Despite having a head coach with three national championships on his resume and a starting quarterback who entered the NFL as one of the most highly-hyped prospects of all time, the Jacksonville Jaguars look bound for another last-place finish in the AFC South.
However, it’s not like their fans need a lesson on how to handle a rough season. After all, perhaps no NFL team is associate with losing more than the one that plays its home games at TIAA Bank Field.
Yet just two games into his tenure, Urban Meyer already resorted to sending a desperate message to Jaguars fans that shouldn’t inspire much confidence about his chances of lasting in Jacksonville.
Just about everything has gone wrong for Urban Meyer since he became an NFL head coach
Did Meyer make a mistake by taking his talents to the NFL?
It certainly appears that way.
Since the Jaguars hired him in January, it’s impossible to ignore everything that’s happened under his watch. From hiring controversial strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle to creating unnecessary drama by signing Tim Tebow to committing OTA violations that cost he and the Jaguars a combined $300,000, Meyer has made a number of ill-advised decisions that raised questions about his ability to succeed at the pro level.
Unfortunately for the 57-year-old coach, things have only gotten worse in recent weeks.
The Jaguars kicked off their season by getting completely dismantled by a Houston Texans team that’s also in rebuilding mode. Meyer’s squad shockingly surrendered 37 points and 449 total yards to an offense featuring journeyman quarterback Tyrod Taylor. To make matters worse, No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence threw three interceptions in his first NFL start.
Coming off an embarrassing Week 1 performance, the Jaguars had a rough outing against the Denver Broncos. The Lawrence-led offense put up 13 points on 189 total yards, and the defense gave up 23 points on 398 total yards.
Needless to say, Meyer delivered a dud during his first official home game in front of Jaguars fans.
Meyer’s disastrous start has forced him to send a desperate message to Jacksonville fans
Has the city of Jacksonville already given up on the Jaguars’ first-year head coach?
With his team off to an 0-2 start, Meyer can’t afford to keep having bad days at the office. Then again, with rumors swirling about a potential return to college, perhaps he doesn’t have to worry about not having a job even if he fails miserably in his first year as an NFL head coach.
But if there was any doubt that he feels the pressure to win, his desperate post-game message to Jaguars fans answered that question.
“From myself, my staff and the players, ‘Thanks for being there. Don’t give up on us. Hang in there with us. We’re going to get better,'” Meyer said. “The one thing Jacksonville and 904 [needs to know] is there’s not going to be any group work harder to get this thing flipped.”
While fans undoubtedly expected better from the Jaguars, it’s not as if the team had playoff aspirations. Still, the fact Meyer asked them to not “give up on us” perfectly illustrates why there should be little confidence about his ability to succeed at his job.
Why should a coach have to ask fans to “hang in there with us” after two games? Other teams around the league have gotten off to 0-2 starts, but you don’t see their coaches issuing desperate pleas for continued support.
Meyer couldn’t even make it to Week 2 without having to address the idea of him leaving for another job. Why should Jaguars fans invest themselves in believing he can turn the team around? He couldn’t stay away from controversy during the spring and summer, and his pro football future became a hot-button topic after one game.
His message may inspire some fans to stay the course, but it seems like Meyer is destined to lose supporters as the season progresses.
Will the Jaguars hire a new head coach after the season?
Sorry, Jaguars fans. It looks like the team will have to find someone else to unlock Trevor Lawrence’s potential. As much as it may hurt to have to hit the reset button a year later, that may be the best thing for the young quarterback’s future.
Meyer comes with too much baggage and simply looks like a poor fit for the NFL. His methods may work in college, but they don’t have the same effect on grown men who get paid to play football. Plus, it’s hard to get a message across when you can’t back it up by winning on Sundays.
At this point, the Jaguars should start putting together a list of candidates to interview after the season. Lawrence will never realize his potential without the guidance of a qualified head coach.
Unfortunately for the former Clemson star, he got drafted by a team that has a stunningly bad history of hiring the right man for that job.
For his sake, hopefully that changes when it’s time to replace Urban Meyer.
All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.