Jacksonville Jaguars Make Decision On Urban Meyer's Future With Team
By Jason Hall
December 16, 2021
The Jacksonville Jaguars have fired head coach Urban Meyer after only 13 games with the franchise.
"After deliberation over many weeks and a thorough analysis of the entirety of Urban's tenure with our team, I am bitterly disappointed to arrive at the conclusion that an immediate change is imperative for everyone," owner Shad Khan said in a statement obtained by ESPN early Thursday (December 16) morning. "I informed Urban of the change this evening. As I stated in October, regaining our trust and respect was essential. Regrettably, it did not happen.
"In the spirit of closure and recharging our players, staff and fan base, I will not comment further until some point following the conclusion of the NFL season."
Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will be promoted to interim head coach for the Jaguars' final four games of the 2021 season in Meyer's absence.
On Tuesday (December 14), Khan said he planned "to do the right thing for the team" while deciding on Meyer's future with the franchise.
The Jaguars are currently 2-11 in a season marred with controversy surrounding the former three-time national champion coach.
"I want to do the right thing for the team. I want to do the right thing for the city," Khan said via ESPN. "That, to me, is way more important than just acting helter-skelter on emotion. I think we have a history of really looking at the facts and then really doing the right thing.
"Gus Bradley was here four years. Doug Marrone was here four years. It was wins and losses and this is a little bit different but, you know, I'm going to reflect on all of that and do what's the right thing for the team and the right thing for the city."
The Jaguars are coming off a 20-0 loss to the Tennessee Titans last Sunday (December 12), which followed reports of wide receiver Marvin Jones yelling at his head coach and leaving the facility after Meyer criticized his position group and allegedly called his assistant coaches losers on Saturday (December 11).
In October, Sports Illustrated's Michael Silver reported an anonymous Jaguars player told him Meyer "has zero credibility" within the organization and "had very little to begin with" one day after Meyer apologized for a viral video that surfaced over the weekend showing a woman who wasn't his wife dancing on him at a Ohio bar and canceled Monday's (October 4) team meeting.
"Players were particularly put off by the fact that Meyer canceled Monday's team meeting, as he dealt with the uproar over the videos of him and a young woman getting cozy in that Ohio bar," Silver tweeted. "'He even canceled the team meeting. He was too scared,' a player said.
"Instead Meyer 'only apologized to position groups individually.' He portrayed the woman in the videos as a random person who was 'just there dancing.' Suffice it to say, his audience was highly skeptical.
"Said one player: 'We looked at him like, WTF? Right when he left everyone started dying laughing. And he knew it.'
"Bottom line, said the player: 'It's bad. I don't know how he's gonna function.'"
THREAD 1) The Urban Meyer situation in Jacksonville has reached a crisis point, especially in the locker room. One player told me, 'He has zero credibility in that stadium. He had very little to begin with.'— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) October 5, 2021
Khan issued an official statement regarding the situation, which was obtained and shared by NFL.com on Tuesday.
"I have addressed this matter with Urban," Khan said. "Specifics of our conversation will be held in confidence. What I will say is his conduct last weekend was inexcusable. I appreciate Urban's remorse, which I believe is sincere. Now, he must regain our trust and respect. That will require a personal commitment from Urban to everyone who supports, represents or plays for our team. I am confident he will deliver."
Meyer, 57, stayed in Ohio after the Jaguars' 24-21 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last Thursday (September 30).
The Toledo native previously coached the Ohio State Buckeyes from 2012 to 2018 and has two restaurants in Columbus and Dublin.
"I just apologized to the team for being a distraction," Meyer said during his Monday press conference via USA TODAY. "It's stupid. I explained everything that happened and I should not have put myself in that position."
Meyer reportedly told the Jaguars he planned on staying in Ohio when the team traveled back to Jacksonville in order to spend time with his grandchildren and attend an event, which he claims is where the incident occurred.
"There was a big group next to the restaurant," Meyer said. "They wanted me to come over and take pictures, and I did. (They) tried to pull me out on the dance floor, screwing around, but I should've left."
The video was shared by the Twitter account, "Uh oh Urban," which has since been deleted.
Meyer has a 187-32 overall record as a collegiate head coach and three national championships, which includes two at the University of Florida (2006, 2008) and one at the Ohio State University (2014), where he finished with an 83-9 record during seven seasons, prior to joining the Jaguars in January.
Meyer is also credited for turning around the football programs at Bowling Green (2001-02) and Utah (2003-04), which included a combined 39-8 overall record during his first four seasons as a head coach.