Spokesman: Jaguars owner waited after deciding to fire Meyer

Sports

FILE – Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer on the sideline while playing the Los Angeles Rams during an NFL Professional Football Game Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. Urban Meyer’s tumultuous NFL tenure ended after just 13 games — and two victories — when the Jacksonville Jaguars fired him early Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021 because of an accumulation of missteps. (AP Photo/John McCoy, File)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars are trying to set the record straight about owner Shad Khan’s firing of embattled coach Urban Meyer.

A spokesman for Khan told The Associated Press on Friday night that the decision to move on from Meyer was made following Jacksonville’s 20-0 loss at Tennessee on Sunday. A conversation Khan and Meyer had in the locker room after that shutout — Meyer had few answers for the team’s woes or how he planned to fix them — sealed a decision Khan had been mulling for weeks.

“It was determined to wait until the conclusion of previously scheduled appointments that week to make the announcement,” spokesman Jim Woodcock said. “Those appointments included an employee staff luncheon and meeting with Jacksonville media, both to recognize the 10th anniversary of Shad’s purchase of the Jaguars, on Monday as well as NFL meetings in Dallas on December 14 and 15.”

The Jaguars ended up firing Meyer early Thursday, hours after former kicker Josh Lambo accused Meyer of kicking him during an August practice. Connecting that report by a Florida newspaper, which the Jaguars haven’t disputed, to Khan’s announcement made sense. But the Jaguars insist it was more coincidental than causative.

“The announcement was made at 12:35 a.m. Eastern on Thursday, December 16, to provide coaches and staff alike a fresh start upon reporting to the stadium that morning,” Woodcock said. “Contrary to incorrect assumptions and widespread egregious reporting, the dismissal was not triggered by a single newspaper report late Wednesday afternoon related to a claim made by a former player.

“To repeat from Shad’s official statement, the decision was reached ‘after deliberation over many weeks and a thorough analysis of the entirety of Urban’s tenure with our team.’”

Meyer’s 11-month tenure was filled with mistakes and missteps, none more damning than Meyer staying behind after a game at Cincinnati in late September and getting caught on video acting inappropriately with a woman at a restaurant/bar.

Khan started attending weekly team meetings following that incident.

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