JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Shad Khan was worried about something greater than wins and losses during the tenuous tenure of ex-Jaguars coach Urban Meyer.
Respect. Trust. Truthfulness.
Meyer had none of it by the time Khan made the decision to fire the rookie NFL head coach in the middle of the night on Dec. 16, 2021. Meyer was toxic enough to wear out the uber-patient Khan less than a year after he was hired, cementing just how bad the situation had become.
The team has struggled immensely since Khan was approved as the team’s owner in 2012, but coaches like Doug Marrone and Gus Bradley were given time to try and turn the franchise around. That wasn’t the case with Meyer, whom Khan fired after a 2-11 start and arguably the most embarrassing stint in NFL head coaching history.
Khan told USA Today that it wasn’t possible for the team to keep Meyer around after he had clearly lost the trust within the organization.
“When you lose the respect, the trust and an issue of truthfulness, how can you work with someone like that?” Khan said in the story. “It’s not possible.”
Meyer was a huge-risk, high-reward hire for Khan, who boldly declared about his coach after the draft, “this time I got it right.”
Meyer came to the Jaguars with numerous red flags. He was a self-described coaching maniac who let winning games get in the way of handling things the right way.
He never clicked in Jacksonville.
It began in the offseason with his controversial hire of disgraced ex-Iowa strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle and continued right up to the very end.
URBAN MEYER TIMELINE | Disastrous coaching tenure in Jacksonville
After a story by the Tampa Bay Times came out about Meyer allegedly kicking former Jaguars player Josh Lambo during a preseason game warm-up, Khan had to react. A spokesman for Khan said at the time that the owner had already made up his mind to fire Meyer and that the Lambo story didn’t force it. Meyer publicly denied kicking Lambo.
“It was not about wins and losses,” Khan said. “I think when you know someone is not truthful, how can you be around someone, OK? We had Doug Marrone here four years. We had Gus Bradley here four years. I have nothing but the utmost respect and friendship with them. That’s why they got the time, because it wasn’t a matter about respect or truth. It was a matter of wins and losses over four years. This is much bigger than that.”