‘I Just Apologize To Jacksonville’: Urban Meyer In First Public Comments Since Firing

Urban Meyer’s tenure as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars was short-lived, filled with losing, and riddled with off the field embarrassments. 

Meyer was fired Thursday —13 games into his first NFL head coaching job — with a record of 2-11. The news of Meyer’s firing followed a report from the Tampa Bay Times, in which former Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo accused Meyer of kicking him during an August practice as he implored him to make his field goal attempts. 

“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,” Jaguars owner Shad Khan said in a statement on the team’s website. “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.”

In his first interview since the firing, Meyer spoke to NFL.com, apologizing for how his time in Jacksonville ended. 

“I just apologize to Jacksonville,” Meyer told NFL.com. “I love Jacksonville. It’s one of the reasons I took the job. I still think Shad’s a great owner. It’s heart-breaking. I just had a dream of it becoming a destination place with a new facility he agreed to build and some day to walk into that stadium where it’s standing room only. Because I know how bad the people of Jacksonville want it. So, I’m just heartbroken that we weren’t able to do that. I still believe it’s going to be done. It’s too good of a place.”

In the week prior to Meyer being let go, reports surfaced of growing tensions within the Jaguars locker room, including a shouting match between Meyer and wide receiver Marvin Jones, and an incident in which Meyer called his assistant coaches “losers,” while challenging them to defend their resumes. Meyer denied those reports in his interview with NFL.com, along with Lambo’s allegation that Meyer kicked him at practice. 

As for what he’ll do next, Meyer said it was “still to be determined,” but did discuss how coaching has changed as the NFL and college football have evolved. 

“I think college has changed quite a bit, too,” Meyer said. “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.”

Meyer had nothing but positive words to share when describing first-overall draft pick Trevor Lawrence, saying he was going to be a “great NFL quarterback.”

“He’s going to be great,” Meyer said. “He’s 22 years old, thrust into a place that lost 15 straight games. He had some devastating injuries to his offensive skill guys — (DJ) Chark went down and (Travis) Etienne, then (Jamal) Agnew and then our TE Dan Arnold. Those are our fast guys. And we had enough (talent), I’m not blaming that, but we had to be more creative. I just think we could’ve done better. But there is zero doubt Trevor is going to be a great NFL quarterback.” 

On Saturday, ESPN reported that Meyer was fired with cause and the Jaguars do not intend to pay him for the remaining four years of his contract.

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to sports@dailywire.com.

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