Urban Meyer is talking after being fired as the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The former coach spoke to NFL.com in a 23-minute-long interview revealing how he feels now after the tumult in Jacksonville.
Urban Meyer quite clearly doesn't think highly of the coaching staff he hired in Jacksonville. There was the "losers" report just days before he was fired, and now he complains that his coaches were "fragile" in his new interview with @RapSheet https://t.co/AdbNb1ACJy pic.twitter.com/E3Q48j4jge
— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) December 18, 2021
Urban Meyer Speaks
“I just apologize to Jacksonville,” Meyer said via the Friday phone interview from Florida. “I love Jacksonville. It’s one of the reasons I took the job. I still think Shad’s a great owner. It’s heart-breaking. I just had a dream of it becoming a destination place with a new facility he agreed to build and someday to walk into that stadium where it’s standing room only.
“Because I know how bad the people of Jacksonville want it. So, I’m just heartbroken that we weren’t able to do that. I still believe it’s going to be done. It’s too good of a place.”
Meyer was fired early Thursday morning following the 2-11 start he posted during his sole NFL season. His short tenure will be controversial, swirling with negativity and off-field improprieties.
So glad Urban Meyer had the strength to point out how soft the NFL has become with all those games won recently by fragile coaches Bill Belichick, Andy Reid, Mike Tomlin, Bruce Arians, John Harbaugh and Sean Payton.
The NFL clearly couldn't handle Meyer's strength and courage.
— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) December 19, 2021
Meyer is highly disappointed with Jacksonville’s decision. However, he recognized the factors leading up to it.
“I tell people, losing eats away at your soul,” Meyer said. “Once you start losing, it’s hard on everybody. I thought at one point, when we won two out of three, there was some momentum, great energy, the defense was really playing well.
“We were running the ball and then when that dried up on us, then we started turning the ball over. We had that bye week and then James Robinson gets hurt.”
No Bad Energy Please
Insider reports have blamed Meyer’s coaching style and energy after a loss as the reason the offense stopped working.
As one of the most successful college football coaches in history, Meyer was believed to have the touch that the Jaguars needed. Instead he lost more NFL games in his first four weeks with the Jags than he had in any single college season since losing four in 2007.
When Meyer lost, he wore the frustration and angst like a blanket. For example, after a devastating 20-0 loss to the Tennessee Titans, Meyer’s postgame handshake with former assistant turned Titans coach Mike Vrabel was visibly taxing.
Handshakes That Don’t Match
“Someone asked me about Vrabel’s [handshake], we’re really close,” Meyer said. “That had nothing to do with him. That’s probably one of my issues why I’ve thought some of the things I said: I can’t take losing. I try to accept it, it just eats away at my soul. And I believe our players deserve better.”
The game would be Meyer’s last with the Jaguars. To date, Meyer has no current prospects for another coaching job. In fact, with all the scandals amid the losses, he has the worst image crisis in professional sports.
It was also the way Jaguars owner Shad Khan fired him. Using language like, “I am bitterly disappointed to arrive at the conclusion that an immediate change is imperative for everyone.”
It was a terminal situation for a reportedly toxic work environment, and even though Meyer had four years left on his contract, the Jaguars felt they had no choice.
When asked what his next professional move is, Meyer said, “To be determined.”
However, he is now a forever case study in how to fail miserably going from collegiate coaching to the NFL ranks, and his next chapter will carry that stain with it.
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