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Jaguars Owner Shad Khan on Urban Meyer: 'I Want to Do the Right Thing for the Team'

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVDecember 14, 2021

Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan said he's going to take his time evaluating the performance of head coach Urban Meyer amid the team's 2-11 record and rumors of internal strife.

Khan told reporters Monday night he prefers not to make hasty decisions about coaches:

"I want to do the right thing for the team. I want to do the right thing for the city. That, to me, is way more important than just acting helter-skelter on emotion. I think we have a history of really looking at the facts and then really doing the right thing.
"Gus Bradley was here four years. Doug Marrone was here four years. It was wins and losses and this is a little bit different but, you know, I'm going to reflect on all of that and do what's the right thing for the team and the right thing for the city."

The latest controversy surrounding Meyer began Saturday when Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reported tension within the organization had "boiled over" because of conflicts involving the head coach, his players and members of his coaching staff.

Specifically, Pelissero detailed Meyer's practice argument with wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr., when he was questioned by quarterback Trevor Lawrence about the benching of running back James Robinson in Week 13 and a tense staff meeting where he described his fellow coaches as "losers."

Fox Sports' Jay Glazer later reported Meyer denied the interaction with Jones but admitted there was a meeting where he "got after" his assistant coaches:

FOX Sports: NFL @NFLonFOX

The Lions were hit hard this week with positive COVID-19 tests, how many players will be out today? Also, what is the latest with Urban Meyer and the Jaguars? <a href="https://twitter.com/JayGlazer?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JayGlazer</a> breaks it all down: <a href="https://t.co/yDawZcd3mi">pic.twitter.com/yDawZcd3mi</a>

The Jags proceeded to lose 20-0 to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

Afterward, Meyer denied describing his assistants as losers and decried the use of anonymous sources in his postgame press conference:

"What's the answer [when things are going badly]? Start leaking information or some nonsense? No. No, that's nonsense. That's garbage. I've been very blessed. I've not really dealt with that. I've not dealt with, 'Well, did you hear what he said?' What? No. Let's improve on offense and get our quarterback in a position to be successful. That's our focus.
"What someone's brother said, or someone said someone said, that will occupy very little of my time. And if there is a source, that source is unemployed. I mean, within seconds, if there's some source that's doing that."

The latest controversy comes after a situation following the team's Week 4 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, when Meyer stayed behind in his native Ohio after a loss on Thursday Night Football and videos were posted over that weekend on Twitter showing a woman who wasn't his wife dancing on him in a bar.

Khan, who said Monday he's "not impulsive" by nature, pointed out the coach's prior high-end success at the college level and referenced the lens through which he'll make a decision:

"In the past it was like you were, quote, it's like the lowly Jaguars, and everyone left you alone. Now the scrutiny we have is really something different. How much of that is we're bringing it upon ourselves, or how much of that is deserved? Urban, he won wherever he was. This is something he's never dealt with.
"And when you win in football you create enemies, OK, and the only way you can really deal with that is you've got to win again."

Based on the comments, it seems unlikely Meyer will be fired before the end of the regular season. The Jaguars have four games remaining, starting Sunday with a winnable home game against the Houston Texans (2-11), but have already been eliminated from playoff contention.

Meyer did find plenty of success in the college ranks, going 187-32 with three national championships, but his first year in the NFL has been forgettable.

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