The Urban Meyer era in Jacksonville was short-lived — and with good reason.
It began with his hiring (and firing) of a former Iowa strength coach who was accused of mistreating players and making racist remarks. Meyer would later bring in the three-ring circus known as the Tim Tebow show to play tight end in an experiment that flamed out before you could even blink. There was the utterly ridiculous off-the-field drama that was one dramatic cutaway from being a Telemundo telenovela. There were even reports of run-ins with his own players and coaches — including a moment in which he kicked his kicker.
Ultimately, Meyer was unceremoniously dumped before the season could come to an end because gestures at the paragraph above. And to think, it probably should’ve never even gotten to that point. Heck, I’d argue that it shouldn’t have even happened at all after reading the latest from The Athletic. Because in addition to problematic hires, head-scratching decisions, and poor treatment of his peers, Meyer was out-of-touch and clueless. So much so, he literally didn’t know Aaron Donald.
Meyer said he conducted a six-month deep dive on the NFL that included interviews with his former Florida and Ohio State players as well as a study of the salary cap. But multiple sources said Meyer was unfamiliar with star players around the league, including 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel, Seahawks safety Jamal Adams and Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, a three-time NFL defensive player of the year.
“Who’s this 99 guy on the Rams?” Meyer asked one staffer during the season, according to a source. “I’m hearing he might be a problem for us.”
Who is 99 on the Rams? He’s no big deal, coach. Just a dude who put up six first-team All-Pro seasons, seven Pro Bowl campaigns, and a Hall of Fame résumé before you even came to the league.
It’s almost as if Meyer shouldn’t have even had a job in the NFL in the first place.
And to think, not knowing the best defensive player in football is just the tip of the iceberg in the hectic year of chaotic toxicity that was Meyer’s one year in Jacksonville. You’ll want to read the rest of The Athletic’s piece to get a full grasp of how bad things were with the Jaguars, as it puts so much into perspective.
According to Jaguars coaches, players and staff, Urban Meyer lead by fear in Jacksonville.
◽️ Routinely threatened to fire coaches
◽️ Pushed for live contact drills despite objections
◽️ Berated a player so harshly he became emotional
— The Athletic NFL (@TheAthleticNFL) March 21, 2022