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HAYS BLOG: Jaguars owner Shad Khan fires Urban Meyer

todayDecember 16, 2021

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By Hays Carlyon

 

The worst coaching tenure in NFL history is over.

Urban Meyer is out as Jaguars coach after a disastrous 11-game run that featured two wins, multiple scandals and turned the franchise into a bigger laughingstock around the league.

Jaguars owner Shad Khan made the only move he credibly could Thursday morning, firing Meyer after the latest embarrassing chapter. The Tampa Bay Times published a story Wednesday in which former Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo alleged that Meyer kicked him in the leg during team stretching in a late-August practice. Meyer denied Lambo’s claim.

Lambo said he was inspired to tell his story after a blistering nfl.com report on Saturday detailed how Meyer had treated players and coaches.

Khan released the following statement, announcing offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will serve as interim coach.

“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.

“Trent Baalke continues as our general manager and will work with Darrell to ensure that our team will be inspired and competitive while representing Jacksonville proudly over our final four games of the season. In the spirit of closure and recharging our players, staff and fan base, I will not comment further until some point following the conclusion of the NFL season.”

Khan has endured many blunders in his 10 years as Jaguars owner with a 43-117 record including playoffs. Meyer was by far his biggest lemon.

The three-time national champion college coach never grasped life in the NFL. He had trouble building a staff. He was fined for his practices this offseason. He didn’t fly back with the team after a loss to Cincinnati on national TV and then humiliated the franchise by being videotaped at his Columbus bar later that weekend with a young woman who is not his wife dancing with his hands in a compromising position between her legs.

Meyer has had too few answers on the field as well, especially on offense.

The Jaguars are the only team that has yet to score 24 points in a game, a feat 21 teams have done at least six times.

Last season’s 1-15 team averaged 19.1 points per game. Even with the arrival of top-pick Trevor Lawrence at quarterback, Meyer’s offense has averaged 13.8 points a contest.

Khan will now have to reboot the Jaguars again, but at least the Meyer damage to Lawrence’s development is over.

Khan would be wise to pursue a head coach with NFL offensive experience. The top candidate should be former Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson, who led the Eagles to a Super Bowl triumph after the 2017 season, before being fired after last year with a 42-37-1 record. Pederson reached the playoffs in three of his five seasons in Philadelphia, going 4-2. The 53-year-old Pederson also served as Kansas City’s offensive coordinator from 2013-15 and played quarterback for 10 seasons in the NFL.

Other candidates should include a bunch of current offensive coordinators like Kansas City’s Eric Bienemy, Tampa Bay’s Byron Leftwich, a former Jaguars first-round pick, Buffalo’s Brian Daboll and Dallas’ Kellen Moore.

New England’s Josh McDaniels should intrigue Khan as well, if he’s willing to listen.

The job has appeal. Lawrence remains a huge building block as a potential superstar. The Jaguars also have ample salary-cap space and will once again likely have a top-three pick in the draft.

Khan will hire a no-risk candidate in terms of personality as he seeks stability and likely be patient for at least four seasons after the one-and-done fiasco with Meyer.

The next coach must unlock Lawrence’s potential. This is Khan’s greatest challenge as owner.

The Jaguars (2-11) face Houston on Sunday at TIAA Bank Field. Life can go on for the Jaguars without Urban the Clown running the show.

You can breathe again. He’s gone. The Jaguars can be a grown-up professional NFL outfit again.

You have survived the worst head coach in league history.

 

(You can email Hays at haysc@1010xl.com and follow him on Twitter @HaysCarlyon).

Written by: 1010admin


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