JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Shad Khan insists that the usual reason for firing a head coach – a sorry win-loss record — does not apply in the case of Urban Meyer. And no, he couldn’t wait.
“When you lose the respect, the trust and an issue of truthfulness, how can you work with someone like that?” Khan told USA TODAY Sports. “It’s not possible.”
Meyer was dumped in December after 13 games (2-11) amid increasing controversy. After Meyer opted not to fly home with his team following a loss at Cincinnati in late September, only to be recorded at a bar in Columbus, Ohio, with a woman who was not his wife, the issues mounted.
The firing came shortly after former Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo alleged that Meyer kicked him as he stretched in pregame warmups before a preseason game. This, after it was alleged that Meyer berated some of his assistant coaches.
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In reflecting on the state of his franchise under new coach Doug Pederson during last week’s NFL draft, Khan made his most extensive public comments yet about Meyer.
“It was not about wins and losses,” said Khan, whose two coaches previous to Meyer, Doug Marrone and Gus Bradley, posted records of 25-44 and 14-48, respectively. “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.”
And it’s still not resolved. A person with knowledge of the situation who requested anonymity told USA TODAY Sports that the two sides have been unable to strike a settle agreement. The person did not want to be identified because they are not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
The five-year contract that Meyer signed in 2021 is, per multiple reports, worth $10-12 million per year, but the Jaguars don’t intend to pay the balance of the contract while contending the coach was fired for cause.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Jarrett Bell on Twitter @JarrettBell.