The second Urban Meyer was named head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, many predicted he would one day leave the job on his own accord, given his history of abandoning his posts under curious circumstances. But we are starting to approach the possibility that Meyer could be fired before getting a chance to up-and-leave.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Meyer is making headlines for all the wrong reasons this week. Things spiraled out of control for the former Ohio State head coach following a soul-crushing, three-point Week 4 loss on Thursday Night Football to the Cincinnati Bengals. The defeat sent Meyer’s Jaguars to 0-4, leaving them and the Detroit Lions as the NFL’s only winless teams through the first month of the new campaign.
Let’s recap the recent events that took place. Firstly, Meyer did not board the team flight home to Florida following the road loss to Cincinnati, opting to stay in Ohio for some team-approved time off. The Jaguars were aware that Meyer would be staying behind, and even gave him their blessing to do so. On the surface, this appears to be rather ordinary, but it sure is an odd time for the head coach of a 0-4 team that just suffered a heartbreaking defeat to decide to take some personal time off.
What Meyer chose to do with those so-called “vacation days” made it so much worse. By now, you’ve seen the viral video of Meyer fraternizing with a young woman in a local Ohio dive bar. The incident took place just days after Jacksonville “secured” their 19th consecutive loss. Meyer’s unacceptable actions served as an obvious distraction for a franchise that already has enough on its plate, and led to an extremely public apology from Meyer.
Meyer may have issued an apology, but this story is far from over. On Tuesday morning, Michael Lombardi reported that “several closed-doors meetings” were occurring in Jacksonville’s football offices, none of which had to do with their upcoming Week 5 game against Tennessee, but rather regarding Meyer’s unacceptable behavior over the course of the past 10 days.
In the mere hours following Lombardi’s report, Jaguars owner Shad Khan released this damning statement regarding Meyer’s antics. Khan carefully chose his words, throwing a sliver of support behind Meyer, but not without mentioning that the head coach had to, “regain our trust and respect.” The keyword being “regain”—insinuating Meyer has lost some trust and respect within the franchise. This report indicates that loss of trust extends to the locker room as well.
Meyer sure does have his work cut out for him, but I’m not convinced he has the personality to bounce back from this. Meyer has never been fired from a head coaching gig since he took his first job in that role at Bowling Green in 2001, but as they say, there’s a first time for everything.