The Jacksonville Jaguars brought in Urban Meyer with the hope he could fix the team’s culture and help build a stable program that would content for years to come. But things have only worsened this season, with the losses piling up and tension mounting, raising doubts about Meyer’s future.
Problems started almost immediately for Meyer. Still learning the ropes of coaching in the NFL, Meyer hired Chris Doyle as the team’s director of sports performance. When he received widespread criticism for hiring a person who eight months earlier was dismissed from Iowa following multiple allegations of using racist language, Meyer defended the hire even after Doyle resigned the next day.
Things only got worse from there. Meyer and the Jaguars were fined for practice violations in the summer, Jacksonville’s head coach quickly became frustrated by NFL rules and preseason losses led to him lashing out at assistant coaches.
But even as the regular-season losses piled up and the bar video scandal unfolded, Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan stuck by Meyer. But after NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero detailed more recent examples of Meyer’s clashes with players and coaches and Meyer admitted belittling his assistants, many thought a coaching change was inevitable.
However, NFL insider Peter King wrote in his weekly column, said he believes it’s very likely Khan retains Meyer for the 2022 NFL season.
“I think owner Shad Khan is still very likely to bring back Meyer (2-11 as a rookie NFL coach) for 2022, perhaps without a few coaches on offense.”NBC Sports’ Peter King on whether or not Jacksonville Jaguars HC Urban Meyer returns in 2022
Jacksonville retaining Meyer for the remainder of the season isn’t a surprise, with reports surfacing Sunday that there were no immediate plans to fire him. But keeping the 57-year-old coach next season, even with some players seemingly turning on him, and firing the same assistants he hired and allegedly called “losers” could be a bad look for the organization.
- Jacksonville Jaguars record: 2-11
Of course, Khan’s commitment to Meyer could still change. Trevor Lawrence, the face of the franchise, already spoke out publicly against Meyer’s decision to bench star running back James Robinson. If Jacksonville loses to the Houston Texans in Week 15, it would likely guarantee the franchise finishes with at least 15 losses this year.
If push comes to shove, given it’s far more difficult to find a great quarterback than a good head coach, Lawrence will outlast Meyer.