The Jacksonville Jaguars had enough of Urban Meyer and his antics, firing the three-time national championship head coach just 13 games into his NFL tenure. Meyer's 11 months with the Jaguars were a disaster, making plenty of headlines off the field while failing to win on the field (the on-field performance was just as poor).
"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," Jaguars owner Shad Khan said in a statement. "Regaining our trust and respect was essential. Regrettably, it did not happen."
Meyer's NFL career is one of the worst head coaching tenures in NFL history, full of embarrassment and scandal. How did Meyer's tenure become such a disaster? Here's a look back at the incidents that cost Meyer his job with the Jaguars after just 13 games:
Jan. 14: Jaguars hire Meyer
In what was the most surprising coaching hire of the offseason, the Jaguars hired Meyer to be the sixth head coach in franchise history. Meyer came to the NFL with no experience in the league, as the 57-year old head coach returned to football two years after leaving Ohio State.
"This is a great day for Jacksonville and Jaguars fans everywhere," Khan said in a statement. "Urban Meyer is who we want and need, a leader, winner and champion who demands excellence and produces results. While Urban already enjoys a legacy in the game of football that few will ever match, his passion for the opportunity in front of him here in Jacksonville is powerful and unmistakable. I am proud to name Urban Meyer the new head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars."
Late-January: First staff meeting
Meyer criticized the way NFL teams did business, per The Athletic in an in-depth look at his tenure with Jacksonville. Meyer said "scouts were lazy" with scouts in the room.
Meyer was also reportedly unfamiliar with star players in the NFL, including Deebo Samuel, Aaron Donald, and Jamal Adams.
"Who's this 99 guy on the Rams?" Meyer asked one staffer, per The Athletic. "I'm hearing he might be a problem for us."
Feb. 11: Urban Meyer hires Chris Doyle
Meyer announced his initial coaching staff, which included former Iowa strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle as the director of sports performance. He resigned less than 48 hours later after backlash from the hire, stemming from former players speaking out against him, alleging racism and bullying that led to him parting ways with the Hawkeyes.
Despite the controversial hire, Meyer said he was "very confident" Doyle wouldn't be a problem.
"I vet everyone on our staff," Meyer said. "And like I said, the relationship goes back close to 20 years, and a lot of hard questions asked. A lot of vetting involved with all of our staff. We did a very good job vetting that one."
May 20: Jaguars sign Tim Tebow as tight end
Meyer decides to being in his former quarterback who helped him win two national championships at Florida -- to play tight end. Tebow was out of the NFL for six years, having not played in the league since the 2015 preseason -- yet Meyer decided to give him an opportunity for a roster spot.
Tebow didn't last the 2021 preseason, being cut by the team in August.
July 1: NFL fines Meyer, Jaguars
The Jaguars were fined $300,000 for violations of contact during offseason practices. The Jaguars were fined $200,000 and Meyer $100,000. Jacksonville also lost two OTA sessions as punishment.
Training camp: D.J. Chark breaks finger
Chark told The Athletic Meyer pushed for live contact drills despite objections from veteran coaches, calling them "Winner and Loser" days. Meyer wanted Chark to do extra reps after a blocking drill, which led to a broken finder that led to surgery. Chark missed the entire preseason.
Sept. 12: Jaguars lose opener
The Jaguars were outplayed by the Houston Texans in Meyer's debut, allowing 37 points to a Texans team that hasn't scored more than 22 points in any game the rest of the year. Lawrence threw three interceptions in his debut.
Meyer reportedly did not want players speaking to opponents on the field before games and wanted offensive players to dunk the ball over the goalpost after touchdowns (which results in a fine), per The Athletic.
Sept. 15: Meyer denies Southern Cal rumors
Just one week into the regular seaosn, Meyer was reportedly linked as a candidate to the open job at USC. The Jaguars head coach denied the reports in his weekly presser.
"There's no chance," Meyer said. "I'm here and committed to try to build an organization."
Sept. 22: Alabama every week
Meyer may have given the indication he wasn't cut out for the NFL based on these comments to Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio.
"His comment to me was, 'Every week is like playing Alabama in the NFL,'" Fangio said when he talked to Meyer after the Broncos defeated the Jaguars in Week 2. "That's it. Everybody's capable of beating everybody in this league."
