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Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer fired, Darrell Bevell named interim

The Jaguars have parted ways with head coach Urban Meyer, ending his short tenure with the franchise.

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer is officially out as Jacksonville’s head coach, Jaguars owner Shad Khan announced tonight. The Jaguars finished 2-11 under Meyer’s tenure as HC, originally hired in January of this year. Meyer’s contract was for five years, he didn’t make it through one.

Khan announced in a statement tonight that Bevell would serve as interim head coach.

Full Khan statement:

Darrell Bevell will serve as interim head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars for the balance of the 2021 season. Darrell succeeds Urban Meyer. After deliberation over many weeks and a thorough analysis of the entirety of Urban’s tenure with our team, I am bitterly disappointed to arrive at the conclusion that an immediate change is imperative for everyone. I informed Urban of the change this evening. As I stated in October, regaining our trust and respect was essential. Regrettably, it did not happen.

Trent Baalke continues as our general manager and will work with Darrell to ensure that our team will be inspired and competitive while representing Jacksonville proudly over our final four games of the season. In the spirit of closure and recharging our players, staff and fan base, I will not comment further until some point following the conclusion of the NFL season.

The firing comes after yet another damning report emerged about the short-stinted Jacksonville head coach regarding former Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo. Lambo claims Meyer kicked him in a not-so-friendly manner while he was still on the team in August during the team’s Week 3 preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys.

The kick, according to Lambo, occurred during practice. Lambo would inform about the incident to Tampa Bay Times reporter Rick Stroud. He would also take the story to First Coast News in Jacksonville. Meyer, of course, vehemently denied that such an incident occurred in the way Lambo described.

Not even a full season after being hired as the team’s head coach, Meyer faced plenty of warranted criticism via fans, media and players regarding his actions and conduct as a head coach. That includes the two videos that surfaced following the team’s Week 4 loss against the Cincinnati Bengals showing Meyer with a young woman in a precarious position.

Those were just two incidents that occurred under Meyer’s short reign as the Jaguars’ head coach. Prior to the season beginning, Meyer hired former Iowa Strength and Conditioning coach Chris Doyle. Doyle, of course, was pushed out at Iowa due to alleged racial remarks he had made during his tenure.

Doyle’s tenure would be short, with Jacksonville and Meyer parting ways with him just a couple of days after his hiring was announced and not long after the head coach defended his hiring, noting the organization’s due diligence in the manner and his history with the former Iowa coach.

Here is a timeline of some of the more controversial happenings in Jacksonville under Meyer’s watch up until Aug. 31:

  • 2/11/21: Meyer hires Chris Doyle
  • 2/12/21: Doyle resigns following statement released by Fritz Pollard Alliance
  • 5/20/21: Jaguars sign Tim Tebow, Meyer’s QB during his time at Florida to play tight end, a position Tebow had never played. Tebow hadn’t played football in six years.
  • 5/21/21: Brian Schneider, formerly the Jaguars special teams coordinator, resigns due to personal reasons.
  • 7/1/2021: Jaguars ($200,000), Myer ($100,000) fined for violating the offseason practice no-contact rule
  • 8/25/2021: First-overall pick QB Trevor Lawrence officially named starting QB after months of a failed QB competition.
  • 8/28/2021: QB Gardner Minshew II traded following failed QB competition to the Philadelphia Eagles.
  • 8/31/2021: NFLPA opens investigation following Meyer’s comments that vaccination status played a role in players losing their jobs.

Those are just the off-the-field issues for Meyer’s Jaguars this year, too. The team itself has underperformed, particularly on offense, quickly becoming one of the worst in the league. At 2-11, the Jaguars are slated to pick in the top 3 of the 2022 NFL Draft, potentially selecting at No. 1 overall for a second-straight season.

Their quarterback, and No. 1 overall pick, Trevor Lawrence, has not had much success, either. He’s thrown just one touchdown over the past six games, and eight on the year. On Sunday, Lawrence would put together his worst performance of the season, tossing four interceptions against the Tennessee Titans.

Throughout the week leading up to the game, the Jaguars faced even more issues on and off the field. On the field, Meyer’s usage, or lack thereof, of RB James Robinson was criticized. The head coach would assign blame to running backs coach Bernie Parmalee and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.

On Saturday leading up to the contest, a report surfaced from NFL.com’s Tom Pelissoro, stating that the situation in Jacksonville was much direr than previously thought, particularly due to Meyer and Marvin Jones getting into a “heated” argument regarding criticism levied against the receivers.

Pelissoro also reported that the head coach called out the assistants on the coaching staff, going one by one, asking each where they’ve won previously in order to push them to perform better.

For Khan, Meyer’s firing couldn’t have come easy, when he originally announced Meyer as the team’s head coach, he spoke glowingly of Meyer’s record as a collegiate head coach, noting that he had won everywhere he’s been.

As of Monday night last week, Khan didn’t appear to have the same confidence, telling local reporters that he would “do the right thing,” regarding Meyer, but make no hasty decisions.

“I’m not impulsive,” Khan said.. “I learned that a long time ago with anything that’s this important you don’t want to be impulsive. You want to look at exactly what I know first-hand, what people are telling me and then collect that and do the right thing”

It appears Khan has figured out what the “right thing” now is, which is to part ways with Meyer, leading to yet another head-coaching search for the owner, following his 10th year as the team’s owner, originally purchased the franchise in 2011.

With Meyer now out, the Jaguars will look for their second head coach in under one calendar year and fifth head coach under Khan’s reign as the organization’s owner. That included Mike Mularkey (2012), Gus Bradley (2013-16), Doug Marrone (2017-20) and now Meyer (2021).