Details Of Urban Meyer’s Toxic Environment In Jacksonville Revealed
Much was said about Urban Meyer’s disastrous one year campaign with the Jaguars. But it was undeniable that the fit was bad, and Meyer was never cut out for an NFL head coaching job.
His downfall was his lack of leadership in the locker room, according to multiple reports. The players didn’t respect him, and neither did his staff. The Athletic has released an article detailing some moments in Meyer’s one season with the Jaguars that points out some things that are eye opening.
Meyer, addressing his players, allegedly mentioned if he cut them from his team, they wouldn’t have any future in the league.
“And do you know what would happen if I cut you guys?” Meyer said, according to four people in the room. “You couldn’t get a job paying more than $15 an hour.”
According to The Athletic, Meyer claimed to have performed a six-month ‘deep dive,’ which included interviews with former Florida and Ohio State players as well as a salary cap analysis. Meyer, though, is allegedly believed to be unfamiliar with some of the league’s top players, including 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel and Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald, who has won three NFL defensive player of the year awards.
Meyer supposedly asked one of his staffer during the 2021 season, “Who’s this 99 on the Rams? I’m hearing he might be a problem for us.”
Wide Receiver DJ Chark, who is now a member of the Detroit Lions, said of Meyer and his antics, “He feels like threats are what motivates. I know he would come up to us and tell us if the receivers weren’t doing good, he wasn’t going to fire us, he was going to fire our coach. He would usually say that when the coach was around. You’ve got players in fear that they’re going to lose their jobs. You’ve got coaches who he belittled in front of us, and I can only imagine what he was doing behind closed doors. I’m surprised he lasted that long, to be honest with you.”
Another example of Meyer’s complete disregard of respect came from a conversation with newly acquired wide receiver John Brown, who signed with the Jaguars as a free agent.
Brown ran the wrong route in practice. To fix the issue, Brown, a Florida native, and rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence ran through the route again after practice. Meyer walked up to the duo and allegedly said, “Hey, Trevor, you’ve got to slow it down for him, these boys from the South, their transcripts ain’t right.”
According to The Athletic, “During a meeting that also included members of the coaching and personnel staffs, Meyer berated a player so harshly that the player cried. According to two sources, Meyer slammed the door after departing the meeting, leaving others to console the player. The next day, one of the other staff members present confronted Meyer about the incident in what one source described as a tense exchange.”
“Meyer also forbade players from speaking with opponents on the field before games, once claimed the Jaguars lost because they dressed sloppily and told offensive players he wanted them to dunk the ball over the goalpost after touchdowns even though doing so would draw a fine from the league.”
The Athletic has more here.