The Jacksonville Jaguars have a serious problem on their hands, and it revolves around their first-year head coach, Urban Meyer. He of course had an eventful weekend after the Jaguars lost last Thursday and dropped to 0-4, as he was filmed getting a bit too friendly with a young woman at an Ohio restaurant. This has reportedly brought his lack of success on and off the field to a critical moment.
Meyer tried once again to get things back on track on Wednesday. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, Meyer held a full team meeting and reportedly "expressed responsibility and remorse" for staying in Ohio while the team went home on Thursday night.
On Tuesday, Sports Illustrated's Michael Silver reported that the Urban Meyer situation has reached a "crisis point." One player told Silver that Meyer has zero credibility, and had very little to begin with. According to Silver, players were put off by the fact that Meyer canceled Monday's team meeting as he continued to deal with the fallout from the weekend videos. One player reportedly saw Meyer as being "too scared."
While Meyer said in a Monday press conference that he apologized to the team, Silver was told Meyer "only apologized to position groups individually," and portrayed the young woman in the videos as a random person who was at the restaurant dancing.
"We looked at him like, WTF?" One player told Silver. "Right when he left everyone started dying laughing. And he knew it."
In speaking about the situation, one player said,"It's bad. I don't know how he's gonna function."
Michael Lombardi, a former NFL executive who's now a media analyst, reported on Tuesday that two Jacksonville sources told him there were many closed-door meetings happening in Jaguars football offices, and that none of them had to do with their upcoming opponent, the Tennessee Titans.
Jaguars owner Shad Khan then released a statement concerning his head coach:
"I have addressed this matter with Urban. 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 support, represents or plays for our team. I am confident he will deliver."
Images and videos uploaded to social media showed a young woman dancing on/near the head coach at an Ohio restaurant. Another video appears to show Meyer touching the woman's backside. Meyer, who is married, said that he spoke to his family about the incident and that they were definitely "upset."
According to SportsLine oddsmakers, Meyer is now the betting favorite as the first NFL coach fired/to leave his job. This was hardly the first incident Meyer was involved in that has marred his short tenure as head coach. When putting his coaching staff together, he made a controversial hire in Chris Doyle. The former head strength and conditioning coach at Iowa was put on administrative leave following multiple Black players alleging he had treated them negatively and unfairly because of their race. Then, as Meyer's first free agency as an NFL head coach approached, he lamented the legal tampering period, calling it "awful."
As the NFL regular season inched closer, CBS Sports senior NFL writer Pete Prisco reported that some of Meyer's players weren't thrilled with some of the college-like methods he brought to Jacksonville.
"They haven't gotten off to a good start, that's obvious," Prisco said on The DA Show. "He clearly does not like losing, even if it's in the preseason. I heard he had a rough go of it last week just because he lost his first preseason game, and that's not an attitude that you need to have in the NFL.
"He's got to change a few things. He brought a bunch of college-like things to the program which I don't necessarily agree with. I've heard some of the players aren't thrilled with them either."
Meyer then held a confusing quarterback battle with No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence and Gardner Minshew before trading the latter away, and drew the ire of the NFLPA after he openly admitted he and his staff took vaccination status into account for players on cut day. The NFLPA launched an investigation into his comments.
Things didn't get better as the regular season started. When Clay Helton was fired by USC two games into the 2021 season, many eyes looked to Meyer as a candidate to join the Trojans. He tried his best to put the rumors to bed, saying he was committed to the Jaguars, but that didn't do much to quiet the noise.
Meyer's most recent game ended in dramatic fashion. The Jags blew a 14-0 lead to the Cincinnati Bengals in the second half, which dropped Meyer to 0-4 on the year. He was very emotional in his postgame press conference.
"It's devastating -- heartbreaking," said Meyer. "Usually I'm not wrong about stuff like that, that I just see a good team in there. I see good guys, I see good hearts, I see guys that work. And I told them I'm not wrong. I'm not wrong about that stuff. This team is going to win some games."
Meyer's body language and words last Thursday night showed he was devastated by the loss. He even blanked on a reporter's question and apologized because he said his head was "spinning." It sounds like he's not the only member of the Jaguars organization whose head is spinning right about now.