Jimmy Johnson: There was “a lot of backstabbing” of Urban Meyer in Jacksonville

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In his only interview since being fired early Thursday, former Jaguars coach Urban Meyer said that he recently spoke to Jimmy Johnson, the last coach to follow a highly-successful college career with a highly-successful NFL career. Appearing on Fox’s Sunday pregame show, Johnson said some things that shed some light on the things that Meyer surely said to Johnson.

“Going to Jacksonville, just like when I went to Dallas, you knew you were gonna lose, you’re gonna have adversity,” Johnson said. “The difference is, in Dallas, I had my entire coaching staff from college. I had my administrative assistant, I had my P.R. director, I had my trainer. We were all on the same page when we had adversity. He didn’t have that in Jacksonsville. There was a lot of backstabbing, one thing or the other, because he didn’t have his people.”

Johnson made the jump to the Cowboys straight from the University of Miami, making it easier for him to transplant his entire operation. Meyer had exited coaching for two seasons before deciding to give the NFL a try.

Presumably, Johnson cautioned Meyer about the fact that it wouldn’t be as easy as taking his current staff from Ohio to Florida. But that wasn’t the point on Sunday. As noted by Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, Meyer and Johnson are friends — and Johnson actually helping entice Meyer to take the job. Johnson was trying to make an excuse for Meyer, one based not on Meyer’s own missteps but on the belief that one or more people betrayed him.

Then there’s the fact that Meyer hired the various people who worked with him in Jacksonville. They may not have been “his people” in Ohio, but they instantly became “his people” in Jacksonville. And if Meyer so quickly alienated “his people” to the point that they stabbed him in the back, that’s in large part on him.

Of course, any backstabbing happened because Meyer combined an abrasive style with chronic losses. If the Jaguars had gone 11-2 and not 2-11, he’d still be there. The losses combined with his allegedly confrontation manner laid a foundation of dysfunction. His decision to not return from Cincinnati to Jacksonville after a Thursday night game became the de facto green light for disgruntled players and assistants to air grievances about Meyer to anyone would who listen.

And here we are. Under the versions shared by Meyer and Johnson, we’re expected to believe that Meyer is victim. Maybe Meyer didn’t realize how right he was when he said that “everything is so fragile right now.

16 responses to “Jimmy Johnson: There was “a lot of backstabbing” of Urban Meyer in Jacksonville

  1. Teams like Jax, Washington, Detroit will NEVER win no matter who they hire good or bad with the ownership they have..it’s just a fact. Yes Meyer is a clown but with that owner it wouldn’t have mattered. Meyer didn’t throw 4 ints s game several times..players have to take responsibility some times too.

  2. Love him or hatte him – it IS going to cost Khan a fortune to walk away from Meyer – no doubt about that.

    This PR blitz on “Cause” had no legal merit and was self-serving.

  3. Whatever Jimmy…..Meyer created his situation.

    Jimmy was able to win while ruling with an iron fist because his personal commitment to win above anything else was there for everyone to see and his players respected that and thrived in that environment because he was just as invested as they were.

    Meyer not so much

  4. What does it say that not one person from his staff at OSU declined to follow him to Jacksonville?

  5. Pete Carol was a failure his first stint in the NFL. He was not successful until his 2nd time around so a direct jump to the NFL and he did not succeed. Saying he was successful straight out of college is wrong.

  6. Pete Carol was a failure his first stint in the NFL. He was not successful until his 2nd time around so a direct jump to the NFL and he did not succeed. Saying he was successful straight out of college is wrong.
    ==========

    Pete Carroll was not a career college coach.

    He spent time with Bud Grant, and coached with Seifert on the 9ers 1994 Title team.

  7. There’s too many people on PFT that forget the past. Urban might be kind of a jerk but he was not THE problem, just another part of it. Urban wasn’t there when there was a mass hiatus of players because they didn’t want to be apart of the Jags anymore, that was then made worse in the public sphere with the banter between Yannick and Tony Khan, who is Shad’s silver spoon son. Urban also wasn’t apart of the Jags, or in the NFL, when Trent Baalke was backstabbing Jim Harbaugh. Did people suddenly forget that Baalke IS a backstabber? The constant articles on this very site that were reporting on leaks about Jim? The “mutual parting”?

    Multiple things can be true at once, this situation is one of them. Urban is a massive jerk, Urban was backstabbed, the Khans run a dysfunctional franchise, Trent Baalke is a backstabber. That’s it.

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