If you thought things couldn’t get worse in terms of the relationship between head coach Urban Meyer and the Jacksonville Jaguars, then you’d be sadly incorrect.
Ongoing issues at the TIAA Bank Field outfit could well lead to the 57-year-old Toledo-born coach leaving the Jaguars in due course. On the field of play, things haven’t been all that impressive; the Jaguars sit bottom of the AFC South with a 2-11 record (though it’s worth remembering that Jacksonville managed just the one win last season) and far too much has been expected of first-round draft pick Trevor Lawrence.
However, issues that could cost Meyers his job aren’t exclusively due to playing concerns and center around his management style and, specifically, the treatment of his coaching staff, which is said to be rather negative and aggressive.
By all accounts, he’s been known to call them losers and demanded that they attempt to defend their resumes, all of which has led to a terse environment at the franchise.
Indeed, things have gotten so bad of late that it would be at all surprising if the Jacksonville Jaguars didn’t expand their current five-game losing run to nine by the time the season comes to a close. You may well be keen on betting on such an eventuality, and we’d heartily recommend you do so once you’ve checked out the latest odds on such a scenario with Sidelines. But bettor beware! The odds on such a bet won’t be too long.
Meyer hasn’t had a good time of it at all. He was caught on camera berating a woman, who wasn’t his wife, after missing a flight following a preseason game (which the Jaguars inevitably lost). It’s also been claimed that the players have gone to the lengths of complaining to opposition teams, in this instance, the Rams, about the way their head coach runs things.
The Jacksonville Jaguars coach isn’t taking these incidents and the news stories that circulate in his stride. Indeed he’s happily walked into the fire. Most recently, following reports of a bust-up between himself and receiver Marvin Jones, Meyer made it clear he wasn’t happy about the possibility of someone leaking stories to the media, stating;
“No. No, that’s nonsense. That’s garbage. I’ve been very blessed. I’ve not really dealt with that. I’ve not dealt with, ‘Well, did you hear what he said?’ What? No. Let’s improve on offense and get our quarterback in a position to be successful. That’s our focus.
“What someone’s brother said, or someone said someone said, that will occupy very little of my time. And if there is a source, that source is unemployed. I mean, within seconds, if there’s some source that’s doing that.”
While Meyer has tried to quash rumors of specific terms he may have used to address his staff, he’s done so in a manner that certainly suggests there is some validity to the stories that simply won’t stop circulating;
“Calling someone a loser, that’s inaccurate,” Meyer said. “I have high expectations for our coaches. I’m very demanding of our coaches and expect guys to be held accountable for their positions, and the times when they’re not, we address it. But I assure you there was not whatever report … that’s nonsense.”
At this point, most sources claim that owner Shahid Khan is one of the only people left in the franchise who is backing Meyer, and as such, one wonders whether he’ll still be in place when next season comes into view.
Meyer seems to be well aware that he is skating on thin ice and wants to get this season over and done with;
“He’s (Khan) been fantastic since the day I’ve been here, and we’re going to do the best we can to win games. That’s our job.
“Our focus is to finish the season strong and to make whatever adjustments we have to make to get this thing cooking.”
While clearly, Meyer wasn’t going to work a miracle in Jacksonville, the manner of the defeats, especially in recent weeks, gives the air of a head coach that’s lost the dressing room, and it would be a tall order for him to win it back at this stage.
The last two defeats, 7-37 against the Los Angeles Rams and 0-20 against the Tennessee Titans, were noticeably weak. A lot could depend on how the Jaguars fare in their next two games, against very poor sides, the Houston Texans and the New York Jets; if those also resulted in big losses, then surely Khan would have no option other than to show Meyer the door.