The Urban Meyer situation in Jacksonville is bad. It could get worse.
Former NFL executive Michael Lombardi posted an ominous tweet on Tuesday, a day after Meyer addressed during a press conference the social-media uproar over photos and videos of the Jaguars coach with women other than his wife.
“According to two Jacksonville sources, there are many closed-door meetings happening over the last two days in the football offices and none of them have anything to do with the Titans,” Lombardi said. “Stay tuned. This might get ugly.”
It’s already ugly. Meyer, after a loss he described as “devastating, heartbreaking,” did not return with his team to Jacksonville. He says he stayed in Ohio to visit his grandchildren. Unless that’s some sort of euphemism, he definitely was not with his grandchildren for part of the stay in Ohio.
Meyer’s judgment and lack of self-awareness is stunning. Apart from engaging in behavior of which his family (specifically, his wife) would not approve, he did it in a public place. Posing for photos. And ignoring the reality that, even when not smiling for the cameras, the cameras are still watching.
What did he think would happen? Did Meyer, whose quarter-zip top displayed an Ohio State logo, think he still had sufficient power and influence in Ohio to ensure that no one would post the photos or videos on social media? Or does he just not understand how the world currently works?
Regardless, whatever flaw in his brain caused him to think the situation wouldn’t create a storm of scrutiny and controversy arguably can manifest itself in all sorts of other ways, including within the confines of the many judgments he makes as a football coach.
Meyer ultimately needs to have credibility in a locker room full of adult males, most if not all of whom are surely raising an eyebrow and wondering what’s wrong with the guy who is responsible for their collective professional fates. Will they still listen to him? Will they still follow him? Will they question every decision he makes, every strategy he employs?
Apart from whether the Jaguars decide to end the relationship with Meyer, it becomes difficult to envision Meyer continuing in the job. He acknowledged on Monday that his family is upset. His wife undoubtedly is the most upset of the bunch. And for Meyer to achieve and maintain the very fragile balance of putting so much of his time and effort into coaching an NFL team, he needs Mrs. Meyer to be fully on board with it. Otherwise, an incredibly demanding and challenging job becomes virtually impossible to perform.
Before seeing Lombardi’s tweet (and some in league circles strongly believe one of his sources is Jaguars G.M. Trent Baalke), I said on PFT Live that it’s hard to imagine Meyer returning in 2022. At this point, he may not make it to the end of 2021.
At this point, he may not make it to the end of the week.