Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer will have to earn the trust of his players back following the viral video that was released on Saturday, and the indiscretions associated with it.
Earlier today, Jaguars owner Shad Khan released a statement reprimanding Meyer for his actions, stating that his conduct over the weekend was “inexcusable.” Khan would go on to say that Meyer would have to regain the franchise’s trust and respect back.
“That will require a personal commitment from Urban to everyone who supports, represents or plays for our team. I am confident he will deliver,” said Khan.
This evening, Meyer spoke about the issue yet again with Jaguars Senior Reporter and Editor J.P. Shadrick and former Jaguars linebacker and current radio host Jeff Lageman during his weekly radio broadcast, The Urban Meyer Show.
He stated the conversations between himself and Khan, players and team leaders have been “horrible” over the past few days, adding, yet again, that he owns the mistake that he made.
Meyer said that the responsibility of a good coach is to make the players comfortable, meaning supporting them with sports performance, putting them in the best situation, scheme, assistant coaches and surrounding them with a safe environment, and then “get out of the way.”
“I didn’t do that, I became a distraction, made a stupid decision, and I apologize,” said Meyer. “And I certainly understand our owner, Mr. Khan, has been fantastic since the day I met him. I apologized to him as well and have to move forward and begin and regain the trust.”
The situation that Meyer created for the Jaguars’ locker room is the antithesis to what he’s preached since he was hired by the franchise on Jan. 14. The locker room, Meyer says, is the only thing that matters in the whole facility and organization. That’s something that won’t be a simple fix, either.
“How we build it, how we treat it, how we earn their trust ... It goes back to the culture of excellence, I call it around here, is how do we make sure we give them everything possible?”
That’s part of what Meyer will look to do moving forward, as he takes full ownership for the mistakes he made over the weekend.
“I believe we have a very strong culture, I know we have incredible leaders, but this one’s on me to go out and coach my very best give them everything possible that I can do to help them have success,” he said.
During the offseason, Meyer set out to create a winning environment around his players, particularly in the sports performance department. Now, players do not need to go outside of the team facility to get treatment, nearly everything they need is in-house.
But, that’s not enough, not now.
“So we’ve earned their trust in that respect I know that for a fact,” Meyer said of the locker room’s trust in how the team treats its players. “Now, the fact that I became a distraction, I’ve got to earn their trust back from that.”
The distraction that Meyer has created for the franchise will continue through the week as players get asked questions regarding what occurred and the situation that happened afterward, including Meyer’s message to the team on Monday.
Now, Meyer must not only attempt to regain the trust of Khan but also his players, something he says will ultimately be up to them as the team moves forward to face off against the division rival Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
“I don’t believe that’s in my court,” he said. “We’re gonna do the best but ... the leaders on your team are going to make that decision. And it depends how much trust you have built up with them, how we structure everything this week and focus on winning that game.
“So, I’m going to be extremely clear as I can, our staff is working our tails off, but you [Jeff Lageman] know as well as I do that, the ownership of this team is with the players.”
A personal commitment to the franchise to make things right will be next in the order of things Meyer will have to prove, and part of why he came to Jacksonville in the first place was due to that type of commitment shown by the team’s owner.
“That’s one of the reasons I came here, I just admire the guy so much,” Meyer said of Khan. “His drive is in the purest form and it’s for Jacksonville. And so, that’s what makes me so angry at myself. I’ve lived that, I believe that, and I failed. And I got to get it back and I will.”