Amid signs that change isn’t coming, Jaguars owner Shad Khan meets with coach Urban Meyer
The Jaguars plunged to 2-11 with their first shutout loss since December 2004, and the first scoreless effort of owner Shad Khan’s mostly unsuccessful tenure with the team. After the game, Khan met with embattled first-year coach Urban Meyer, who may have suffered the first shutout of his coaching career.
“I don’t know,” Meyer told reporters as to whether one of his teams ever has been held scoreless. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
He did talk about meeting with Khan. Via Mark Long of the Associated Press, Meyer shared some of the specifics of the sit-down.
“I assured him that I still believe in my heart that we will [turn this around],” Meyer said. “How fast? That depends on . . . I still think there’s good pieces.”
Those pieces haven’t pieced together many wins, culminating in a 20-0 loss to Tennessee a day after weeks of leaks by motivated enemies in the building finally reached critical mass, via a Saturday report from the media conglomerate partially owned by Khan.
So what will Khan do? What does the team have to say? The team referred PFT’s request for comment on this matter to the owner’s personal spokesman, and the owner’s personal spokesman, Jim Woodcock, had no comment. However, Woodcock eventually pointed us to a recent item in the Florida Times-Union, which included quotes from Khan regarding dealing with failure as proof of (as Woodcock put it) “kind of how we roll.”
Said Khan in the article, “For me, where I came from, the life I’ve enjoyed, I’ve had a lot of failures along the way. The difference is they were never on the cover of sports pages. All the innovations we tried [in auto supply] that didn’t catch on, or fell flat on my face. . . . This [NFL profile] is highly magnified.”
A decade after Khan bought the franchise, that Jaguars have the lowest winning percentage of any team through an owner’s first 159 games, at .270.
“I don’t have any other regrets than wishing we had won more,” Khan said. “What else could I have done? All the resources that were necessary, we provided. We’ve invested [in the team]. I don’t have other coulda, woulda, shoulda stuff.”
Maybe he shoulda, if only he woulda. He’s the common link over the past decade, which has been dotted mainly with bad seasons and bad teams. And it all starts at the top, with the fish indeed stinking from the head down.
Indeed, to the extent that Khan’s latest coach is a fish out of the much calmer waters of college football, it was Khan who decided to pursue and hire Meyer. Even if everyone else recognizes that it was a mistake, dysfunctional teams tend to double down on dumbassery. The good teams admit their mistakes quickly and move on.
The Jaguars, apparently, will be doubling down. And Meyer, necessarily, will be making changes to a coaching staff that includes multiple members who sufficiently dislike the head coach to air out dirty laundry to reporters. Good luck finding a replacement crew on the S.S. Urban, which is taking on water faster than the Orca and is fresh out of oxygen tanks that can be exploded with a well-placed bullet.