Oct. 2: No plane ride home
Meyer didn't take a plane ride home with the Jaguars after a tough "Thursday Night Football" loss to the bengals, deciding to stay in Ohio -- unorthodox behavior for an NFL head coach. Two days later, a video went viral of Meyer dancing with a young female in a Columbus bar that wasn't his wife.
Meyer issued an apology two days later.
"I stayed (in Ohio) to see the grandkids and we all went to dinner that night at a restaurant," Meyer said. "There was a big group next to the restaurant and they wanted me to come over and take pictures and I did. And they were trying to pull me out on the dance floor, screwing around and I should have left.
"I just apologized to the team and staff for being a distraction It was stupid, so I explained everything that happened and owned it. Just stupid. I should not have myself in that kind of position... The coach should not be a distraction."
The next day, Khan put Meyer under notice -- calling his behavior "inexcusable."
"I appreciate Urban's remorse, which I believe is sincere," Khan said. "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."
November: Jaguars sign John Brown; Meyer criticizes WR
Brown ran the wrong route in practice one not long after signing with Jacksonville that November. Brown worked with Trevor Lawrence after practice to correct the error, which led to this comment from Meyer (per The Athletic).
"Hey, Trevor, you've got to slow it down for him," Meyer said. "These boys from the South, their transcripts ain't right."
Meyer also reportedly berated a player so harshly in a meeting that the player cried -- then slammed the door after the meeting which left the assistants and players to cheer up the player.
November: Marvin Jones issues
Jones left the team facility after Meyer said the receivers were running the wrong routes. Jones confronted Meyer about the incident, but kept his issues private.
"I would just say this: There was something that was brought to my attention I didn't like too well," Jones said. "I approached him about it, and we talked. And we handled it like grown men. That's I have to say about that."
Dec. 6: The James Robinson saga
Meyer admitted he's not responsible for pulling running back James Robinson after the 1,000-yard rusher from last season fumbled in a blowout loss to the Rams. Robinson fumbled on the first drive then sat out a long period of the game before returning with the Jaguars down 30 in the fourth quarter -- a questionable move.
"I know that there's a running back rotation, they're worried about his load, how many carries and they track that," Meyer said. "And obviously at that time of the game, they must have wanted to get him a few more carries.
"I'm not in charge of it (the running back rotation), but I watch it and I'll say, 'what's our thoughts here? What's our thoughts there?' Obviously, I didn't do it there with James."
Meyer reportedly had running backs coach Bernie Parmalee stop Robinson from re-entering the game. Starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence asked Meyer about Robinson, which led to him returning to the game.
Dec. 11: Assistant coaches are 'losers'
A report from NFL.com's Tom Pelissero came out that Meyer called his assistant coaches "losers" in meetings and demanded they explain their individual accolades. Basically, the assistants had to defend their resumes.
"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.:
Also from the report, veteran wide receiver Marvin Jones was so irked with Meyer's criticism of the receivers that he left the facility -- only to be convinced to return. He later had a heated argument with Meyer in that practice.
"I think I said something like we have some injury issues and some lack of consistency. We talked about that, and he's great," Meyer said. "We moved on. He's fantastic and we have a fantastic relationship, and I started hearing that, and Marvin looked at me -- he walked by yesterday when I saw something on TV, like a heated argument, and he goes, 'I guess we're not allowed to talk anymore, are we?' and started laughing about it. So there's nothing."
Dec. 15: The kicker strikes back
Former Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo said to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times that Meyer kicked him during warmups, which Lambo reported the incident to the team's legal counsel.
"It certainly wasn't as hard as he could've done it (kicked), but it certainly wasn't a love tap," Lambo said. "Truthfully, I'd register it as a five (out of 10). Which in the workplace, I don't care if it's football or not, the boss can't strike an employee."
Meyer denied the incident occurred -- but was fired hours later by the Jaguars. He ended his tenure with Jacksonville with a 2-11 record, tied for second-worst in the NFL.
D.J. Chark didn't mince words on his experience with Meyer.
"I feel like he put us in very bad positions and, when the questions came, he deferred the responsibility, which made it look like we were just out there being the worst team in the league," Chark told The Athletic. "But we weren't put in position (to succeed).
"He told us from day one that he was going to maximize our value. And I truly can't tell you one player that maximized their value on the Jags this year."