Jaguars coach Urban Meyer met with reporters on Wednesday, a day after team owner Shad Khan issued a stunning statement that called Meyer’s future and his ability to lead the team into serious question.
Among other things, Meyer was asked whether he regrets not returning with the team to Jacksonville after Thursday night’s loss to the Bengals. Obviously, Meyer remaining in Ohio laid the foundation for the events that have created this week’s crisis situation. Regardless of the things that happened in Ohio, his decision to not return with the team and get back to work has been regarded by many as inappropriate if not unprecedented.
“I thought at the time, now that maybe I thought it through, but I thought at the time this was a chance for everybody to clear their head, including myself,” Meyer said. “With my family located where we were, to go spend a day or two with them and then get back. Because I knew I wanted them to get out of Dodge, too, and clear their heads.”
The problem with that explanation comes from the answer Meyer gave to the question immediately before it. Asked whether he secured approval from Khan to stay in Ohio for a day or two after the game, Meyer said, “I discussed it with [G.M.] Trent [Baalke] way in advance.”
So which is it? Was the mini-vacation with his family in Ohio after a game played in Ohio planned “way in advance,” or was it something deemed necessary to “clear [his] head” after a heartbreaking loss?
Meyer also said he has given no thought to resigning, and that he wasn’t fined by Khan. As to whether the situation will be a distraction on Sunday against the Titans, Meyer said, “I’m in a fight to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Meyer concluded the press conference with a message to the fans and owner Shad Khan.
“Why did I decide to come out of what I was doing and do this? Our owner, I just became — I admire the guy so much. He’s become a friend, he’s a guy that I, like I said, I just admire. Jacksonville, I know very well. I know our fans have been hanging in there with us, and I apologize to them. And I wanted to make that perfectly clear.”
It was smart for him to do that. He needs to send a perfectly clear message to the fans now, because there’s a chance they will be sending a perfectly clear message to him on Sunday. And he may not like the contents of it.