Urban Meyer can’t seem to stay out of trouble this year. This is only Meyer’s first year as the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach. However, it could easily be his last. NFL Network Reporter Tom Pelissero released a story on Saturday about “boiling tensions” between Meyer, the players, and his coaching staff. This isn’t even about the abysmal record the Jaguars own this year. No, it’s about the litany of head-scratching moves, lack of accountability, and absence of leadership from Meyer. He’s done nothing short of creating a toxic environment on a team with a young quarterback. Here’s a review of Meyer’s mistakes and how they hurt the franchise.
— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) December 11, 2021
Urban Meyer has Created a Toxic Culture for the Jacksonville Jaguars
Meyer is Alienating the Players
It’s never a good sign when a coach loses the locker room. Unfortunately for Meyer, it appears he’s doing just that. Part of Pelissero’s story alleges that veteran receiver Marvin Jones and coach Meyer are at odds. Jones reportedly became so angry with Meyer’s criticism of the receiver corps that he left the team facility. Assistant coaches had to convince Jones to return and he also had a “heated” argument with Meyer at practice.
This interaction is concerning for any player. But Jones is a mild-mannered and hard-working veteran that has respect across the NFL. This points to a deep problem for Meyer as it relates to the locker room. He’s lost the respect of a veteran on the team. There’s no telling how many other players feel the same way, but it’s likely a lot.
Meyer is Alienating the Coaching Staff
Pelissero’s piece also purports that Meyer had a bizarre meeting with his coaching staff. He reportedly challenged the coaches, calling them “losers” and wanted them to defend their resumes while calling himself a winner.
There’s so much wrong with Urban’s message to his coaching staff. First, he’s the one who hired his staff, so it speaks volumes about his judgment if they are losers. Plus, Meyer is 2-10 so far at the NFL level and is himself a loser to this point. What Urban said to his coaches is also toxic. It’s one thing to hold your staff accountable, it’s another to berate them.
Meyer has shown in press conferences this season that he won’t hold himself accountable. He deflects to his assistants and routinely appears misinformed about players on his own team and his excuse is that he doesn’t want to micromanage. This behavior is unacceptable for a coach at any level but is downright ridiculous at the professional level.
Meyer Ordered James Robinson‘s Benching
Contrary to Meyer’s responses in a press conference this week, Pelissero alleged that he is responsible for Robinson’s benching. While this may be appalling to some, these reports are coming from an NFL Network Reporter. These aren’t tabloid rumors, but a story from a publication that bears the “NFL” name.
A revelation such as this calls Meyer’s honesty into question. This also shows he can’t separate personal dislike from good football decisions. Meyer drafted a running back in the first round this year. He also appears to favor Carlos Hyde, a former Ohio State player. Robinson rushed for over 1000 yards as an undrafted rookie. He’s simply one of the best players for the Jags.
Trevor Lawrence even defended Robinson earlier this week:
Here’s #Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence’s full answer on James Robinson and having continuity in the backfield:
“Bottom line is James is one of our best players and he’s gotta be on the field, and we addressed it, and I feel like we’re in a good spot.” pic.twitter.com/YJXDuYiSWA
— Demetrius Harvey (@Demetrius82) December 8, 2021
Lawrence acknowledged that Robinson is one of the best on the team and he needs to be on the field. Although he’s a rookie, Lawrence shows more leadership every time he speaks than Meyer does. Lawrence projects confidence. Meyer projects confusion. He provides a stark contrast to the reeling head coach he plays for.
Urban Meyer Should be Fired at the end of the Season
Meyer’s handling of the Jaguars this year has been abysmal. To be clear, this isn’t about the team’s record. Yes, their record is bad. The Jaguars were 1-15 last year and it’s understandable that they’re still bad. However, head coaches are also expected to show a certain level of professionalism and leadership.
Meyer’s bar incident, hiring decisions (Chris Doyle), lack of accountability, handling of staff and players are damning. Many of his mistakes by themselves are firable offenses. The sum of his mistakes makes it clear that Meyer needs to go. Shad Khan has a decision to make: Keep Meyer and learn that free agents will not join a team like this, or fire him and start fresh.
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