An Oral History of Urban Meyer's Final Week

Former Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer
Former Jacksonville Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

DON'T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU ON THE WAY OUT

NFL Week 15 - "Yeah, calling someone a loser, that's inaccurate. I have high expectations for our coaches. I'm very demanding of our coaches and expect guys to be held accountable for their positions, and the times when they're not, we address it. But I assure you there was not whatever report. That's nonsense."

—Former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer formally addresses the story released by NFL.com's Tom Pelissero describing a litany of accusations against Meyer as a head coach. Some of the stories in the article include:

  • Wide receiver Marvin Jones getting so angry about Meyer's treatment of players that he left the facility and had to be convinced by staff members to return;
  • Meyer claiming he was a winner and his assistant coaches were losers, challenging them to individually explain their coaching resumes for proof they had ever won;
  • Meyer holding running back James Robinson out of a game for fumbling, refusing to let him return to the field until quarterback Trevor Lawrence questioned Robinson's absence.

"If there is a source, that source is unemployed. I mean, within seconds, if there's some source that's doing that."

—Meyer on what would happen if the identity of the person who leaked these stories if someone found out. (USA Today)

"I had a better coaching staff at Bowling Green. You guys are f**king terrible."

—An excerpt from Meyer's alleged berating of the coaching staff. (Aaron Wilson, Sports Talk 790 via Twitter)

"I would just say this: There was something that was brought to my attention I didn't like too well. I approached him about it, and we talked. And we handled it like grown men. That's all I have to say about that."

"We have a lot of conversations, me and (Meyer) about this team. I'm the old head. I'm the voice of the locker room."

—Marvin Jones' re-telling of the altercation he had with Meyer. (NFL.com)

Reporter: "You've been telling us all year that you've had faith in this offensive line. They're getting their ass handed to them every week. What's going on there? They're getting paid a lot of money to be better than what they've been."

Meyer: "Yeah."

—Meyer's full response when confronted about the offensive line play during Sunday's 20-0 loss to the Tennessee Titans. Lawrence was sacked three times and the team combined for a whopping 8 yards on eight carries. (My Sports Update via Twitter)

"Cisco is playing a little bit more, I believe. I don't have his numbers in front of me."

—Meyer's on-the-spot evaluation of safety Andre Cisco during his postgame conference when asked about the rookie playing more. Cisco played 0 (zero) defensive snaps during Sunday's contest. (Demetrius Harvey, Big Cat Country via Twitter)

"What concerns me is obviously wins and losses. But, hey, we're sitting here, we haven't had a lot of wins. What's different about this thing is you have losses and you have drama. In the past, it was like, you were, 'It's like the lowly Jaguars' and everyone left you alone. Now, the scrutiny we have is really something different.

"So how much of that is we're bringing it upon ourselves or how much of that is deserved? In this case, Urban, he won wherever he was. This is something he's never dealt with. And when you win in football, you create enemies. The only way you can really deal with that is you got to win again. I wish there was a panacea."

"I think [Urban Meyer]'s vital. Look at how he's handled the last week, and I think it's exemplary. I have nothing but the utmost respect. And I've got to tell you one thing he told me the very first time I met him: 'If you pick me, I'm going to retire as a Jaguar.' I hate to say it, (but) nobody's ever said that to me."

—Jaguars owner Shad Khan said he wanted to make informed decisions instead of "just acting helter-skelter on emotion" when discussing the fate of Meyer's tenure with the team. (Associated Press)

"I'm in a lunge position. Left leg forward, right leg back. Urban Meyer, while I'm in that stretch position, comes up to me and says, 'Hey Dips**t, make your f**king kicks!' And kicks me in the leg."

"It certainly wasn't as hard as he could've done it (kicked), but it certainly wasn't a love tap. Truthfully, I'd register it as a five (out of 10). Which in the workplace, I don't care if it's football or not, the boss can't strike an employee. And for a second, I couldn't believe it actually happened. Pardon my vulgarity, I said, 'Don't you ever f**king kick me again!' And his response was, 'I'm the head ball coach, I'll kick you whenever the f**k I want.'"

—Former Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo describes an August incident where Meyer kicked Lambo while confronting him about missed kicks. This story broke the day after Khan's comments about Meyer's role with the team.

"Josh's characterization of me and this incident is completely inaccurate, and there are eyewitnesses to refute his account. (General manager) Trent (Baalke) and I met with him on multiple occasions to encourage his performance, and this was never brought up. I was fully supportive of Josh during his time with the team and wish him nothing but the best."

—Meyer's response to the accusations made by Lambo. (Tampa Bay Times)

"Darrell Bevell will serve as interim head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars for the balance of the 2021 season. Darrell succeeds Urban Meyer. After deliberation over many weeks and a thorough analysis of the entirety of Urban's tenure with our team, I am bitterly disappointed to arrive at the conclusion that an immediate change is imperative for everyone. I informed Urban of the change this evening. As I stated in October, regaining our trust and respect was essential. Regrettably, it did not happen."

—Khan released a statement at 12:51 a.m. on Thursday night after news had broken announcing Meyer was officially fired from Jacksonville. Meyer lasted 13 games into a five-year contract. (Jaguars.com)

"I was laughing, to be honest. At the end of the game, guys running into each other. I don't want to say too much on it but I was talking trash to them a little bit. It's tough for them boys over there."

