Jaguars assistants ‘coaching scared’ as Urban Meyer’s disastrous first season winds down
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer sent a message out to the coaching community on Tuesday: He’s not interested in the Notre Dame job or any other college opening.
“I’m not a candidate,” Meyer said on a conference call today. “Obviously, I spent six years of my life there, so great respect for Notre Dame, and as I do USC, UCLA, like we talked about. But I’m committed to the Jaguars and doing the best we can to turn this thing around.”
But you have to wonder at this point if Jaguars’ owner Shad Khan would be just fine if Meyer decides to bolt in the coming weeks.
Has Urban Meyer lost the Jaguars locker room?
The Jacksonville franchise looks completely lost two-thirds of the way through Meyer’s embarrassing first NFL season. And fresh off a 21-14 loss to the Atlanta Falcons — one of just three winnable games left on their schedule — Jaguars players have heard enough of Meyer’s message.
“It’s the same speech every week,” one plugged-in league source tells Pro Football Network. “Players think they’re listening to a coaching seminar.”
And that seminar isn’t heavy on personal responsibility. Rather, we hear Meyer “blames everyone else” for the team’s 2-9 start to the season. A couple of key offensive assistants, in particular, get the brunt of his criticism. The staff as a whole is “coaching scared,” we hear.
Is Urban Meyer’s stubbornness holding the Jaguars back?
Meyer for years has been known as a control freak, and that hasn’t changed in the NFL. Players have approached him with suggestions on how to fix the NFL’s 31st-ranked scoring offense, but he shrugs them off.
We’re told that Meyer gives off the impression that it’s his way or the highway — no matter how underwhelming the result. In-game adjustments are few and far between, a big reason why Jacksonville has been outscored by a whopping 48 points in the third quarter this year. The Jaguars have lost three straight and haven’t scored more than 23 points all season.
Trevor Lawrence struggles in Year 1
First overall pick Trevor Lawrence has made no noticeable improvements throughout his rookie season. His passer rating has yet to crack 100 in any game. Additionally, he ranks 33rd among 34 qualifying quarterbacks in yards per pass (6.0).
Meyer already is on thin ice with Khan after skipping the flight home from Cincinnati in Week 4 to party in Columbus. That was a bad decision that got even worse when pictures and videos emerged of him flirting and dancing with women that weren’t his wife emerged on social media.
Khan publicly scolded Meyer at the time, saying “his conduct [that] 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.”
The players, we’re told, do hold general manager Trent Baalke and his staff in high regard. They believe that the front office is building a good roster and have confidence that will continue next offseason.