It’s no surprise Urban Meyer has struggled to fit as the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach, but Saturday morning’s report still has some insane details.
With a 2-10 record this season, Urban Meyer clearly has had few (if any) answers in his first season as Jacksonville Jaguars head coach. A current four-game losing streak, after somehow beating the Buffalo Bills, isn’t helpful.
Meyer has simply not acclimated well to being an NFL head coach. From coaching staff turnover to not going back to Jacksonville with the team after a Thursday night loss to the Bengals in Week 4, and being captured in what we’ll just call a compromising situation, the idea Meyer will be one-and-done in Jacksonville is not far-fetched.
On Saturday morning NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero offered a more detailed outline of the dysfunction this season in Jacksonville, with many things happening over the past two weeks alone.
Here are the three most insane, but truly not surprising, details of the Urban Meyer-Jaguars report from Pelissero.
Favoritism for a former player, who happens to be not as good
The reason for running back James Robinson’s benching in Week 13 against the Rams was cloudy, from an early fumble to him not being 100 percent healthy. Meyer tried to pass the buck to running backs coach Bernie Parmalee when asked about it. But Pelissero’s reporting contradicts that.
Contrary to his public statements that it was injury-related, Meyer ordered Robinson’s benching after an opening-drive fumble in last week’s 37-7 road loss to the Rams, then had running backs coach Bernie Parmalee stop Robinson from re-entering the game, insisting Carlos Hyde (who played for Meyer at Ohio State) stay in. Only after Lawrence questioned Meyer on the sideline about Robinson’s absence was Robinson allowed to return late in the second quarter.
There’s no denying Robinson has been banged up lately. If he’s not healthy enough to play, he should be inactive. He’s simply a better player than Carlos “2.5 yards and a cloud of dust” Hyde, and Meyer played the favorites card.
Pushing Marvin Jones to his breaking point
Receiver Marvin Jones — one of the locker room’s most respected and mild-mannered veterans — became so angry with Meyer’s public and private criticism of the receiver group that he left the facility until other staff members convinced him to come back and had a heated argument with Meyer during practice.
By any accounts over the course of his career Jones is a consumate professional, along with being a solidly productive player. Meyer apparently pushed him to what sounds like the brink of quitting, then the two had a heated argument. The whole thing is on Meyer, since Jones could be someone who gets other players to buy-in.
Calling assistant coaches “losers” and threatening them
During a staff meeting, Meyer delivered a biting message that he’s a winner and his assistant coaches are losers, according to several people informed of the contents of the meeting, challenging each coach individually to explain when they’ve ever won and forcing them to defend their résumés.
And the staff meeting follows a pattern of tense interactions between Meyer and his assistants dating back to the offseason. After opening the preseason with consecutive losses, for instance, sources say Meyer informed assistants that he was sick of being embarrassed and if the team didn’t start winning immediately, some of them wouldn’t be around for a second year.
Meyer is one of the most successful college football coaches of all-time. But that carries exactly zero significant weight in the NFL, with players or assistant coaches who have paid their dues in the league for years. Threats to some assistants in the preseason that they wouldn’t be around for a second year if the team didn’t start winning immediately is rich, considering Meyer himself was (and is) hardly a guarantee to last to a second year.