Following the footage and photos of Urban Meyer getting very intimate with a young woman — who wasn’t his wife — at his restaurant in Ohio on Friday, the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach has continued to apologize in his attempts to mend the relationship between him, the locker room, and the fans.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Meyer addressed his team Wednesday morning to “express remorse and responsibility for his actions over the weekend.” NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala gave additional details, reporting that Meyer said he only cares about two things: his family (specifically his wife, Shelly) and his players, and that he “embarrassed them both.”
Meyer previously stated on Monday that it his actions were “just stupid” and that he “should not have put himself in that kind of position.”
However, according to some insiders, the attempts may be too little, too late. Sports Illustrated’s Mike Silver tweeted Tuesday that the situation has reached a “crisis point,” with one Jaguars player suggesting that Meyer has lost all credibility.
Silver reported that Jaguars players were bothered by Meyer’s cancellation of a team meeting Monday, instead opting to meet and apologize with “position groups individually.” Players also felt that he “was too scared.”
Players additionally claim that Meyer tried to portray the situation in a different and incorrect angle by saying the woman was “random” and just dancing there, which the team laughed about afterwards.
One player didn’t mince words: “It’s bad. I don’t know how he’s gonna function.”
Jacksonville owner Shahid Khan released a statement on Tuesday regarding his head coach’s actions, noting that while he believes Meyer will have to regain both his and the team’s trust, he believes that Meyer’s apologies are genuine.
“I have addressed this matter with Urban. Specifics of our conversation will be held in confidence. What I will say is his conduct last weekend was inexcusable. I appreciate Urban’s remorse, which I believe is sincere. Now, he must regain our trust and respect. That will require a personal commitment from Urban to everyone who supports, represents or plays for our team. I am confident he will deliver.”
This scandal comes at a pivotal time in the season for both Meyer and Jacksonville. A day prior to Meyer’s incident, the Jaguars suffered a 24-21 defeat at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals. That loss dropped them to 0-4 on the season, which has only fueled arguments that Meyer isn’t committed enough to Jacksonville.
Meyer’s tenure with Jacksonville has been tumultuous from the start. As detailed by Pro Football Focus’ Ari Meirov, Meyer faced fierce criticism for his comments and strategies during the NFL draft. Meyer also hired Chris Doyle, who was accused of bullying and making racist remarks during his time at Iowa University, as Jacksonville’s director of sports performance. Doyle later resigned following the inevitable backlash.
Meyer’s approach to training camp was heavily questioned, as he had quarterbacks Gardner Minshew and Trevor Lawrence (the first-overall pick in the 2021 draft) split important first-team reps despite the obvious fact that Lawrence would be starting. Minshew was later traded, creating even more confusion about Meyer’s methods.
Lastly, Meyer openly told reporters that the Jaguars cut players based on vaccine status, which the NFL Players Association opened an investigation on.
As the past indicates, many NFL head coaches who have primarily coached in college tend to be much more flighty than most. Nick Sabin and Bobby Petino are two prime examples, and many believe that Meyer could be the next, especially now that USC’s head coaching spot has opened up.
Regardless of where Meyer goes, it’s hard to imagine his reputation not being dealt heavy damage. Jacksonville will look to get their first win of the season this Sunday against the Tennessee Titans, but the result will likely — and unfortunately — be overshadowed by Meyer’s continued skid.
Andrew Rhoades is a Contributing Reporter at The National Digest based in New York. A Saint Joseph’s University graduate, Rhoades’ reporting includes sports, U.S., and entertainment. You can reach him at email@example.com.