JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Urban Meyer stopped the rumors in their tracks on Wednesday morning.
With talk swirling that Meyer could be a candidate for the Southern Cal job, he put an end to speculation and said that he’s here to shape the Jaguars into a winner. The Jaguars (0-1) host the Broncos (1-0) at TIAA Bank Field on Sunday.
“There’s no chance [of returning to college]. I’m here and committed to try to build a organization,” Meyer said.
Perhaps no coach in history has been as scrutinized as Meyer has in his transition from college to the NFL. Jacksonville’s loss to the woeful Texans last Sunday, packaged with Meyer’s well-known history of taking losses exceptionally hard kicked the conversation into overdrive this week about his staying potential in the NFL.
When USC fired coach Clay Helton on Monday, it provided the perfect storm of Meyer talk. Would he really up and leave the Jaguars so suddenly? Locally, the thought of that is not realistic. Meyer has spoken of building a winner long term for owner Shad Khan and the city. But the national perception is much different, with the Meyer-to-USC talk burning up social media the last two days.
Meyer said that he doesn’t get caught up in the media cycle and delegates that to others. Lately, he joked, the positive stories that he actually reads have been less and less.
“I learned about six years ago when I read something that was the most ridiculous thing I ever read, I said I’m good, I’m done, I’ll never read again,” he said. “So, [Jaguars communications leader] Amy [Palcic] helps me with that, she sends me just the positive stuff. It’s been kind of small [lately]. I can promise you I don’t read this narrative, I don’t read this silliness about our players … and she knows that.”
Meyer no doubt took his first NFL loss hard, but said spirits are good in the building.
“I was warned many, many, many, many times, it’s a journey it’s not a sprint,” Meyer said. “We’re healthy. Attitudes are good, we have good players and we’re building something.”