Later today, the Jaguars will try to avoid losing their twentieth straight game. The question of whether they’ll be moving on from their seventh head coach won’t be determined today.
Although things have calmed down considerably over the past couple of days (thanks in large part to the Jon Gruden situation), Urban Meyer’s future remains unresolved. From the various conversations we’ve had and information we’ve gathered, it’s clear that the situation is far from over.
It doesn’t mean Meyer definitely will be gone. However, it also doesn’t mean he definitely will stay. The outcome hinges on a couple of key factors.
First, the Jaguars continue to explore Meyer’s failure to return to Jacksonville after the loss to the Bengals in Cincinnati. Last Monday, he said certain things when questioned about the situation. If those things, based on further investigation, end up being untrue in a sufficiently material way, Meyer could be fired — as soon as this week, but it would more likely happen after next Sunday’s game in London against the Dolphins.
Second, Meyer could still do something else that will make even more obvious that he needs to go. He’s had several missteps during his first foray into the NFL, from the misguided hiring of Chris Doyle to six-figure fines imposed on him and the team for offseason practices that broke the rules to blurting out that vaccination status was a factor in roster decisions to the arguably unforgivable sin of abandoning his post and not returning to Jacksonville with the team after a Week Four loss in Cincinnati.
As one source with knowledge of the situation explained it to PFT, the players and staff did not know that Meyer wasn’t returning to Jacksonville until he wasn’t on the flight. When asked this week whether owner Shad Khan approved of the in-season head-clearing, get-out-of-Dodge break, and Meyer said only that he had informed G.M. Trent Baalke of it “way in advance.” As if Baalke was going to say, “Urb, that’s not a good idea.”
The problem continues to be that Meyer continues to approach his current job the same way he approached his prior jobs. He was the Emperor of Gainesville before becoming the Emperor of Columbus. He’s learning the hard way that he’s definitely not the Emperor of Jacksonville. Indeed, he’s looking more like the Dunce of Duvall.
The real question is whether he’s truly learning anything. He may have decided from the moment he took the job that he’d do things his way. Unfortunately, continuing to do things his way could result sooner than later in a one-way ticket out of Jacksonville.