Urban Meyer looks on with concern. PHOTO COURTESY OF HARRISON DIAMOND
(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED OCTOBER 21, 2021)
Associate Sports Editor
The Jacksonville Jaguars are having a rough start to the season. They had just lost their last game against the Bengals, were now 0-4 and on a massive losing streak. Their new QB, Trevor Lawerance, was looking awful, and the rest of the team wasn’t much better, but things were about to get far worse than anyone could imagine.
After the loss to the Bengals, Jacksonville Head Coach Urban Meyer decided to not fly home with the team (something that rarely happens in the NFL, if ever) and instead decided to spend the night after a tough loss at a bar that he owns in Ohio. That turned out just as bad as it sounds.
A short but damming video was posted to social media, showing Meyer and a young woman getting a little too close for comfort. The video showed the woman getting a little too into-it on Meyer’s lap. The video itself might just be the most uncomfortable one that I have ever seen.
Of course, the reaction from the internet was immediate and swift. It didn’t take long for the video to spread, and soon enough, it became by far the biggest sports story of the week.
The fallout from the event was massive. Meyer had to address the issue during multiple press conferences, and of course, had to apologize to the team. However, that didn’t go as smoothly as Meyer would’ve liked. He originally had only apologized to the team separately, and not as a whole group.
However, the Wednesday after that event had occurred, Meyer finally apologized to the team in general. According to ESPN’s Michael DiRocco, Meyer said that he had become “a distraction” and that he had to “earn” the players trust back. Of course, that would be easier said than done.
According to thecomeback.com’s Sean Keeley, Meyer already had little respect in the locker room, and any respect he did have was down the drain. It had gotten so bad that the players were even laughing at him. This, of course, creates massive issues for the Jaguars.
They were already such a dysfunctional organization, and this incident was going to destroy any progress that had been made. No apology done could reverse the damage caused by this. The situation in Jacksonville was already ugly.
The number one thing a coach needs in a locker room is respect. If the players don’t respect their own coach, then things get bad very quickly. If Meyer already had almost no respect, then what was going to happen now?
To make matters even worse, the media blasted Meyer from every direction. It didn’t matter what you read or what you watched, everything was about Meyer and the horrible mistake that might cost him his job. Yes, it’s gotten that bad.
There is a decent possibility that if the Jaguars are not able to make a decent enough improvement by the end of the year, then Urban Meyer could be gone from the NFL. This wouldn’t be the first time this has happened of course; Nick Saban is one of many examples of great college coaches who just didn’t work out in the pros, but this is different. This was unlike any situation ever seen before.
Other college coaches lost their jobs simply because they couldn’t adjust to the NFL. The schemes that they had created in college just weren’t working out, and the NFL game was too quick, but this was also different. Not only was Meyer completely unprepared to coach in the NFL, he was now caught doing something he shouldn’t have been doing with a young woman at a bar, and he didn’t even fly home with the team after an 0-4 start and after a tough loss? One could only wonder what Urban Meyer was thinking.
So, is there any way for Urban Meyer to claw himself out of this whole disaster and save his job? If you’re asking me, no, probably not. It wouldn’t shock me at all if Meyer is gone by the end of the 2021 season if things don’t get better quickly.
Of course, while the Jaguars were able to just barley secure their first win over the Dolphins in London, who knows if the team will even win one more game this year. Even if they do, will that be enough for the owner and the general manager to be persuaded to allow Meyer to keep his job? At this point, it’ll be a miracle if Meyer is able to do just that.