Jaguars owner Shad Khan on Urban Meyer, losses and drama: 'You don't want to be impulsive'

John Reid
Florida Times-Union

Jaguars owner Shad Khan spent more than an hour on his yacht Monday fielding questions from reporters about his franchise and his head coach Urban Meyer.

At no point did Khan say Meyer would definitely be returning next season, reiterating instead, he wants to do the right thing for the team and city.

''That to me is way more important than just acting helter-skelter on emotion,'' said Khan, who hosted the Jacksonville media on his yacht, Kismet, for the 10-year anniversary of owning the team. ''I learned that a long time ago, anything this important, you don't want to be impulsive.''

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Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan has owned the team for 10 year. (Bob Self, Florida Times-Union)

Under Meyer, the Jaguars continue to be the talk of the league for all the wrong reasons. This past weekend, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported that tensions had reached the boiling-over point, with Meyer having multiple run-ins with players and coaches during the past few weeks.

Citing sources, Pelissero reported that veteran wide receiver Marvin Jones became so angry with Meyer's public and private criticism of the receivers that he left the facility until other staff members convinced him to return. Jones also had a heated argument with Meyer during practice.

With reports surfacing about turmoil within the organization and speculation the Jaguars could have difficulty signing free agents because of all the internal strife, Khan said he had not heard those reports.

''I think you know, we have a history of really looking at the facts and generally doing the right thing,'' Khan said. ''Gus Bradley was here four years. And you know Doug Marrone was here for four years. And so you know, it was wins and losses. And you know this is a little bit different. I'm gonna reflect on all that and do what's right.''

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer coaches during the first quarter at TIAA Bank Field Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021 in Jacksonville. The Jacksonville Jaguars hosted the San Francisco 49ers during a regular season NFL game. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]

Meyer appears to be in over his head, unable to find answers to turnaround a stagnant offense that has averaged 9.1 points over the last seven games. Two weeks ago, the Jaguars (2-11) clinched their 10th losing season in 11 years.

The Jaguars suffered their first shutout defeat since 2009 Sunday against the Titans, 20-0, after finishing with a franchise-low 8 yards rushing. It was the team's  fifth consecutive loss, and the Jaguars'  have dropped 15 straight road games.

''I feel we have a roster that is far better than winning two games,'' Khan said.

''I think what concerns me is obviously the wins and losses,'' Khan said. ''But what's different about this thing is you have losses and you have drama."

Asked at what point he steps in to find out the issues causing the drama, Khan said he keeps an open line of communication with the players and is not living in a vacuum.

''You know I'm at the team meetings the night before the game and I talk to the players then. I'm in the locker room. I talk to the other coaches. You want to look at exactly what I know firsthand, you know what people are telling me, and then collect that and do the right thing.

Meyer was in denial for the second straight day over Pelissero's report.

''That didn't happen,'' Meyer said. ''We have to move on.''

During their Week 13 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, Jaguars running back James Robinson was held out for 20 plays after a fumble. However, backup running back Carlos Hyde fumbled and returned to the game on the next drive.

Meyer went from saying it was injury-related why Robinson sat out to telling reporters they needed to speak to running backs coach Bernie Parmelee to get an explanation because he doesn't micromanage his assistants.

Parmelee was requested to speak to the media last Thursday, but the team canceled the interview.

Quarterback Trevor Lawrence got involved, telling the coaching staff that Robinson is a key player who needs to be on the field.  

Meyer's first misstep occurred in February when he hired controversial ex-Iowa Hawkeyes strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle as his director of sports performance. Although numerous Iowa players had accused Doyle of making racial remarks and bullying, Meyer hired him anyway. Meyer initially defended the hire, saying he vetted him thoroughly, but ultimately Doyle resigned.

In October, after a second video surfaced showing Meyer touching a woman's backside in a restaurant bar in Columbus, Ohio, Khan said in a statement that his head football coach's conduct was inexcusable and that he must regain their trust and respect.

''I mean now the scrutiny that we have now is really something different,'' Khan said. ''And how much of that we're bringing it on ourselves.  Or how much of that is deserved or how much of that, you know in this case Urban, he won wherever he was? I mean this is something he's never dealt with. When you win in football, you create enemies – okay. And the only way you can really deal with that is you got to win the game.''