The Jacksonville Jaguars had the most encouraging outing of their young season last Thursday against the Cincinnati Bengals and nobody gives a damn. Urban Meyer has been the main character of the news cycle since Saturday, when video first emerged of his big night out in Columbus, Ohio. Yesterday brought an onslaught of even more criticism and outrage after another, arguably more damning video was released in the aftermath of a press conference in which Meyer wasn't really honest about what happened and clearly just wished it would all go away.
Now he is in the crosshairs. Marcus Spears argued passionately for his termination on ESPN yesterday. More have and will do the same. I am of the same mind. The Jags need to ditch Meyer before this gets worse.
This isn't an attempt to police Meyer's sense of right and wrong. We are not the morality police and the fallout that will come in Meyer's personal life is his and his to deal with alone. It is, however, an objectively terrible look for the organization to have a viral video of their 57-year-old head coach out at a bar getting familiar with young women making the rounds. Especially after a loss, and especially when his presence in Columbus means he blew off the flight home with his team after said loss to do whatever it is he was doing.
It shows a lack of professionalism and a lack of dedication to the job he's been tasked with. ESPN's Michele Steele said nobody could remember an instance in which a coach didn't fly back with his team after a game with the exception of Bill Parcels, who didn't fly back after the Patriots' 1996 Super Bowl loss and left the organization shortly afterwards.
As pointed out by The Athletic's Lindsay Jones, the Jaguars fired Gus Bradley after a mid-season road loss a few years ago and even he flew back with the team.
Things are only going to get worse from here. Who knows how the players will respond to all this, but Meyer already had his chance to put this thing to bed in his press conference yesterday and failed miserably. Michael Lombardi reports there are conversations happening in the Jaguars' building today that may lead to the situation getting ugly.
None of this is what the Jaguars need. They finally have a ray of light in the form of Trevor Lawrence, the great hope for a sorrowful franchise. I imagine this is not the introduction the Khan family was imagining for their prized rookie. Jacksonville is going to be bad this year no matter who their coach is, so why stick with Meyer? He's already stirred up a lot of trouble since he was hired this offseason.
This should be the final strike. There just isn't any benefit that outweighs the cost of keeping him around at this point. It will be assuredly painful for Jacksonville to pull the plug a month into the regular season, but it is far better to move on too early than too late.
It's time for Meyer to go.