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Urban Meyer to Assistants: I'm a Winner and You're All Losers

Kyle Koster
Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages
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Urban Meyer's Jacksonville Jaguars tenure always seemed destined for trouble and the early returns have not been impressive. There's the 2-10 record, which to be fair, was expected considering the roster and trying to let Trevor Lawrence acclimate to things on the fly. Then there's the off-field stuff, which involved some light lap-grinding and a subsequent apology. And the wild college football coaching carousel reigniting speculation that where Meyer would really like to excel is on Saturdays. These are the baked-in things that come with hiring such a personality and the Jags organization is getting a heaping holiday helping of it all, ahead of schedule.

NFL.com's Tom Pelissero reports that things have come to a head over the past few weeks to the point there's a chance Meyer will be one and done in Jacksonville. Sources tell Pelissero that there's been major frustration with the head coach's most recent strategy of shifting the blame elsewhere. He reports that, just since Thanksgiving or so:

  • Receiver Marvin Jones -- one of the locker room's most respected and mild-mannered veterans -- became so angry with Meyer's public and private criticism of the receiver group that he left the facility until other staff members convinced him to come back and had a heated argument with Meyer during practice.
  • During a staff meeting, Meyer delivered a biting message that he's a winner and his assistant coaches are losers, according to several people informed of the contents of the meeting, challenging each coach individually to explain when they've ever won and forcing them to defend their résumés.
  • Contrary to his public statements that it was injury-related, Meyer ordered Robinson's benching after an opening-drive fumble in last week's 37-7 road loss to the Rams, then had running backs coach Bernie Parmalee stop Robinson from re-entering the game, insisting Carlos Hyde (who played for Meyer at Ohio State) stay in. Only after Lawrence questioned Meyer on the sideline about Robinson's absence was Robinson allowed to return late in the second quarter. (Speaking to reporters this week, Lawrence said: "Bottom line is James is one of our best players and he's got to be on the field and we addressed it, and I feel like we're in a good spot and the whole team, we're good.")

That second bullet point ... c'mon now. Far be it for me to speculate on the sources here but once you take things up to 11 in the Getting Personal Dept. in front of the whole team, it can't be a surprise when the details of such an incident end up in print painting you as the problem.

At this point it's worth wondering if things would look any different if Meyer were trying to expedite the end of this relationship. Not saying that's the plan. Just that this is what such a plan could look like.

There's no sign owner Shad Khan is planning to change course here. There is, however, a breaking point. Whether that's already been reached or not remains to be seen. One thing we can all agree on is that, right now, it doesn't seem like the vibe down in Jacksonville is particularly chill.

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