—Tennessee Titans safety Kevin Byard couldn't help but laugh after watching Jaguars wide receivers Laviska Shenault and Laquon Treadwell collide into each other while running routes during Sunday's 20-0 loss to the Titans. Oh, Mr. Byard, how little you knew. (Warren Sharp via Twitter)

GRAPPLING WITH GRAVITY

"If I could jump, I'd jump."

—Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid's reaction to tight end Travis Kelce's game-winning overtime touchdown on Thursday Night Football. (Nate Taylor, The Athletic via Twitter)

CLASSIC MIX-UP

"It was miscommunication between me and the O-line. They thought it was a spike, but it was just a heat-of-the-moment deal. I don't even remember the call, what was being said in the helmet, or anything like that."

—Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray on the last play of the Cardinals' 30-23 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football. With no one blocking for him as the team took a shot for the end zone, Murray ended up taking an 18-yard sack on the final play of the game. (AZCardinals.com)

URBAN MEYER, TAKE NOTES

"You know, we don't wait for stuff like that to happen and address it. That's built in our two-minute teachings at team development. And obviously, he had a misstep in that area. He had missteps in other areas. He's a young guy who is growing and developing and a lot of ways that can't happen fast enough for him, and it can't happen fast enough for us. We're going to continue to push that growth and development as long as he's a willing participant. He has been. And so we're just going to keep moving forward."

—Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin addresses wide receiver Chase Claypool's first-down point from the team's final drive against the Minnesota Vikings that cost the team at least one play to try for a game-tying touchdown. Tomlin then went on to give examples of the growth some young players on the roster, giving Diontae Johnson (who is one year older than Claypool) as a prime example of this development. (Brooke Pryor, ESPN via Twitter)

THE MOBILE QUARTERBACK MOVEMENT GOES TOO FAR

"That's enough of that s**t."

—Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians puts an end to quarterback Tom Brady's scrambles for first downs. Brady had seven rushes for 16 yards and a touchdown last week against the Buffalo Bills.

"He's right. I agree with B.A. 'Get my ass on the ground.' That's what I deserve."

—Brady's response. (B/R Gridiron via Instagram)

CARR AND CARR-ER

"I think that for us to know that we're still right there and we have four AFC teams that we play, two in the division. It's not going to be easy, but you're telling me that we have a chance. The way that we've come to work is we do have a chance and that's a fact. But we have to win football games. That's all that matters."

—Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr sees a glimmer of hope for his team's playoff chances despite losing five of their last six games. (Raiders Wire)

WELCOME TO RILEY-WOOD

"One of the things I evaluated in this opportunity is I think we can build one of the best rosters in the country. I don't think. I know we can. ... As college football is changing and a lot of things are shifting, each program, you've got to have your niche. You've got to have your thing that separates you or makes you different. I think this is one of the most unique settings and unique opportunities in college football, not just for coaches, but for players. My confidence level that we can build a roster that will be as good as anybody in the country is very high. It's because of the people here and the opportunities here and I think that's something that can happen very quickly."

—USC Trojans head coach Lincoln Riley on his decision to leave Oklahoma. (NFL.com)

VIRTUAL REALITY IS GETTING TOO REALISTIC

"Hey, I got you on my franchise team, bruh. I respect you."

—New York Jets linebacker Quincy Williams broke up an end zone pass to New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara, then let the video-game-character-turned-real-life-NFL-player know that Williams had Kamara on his Madden franchise team. (New York Jets via Instagram)

THIS WEEK IN SOCIAL MEDIA

THE MOST ICONIC HAT TOSSES SINCE BOBBY SHMURDA

—Collins Hill (Suwanee, Georgia) cornerback Travis Hunter, 247Sports' No. 1 recruit in the nation, officially committed to Jackson State University after passing up on the likes of Florida State and Georgia.

Comments

6 comments, Last at 20 Dec 2021, 3:31pm

1 "If there is a source, that…

"If there is a source, that source is unemployed. I mean, within seconds, if there's some source that's doing that."

Looks like Meyer was the source.

4 “My hat goes off to Melvin…

“My hat goes off to Melvin Ingram for winning two coin flips.” -- part of Andy Reid's post-game rundown on what the Chiefs did well against the Chargers.

Later in the press conference:

“We were down to five seconds, took a knee and just said, ‘Listen, we have Melvin for the coin flip.'”  -- Andy Reid on the decision to not try a Hail Mary at the end of the game.

5 The saddest part of the…

The saddest part of the Urban Meyer saga is that he will never truly be unemployed as he deserves to be. There will always be some unredeemed personality that will be willing to take him in and pay him megabucks. There is no justice in professional sports, only rentseeking.

6 I dunno about that. Kicking…

I dunno about that. Kicking or hitting players is the type of offense that's difficult to come back from.  Obviously, as his NFL Network appearance attests, Urban is in full career rehab mode, but he's unemployable at the NFL level. Also if new kicking/hitting stories come out, I really find it hard to see how he gets hired again at the college level unless he's comfortable taking a low-end D1 or lower type position.