
This showed us who the real Urban Meyer is. It’s someone who is okay when things are going good, but when things are going bad he's the first one in the room to point the finger. It's very easy to jump into a lifeboat when the ship is sinking, and you better believe that Meyers already had his life vest strapped on in September.
Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell will take over as interim HC for the remainder of the season.
If there is one thing anyone takes away from this please adhere to these wise words.
“ The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy” - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
C/O to foxnews.com/sports/urban-meyer-breaks-silence-jaguars-firing