Former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer recently opened up about his short, failed tenure with the franchise. Meyer who was hired by the team in January 2021, was fired for cause in December after a series of instances that justified the move.
In an interview with Dan Dakich on “Don’t @ Me,” Meyer talked about myriad things in relation to his firing.
— PFF (@PFF) December 16, 2021
“I mean it’s the worst experience I’ve had in my professional lifetime. What really got me, I almost don’t want to say I accept it, I mean, you lose a game, and you just keep … I would seriously have self-talk. I went through that whole depression thing, too, where I’d stare at ceilings and think, ‘Are we really doing everything possible?’ because I really believed we had a roster that was good enough to win games. I just don’t think we did a great job.”
After posting a 2-11 record in 13 games and creating a firestorm of scandal and bad locker room chemistry, Meyer first reflected on his tumultuous first crack at NFL head coach back in December.
“It eats away your soul. I tried to train myself to say, it’s, ‘OK, it happens in the NFL. At one point the Jaguars lost 20 in a row. Think about that. Twenty games where you’re leaving the field where you lost. And we lost five in a row at one point, and I remember I … just couldn’t function. I was trying to rally myself up, I was in charge of the team, obviously, and then we won two out of three, and I felt like we flipped that thing.”
Meyer Made The Mistake Of Thinking The NFL Is Run Like College: Control And Time Are Totally Different
Meyer is one of the most-successful college coaches ever, boasting a (187-32) record and three national championships in stops at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and Ohio State. In 18 seasons he lost 32 games, with his worst season being 8-5.
The losing was too much for a man who only knew how to win. Many will question his preparation, dedication and ability to lead in this instance.
As he tries to repair his image and get back into the game, one expects him to land at some D-1 program, probably a Group of Five that needs a big name to expand its recruiting scope.
— Urban Meyer (@CoachUrbanMeyer) November 24, 2018
Meyer talked about all the differences between the college and NFL game that he wasn’t aware of, mainly time.
Urban Meyer has a history of turning programs around.
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) January 8, 2015
“I’ll tell you Dan it’s a lot different. It is different. Just the amount of time you get with your quarterback. Just the amount of time you get with your team. The roster management. How you practice.
“You know the amount of reps you get before you go play a game, to me was shockingly low. For example, we would practice, you maybe [run] one or two reps at something, next thing you’re calling it in a game. In college, you never do that. In college, you’re gonna get at least a dozen opportunities to practice that before you ask a player to go do it in a game. It’s a lot of differences.”
Being a college coach for 18 seasons, Meyer spent the bulk of his time recruiting the next crop of student-athletes. That doesn’t happen in the NFL.
Meyer Didn’t Help Himself With His Choices
Meyer’s lack of integrity and institutional control played a role in his demise. He constantly pushed the envelope in his decision-making during his 11-month tenure. The losing alone wasn’t enough to get him fired.
Owner Shad Khan was willing to be patient as Meyer built the franchise and developed quarterback Trevor Lawrence. After several questionable and embarrassing situations for which he was directly responsible, Meyer was relieved of his duties.
Meyer hasn’t fully embraced his own culpability in his demise in Jacksonville. But the reality is, he made his own bed and he eventually had to lie in it.
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