The Jacksonville Jaguars constantly remain in the headlines despite carrying a 2-11 record into mid-December.
Head coach Urban Meyer continues to draw criticism from various missteps he’s made since being hired as the team’s head coach in January. Even before Wednesday’s story dropped about Meyer allegedly kicking former Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo before a practice in August, quarterback Trevor Lawrence said the drama circling the team has to stop.
“You’re always going to have some form of drama. I’ve learned that the NFL is just more drama in general than college, no matter where you’re at,” Lawrence said, via Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. “But you’re right. There’s been a lot. To your point, I do think that has to change and that’s something that we need to work on for sure.
“So you can’t always be in the headlines. You just got to go play football and that’s where we’re trying to get and I have no doubt we’ll get there, but for sure [it has to change].”
A quick rundown of some of the criticism Meyer and the Jaguars have faced this season:
— An attempt to hire strength coach Chris Doyle, who left the University of Iowa with a $1.1 million separation agreement after he was accused of making racist comments and belittling players. Doyle resigned after a single day with the team.
— Fines levied against the team and Meyer for violating offseason contact rules in practice.
— Meyer not returning to Jacksonville with the team after a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals before being filmed getting handsy with a woman in a Columbus bar.
— A heated argument with wide receiver Marvin Jones and ripping his assistant coaches, both of which were featured in an NFL Network story last week. That story led Meyer to threaten to fire anyone leaking stories to the press.
That list doesn’t include the new story from Lambo about being kicked by Meyer in an August practice. It also doesn’t include Meyer claiming ignorance as to why James Robinson hasn’t been playing more snaps or how much other players on his roster are or aren’t playing.
The drama around the Jaguars mostly seems to be a drama around one specific person. As Lawrence and the Jaguars try to build themselves up and win, that drama is proving to be a significant hindrance.
“Obviously there’s been a lot of drama,” Lawrence said. “Like, whatever has caused everything, who even knows at this point, but there’s been a lot of drama and for me I think it’s important to be truthful. But with that, you can’t say everything that’s on your mind. You have to have a filter and you’ve got to be careful.
“I have a lot of appreciation for all those guys in there that have been working to try to get this thing right and it hasn’t been easy. So I have a lot of appreciation for the players, for the coaches, for everybody. … Obviously you can’t, like I said, always say exactly what’s on your mind, but the truth is in there somewhere always with me, so that’s what I try to do.”