‘I see frustration’: Urban Meyer says Jaguars disappointed wins haven’t happened

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans , Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. The Tennessee Titans won 20-0. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski) (Mark Zaleski, Associated Press)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Urban Meyer sees a team capable of winning football games, but that hasn’t happened often enough.

The Jaguars are 2-11 and riding their second five-game losing streak of the season. The shutout loss to Tennessee on Sunday was the first time in a span of 199 games that the team failed to score.

The offense has been miserable. Jacksonville is on pace to finish as the lowest-scoring team in the franchise’s 27-year history. Rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence has been overwhelmed by poor offensive line play and subpar receivers.

And Meyer can’t escape the reports that he’s in far over his head and making life miserable for those within the organization.

It has been a recurring nightmare for fans, players and coaches. Meyer said that he sees it and feels it, but talks of dissension in the locker room aren’t true. He said it’s natural to feel the tension because the results aren’t coming, but Jacksonville isn’t coming apart internally, despite the multiple reports.

The biggest thing Meyer notices — frustration.

“When things aren’t performing to the level, we expect you would expect frustration,” he said Monday. “I don’t see finger pointing, I don’t see yelling at each other, I don’t see fist fights on a sideline like I’ve heard about. I don’t see any of that. But I see frustration.”

There’s frustration across the board, perhaps as high as it has ever been in Jacksonville.

There’s never been a coach in town who had Meyer’s success, name recognition and reputation. He’s been a lightning rod for criticism wherever he’s been, notably at Florida and Ohio State. But things have stacked up on Meyer in Jacksonville. The latest report came from the NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero, who reported Saturday that Meyer has chastised his assistant coaches as losers and got into a heated argument with receiver Marvin Jones.

Meyer disputed those Sunday and again on Monday. He said the biggest saving grace in Jacksonville’s lost season has been the lack of infighting among the players. The Jaguars have a defense capable of winning games weekly, but an offense that lacks an identity and has mustered just six touchdowns in the seven games since the bye week.

“I’m very fortunate I’ve really never dealt with a lot of this stuff. But I’ve had other coaches tell me, say, this is when it gets really bad. This is when, offense vs. defense and you know take care of the F’n ball and do this and all that. And zero. None of that.”

While Meyer has spoken about winning games, the focus is no doubt on the future. And that future revolves around Lawrence, who turned in the worst game of his career against the Titans.

Is Meyer worried that the offense’s struggling ways will have a negative effect on Lawrence, who entered this season as a once-in-a-career prospect at quarterback? He has struggled immensely, especially since the bye week. Lawrence has completed just 57% of his passes in that span (142 for 250) and thrown for 1,270 yards. He’s thrown six interceptions and just two touchdowns in those seven games.

“I worry about James’ mentality, I worry about Marvin Jones’ mentality because that’s reality. What you just said’s reality, reality of an athlete and reality of a coach. When you work so freaking hard at something and it’s not executed. So that’s an absolute, that’s what happens,” he said.

“And I have experienced that. Some of this other stuff, the stories, I’ve never heard of that kind of stuff in my life. But I have heard about frustration because every coach and every athlete have dealt with frustration.”

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.