Sports

All the ways Jaguars coach Urban Meyer was about ‘team team team’

You’ll be shocked to learn that Urban Meyer takes no responsibility for his failures in Jacksonville.

You’ll be shocked to learn that Urban Meyer takes no responsibility for his failures in Jacksonville.
Image: Getty Images

Usually when someone fails it’s an opportunity to reflect, to see where things went wrong so that you can improve. Was I bad at my job? Do I not get along with others? Do I have an odor unsuitable for the workplace?

Or… it’s time to double-down.

During his tenure with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Urban Meyer did nothing but blame others, and apparently nothing has changed since his firing. In an interview with NFL.com, Meyer explained just where things went wrong.

“I think college has changed quite a bit, too. Just society has changed. You think how hard you pushed. … I believe there is greatness in everybody and it’s the coach’s job to find that greatness however you do that. Positive encouragement. Pushing them to be greater, making them work harder, identifying flaws and trying to fix [them]. I think everything is so fragile right now. And that includes coaching staffs. When I got into coaching, coaches weren’t making this kind of money and they didn’t have agents. Everything is so fragile where it used to be team, team, team. I remember talking about it in a staff meeting three days ago. I got into this profession because I had the greatest high school coach and it was all about team. All about the huddle,” said Meyer.

Um, I’ll take ‘Hypocrisy’ for 2000, whoever is hosting Jeopardy now. The whole problem with Meyer is that he saw himself as above the team. He was, quite literally, the only one not “about the huddle.” He is the only head coach in league history, as far as I’ve heard, to not get on the team team team plane to fly back home after a road game.

This statement is completely meaningless. What exactly is an example of someone being all about the huddle? Covering up the domestic abuse of one of your assistants for years? I imagine the victim didn’t feel like she was part of the “team.” Or was she being too fragile, too?

Once again it’s everyone else’s fault. It’s not that you called your coaches losers, it’s that they all have agents and are making good salaries. The world has gotten too soft for your coaching style that definitely works (cough cough 2-11 record). It’s not that you hired an alleged racist strength coach, it’s that your majority black team didn’t like it.

Yes, I’m starting to understand. Back when men were men you were allowed to kick your employees and they were tough enough to not say anything, whereas now they’re so weak that they’re standing up for themselves.

And for anyone who is still in the “we don’t really know what happened; there’s conflicting accounts” camp, just know that Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, the reporter who first broke the Josh Lambo being kicked story, was on the Rich Eisen Show where he claimed that Meyer’s lawyers never denied that he kicked Lambo.

“I got a threatening letter from his attorney about publishing the story without certain information,” said Stroud. “They wanted to offer up a couple of players, but only off the record… to corroborate not that he didn’t kick him, but to the degree to which he kicked him.”

So Meyer’s lawyers seem to think that he kicked Lambo. But really this is just another example of people not being about the team, right? Anyone who put their ego aside would’ve gladly claimed off the record to a reporter that their coach did kick someone but not that hard.

Meyer’s problem, and the reason he failed in the NFL, is as simple as in his mind, it’s OK when he’s selfish, but not when other people are. I guess because he’s the “head ball coach” so he’s earned that right. Yet he never took responsibility like a head coach. When James Robinson was benched for fumbling and Trevor Lawrence had to voice his frustrations publicly, Meyer said that he didn’t know he was benched and that it was the position coaches who keep track of who is on the field. Urban, I don’t think “I have no idea who’s playing” is the defense that you think it is.

It’s apparent from his statement that he’s learned nothing. There’s a shocking lack of self awareness that leaves no doubt that if he’s given another opportunity to coach that it’ll be more of the same: Meyer doing whatever he wants at the expense of other peoples’ well being.

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