It isn’t often in this world that you see a decision made that is unanimous. Typically, no matter how flat you make a pancake, it has two sides. Well, here we sit on a Thursday morning and we have a sports story that everyone seems to agree with.
On Wednesday night, the Jacksonville Jaguars fired Head Coach Urban Meyer after only part of one season in charge.
The firing comes after a multitude of strange stories and leaked information about the Jaguars locker room situation.
Meyer joins a long list of great college coaches that tried their hand in the NFL with disastrous results. This list includes names like Lou Holtz, Bobby Petrino, Steve Spurrier and even Nick Saban. Although there is a history of things like this happening, Urban Meyer’s situation takes the case as the most abysmal.
Hopes were high in Jacksonville when Meyer was hired. They not only had a top college coach, but they also had the first pick in the draft. They selected Trevor Lawrence with that pick, and the table was set for a huge improvement for the Jags.
The season started rough with a bad loss to the Texans. The losing continued until they went to London and beat the Dolphins in a dreadful game. Trevor Lawrence struggled and the Jags continued to be bad. But, that happens. The losses were chalked up to the players and coaches gelling to one another. Maybe even some growing pains for the younger players and the culture shifting in the locker room. Then the trouble began.
The first thing that happened I would argue isn’t all Meyer’s fault. The issue was that he hired controversial Iowa strength coach Chris Doyle. Doyle was under fire for racist and bullying issues at Iowa when he was hired by the Jags. Two days later, Doyle resigned and Meyer’s hiring process was called into question. Like I said, not all Urban’s fault, but definitely a bad look. That was just the beginning though.
In early October, a video surfaced of Meyer, who is married, dancing quite provocatively with a young lady at a bar in Ohio. Now, I’m not here to judge him for going out and dancing. He’s an adult and can do what he wants. His wife seemed fine with it, so who cares. Well, apparently his players cared.
Meyer was preaching to his team the amount of focus that is needed to win in the NFL. Then, his players saw the video of their coach out partying it up. Sources in the organization said that Meyer lost a lot of respect after that. Meyer even apologized for the incident to try and win his team back.
He made it through a couple months with only a minor dispute over the benching of running back James Robinson for fumbling on the radar. But that’s a football decision and easily defensible.
Then there were reports of more trouble in the Jaguars locker room. According to the report, Meyer berated his assistant coaches and Wide Receiver Marvin Jones Jr. Jones reportedly left the stadium and had to be convinced to come back. Meyer denied the claims in a bizarre post game interview, but most believe it definitely happened.
Now we get to the straw that broke the camel's back.
Yesterday, ex-Jaguar kicker Josh Lambo told the Tampa Bay Times and First Coast News that Meyer swore at him and (literally) gave him the boot while Lambo was stretching. You read that right, he really kicked his kicker. But that’s not all. According to Lambo when confronted about the incident Meyer responded with, “I’m the head ball coach, I’ll kick you whenever the fuck I want.” As comical as that is, you can’t be doing that as the head football coach of a professional team.
Well that did it. After that, the Jags gave Meyer the boot.
This was bound to happen and absolutely nobody is shocked. What is odd, is that there is not a single person who is saying anything positive about Meyer. Like I said up top, there is usually someone that will defend a fired coach. Whether it be a loyal assistant, or a player that just connected with a coach, someone usually steps up and at least makes good comments about a guy. In Meyer’s case, we have nothing but crickets.
I looked for an hour or so for someone of note to say something positive. I haven’t found a thing. Meyer now has no future in the NFL. The experiment was an abject failure.
That being said, Meyer’s coaching career isn’t over. We’ve seen things like this before. Meyer will lay low for a while and lick his wounds. Then, some relatively small college will have an opening and see an opportunity. They’ll see a former National Champion football coach who is unemployed and looking to get back on the horse. He’ll get hired to try and build a program again and will have some success. Maybe even then get a job as a coordinator for a big team.
I know a lot of you are saying there’s no chance of this. To that I say, just wait. You’ll see Meyer coaching at Louisiana Tech, Ball State or the University of Texas El Paso. Football has a short memory, and winning makes you forget a lot of indiscretions.