Urban Meyer's gaffs are putting the Jaguars' behind the eight ball on and off the field.
Urban Meyer's "Own it" mantra has been plastered around TIAA Bank Field since the infamous college head coach arrived in Jacksonville. But Meyer, the figurehead for a Jaguars' team that has won just two of twelve games under his leadership, and has actively regressed in recent weeks, is failing to live by the words he so regularly preaches.
Instead of "owning" coaching decisions throughout the season, he's consistently passed the buck. From differing to Darrell Bevell on why the offense refused to run a QB sneak to his newest, most egregious personnel failure — not having answers for why his most consistent and effective player, running back James Robinson, was inexplicably benched after fumbling the ball two weeks in a row. Robinson missed 16 consecutive plays in week 12 after a fumble and 20 in the Jaguars' most recent loss. Urban has spoken with the media twice since benching his star runner, the only impactful source of offense the Jaguars have had this season.
There's no question that James Robinson screwed up on the fumbles. But if we're benching players for making costly mistakes, why hasn't half the roster been benched?
Meyer won't even admit that Robinson was, in fact, benched; instead, he's leaning on the crutch that Robinson's health led to him not being on the field after the fumbles. But if that's the case, why was he on the field prior to fumbling? And why did he carry the ball three times at the end of a blowout loss against the Rams?
Urban was asked why Robinson was on the field late in the game despite being injured. "That's a good question," Meyer said, per usual. "I know that there's a running back rotation. We're worried about his load and how many carries—and they track that. Obviously, at that point in the game, they must've wanted to get him a few more carries, [Jaguars Running Backs Coach] Bernie [Parmalee] did."
Then, there's this. James Robinson joined Jags Report Live on Monday and told the crew he felt like he was benched in the week 13 loss to the Rams.
"When that happens, and you're out for that long, it's kinda like you gotta feel that way," the soft-spoken Robinson shared. "I was just waiting for my chance to come back in the game, and it didn't really happen until the third quarter."
Later in the interview, Robinson said, "I wouldn't say it's frustrating, but I know I that I feel like I deserve the ball more."
You're right, James. You do deserve the ball more. Robinson is averaging 4.9 yards per carry for the Jaguars in 2021 and has a team-leading 38 first downs.
Meyer has claimed to be a player's first coach throughout his ten-month reign in Duval. If that's the case, why doesn't your best player know where he stands?
Urban Meyer has made consistently poor decisions, from Chris Doyle to Tim Tebow to the QB-Battle, to ducking a team flight, to benching James Robinson, the list goes on and on. And more often than not, the onus for these mistakes is placed elsewhere.
How can a group of players, an organization, a city believe in someone who so blatantly chooses to eschew responsibility? Someone who shifts blame with purpose? Someone who tells you to "own it" but fails to do so himself?
Urban Meyer has made countless errors since taking over this struggling franchise. His Jaguars have been outscored 111-48 on their recent four game losing skid.
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