Jags’ Khan: Won’t make hasty decision on Meyer

  • Covered University of Florida for 13 seasons for ESPN.com and Florida Times-Union
  • Graduate of Jacksonville University
  • Multiple APSE award winner

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan said he is not going to make a hasty decision, nor will he be swayed by emotion, when it comes to coach Urban Meyer.

Khan obviously isn’t happy with the Jaguars’ 2-11 record in Meyer’s first season, but he said Monday evening that he will do what he has done with every coach he has hired: Take a look at all the facts, speak with as many people as possible and then make a rational decision on what course of action, if any, he might take.

“I want to do the right thing for the team. I want to do the right thing for the city,” Khan said. “That, to me, is way more important than just acting helter-skelter on emotion. I think we have a history of really looking at the facts and then really doing the right thing.

“Gus Bradley was here four years. Doug Marrone was here four years. It was wins and losses and this is a little bit different but, you know, I’m going to reflect on all of that and do what’s the right thing for the team and the right thing for the city.”

The situation with Meyer is different due to a string of reports, citing anonymous sources, of dysfunction within the franchise. The latest report came over the weekend and described receiver Marvin Jones yelling at Meyer and leaving the facility after Meyer’s criticism of the receivers, and Meyer allegedly calling his assistant coaches losers.

Meyer denied both incidents occurred when speaking after the team’s 20-0 loss to Tennessee on Sunday and said anyone leaking risks losing their job. There have been other reports of strained relationships between Meyer and his assistant coaches, as well as two viral videos from October of Meyer with a woman who was not his wife in a restaurant in Columbus, Ohio.

Even so, sources told ESPN on Saturday that Khan plans to stay the course with Meyer. But on Monday, Khan admitted that this season has been different from the previous losing seasons because there is more drama due to the attention around Meyer.

“In the past it was like you were, quote, it’s like the lowly Jaguars, and everyone left you alone,” Khan said. “Now the scrutiny we have is really something different. How much of that is we’re bringing it upon ourselves, or how much of that is deserved? Urban, he won wherever he was. This is something he’s never dealt with.

“And when you win in football you create enemies, OK, and the only way you can really deal with that is you’ve got to win again.”

The Jaguars have lost five games in a row since upsetting Buffalo 9-6 on Nov. 7 at TIAA Bank Field. They have lost nine games in a row to AFC South teams and play host to Houston (2-11) on Sunday. The Texans routed the Jaguars 37-21 in the season opener in Houston.

The Jaguars’ offense has been the biggest issue. They’re averaging just 9.1 points per game in the seven games since the bye week and have failed to hit 200 yards of total offense in the past two weeks. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence has thrown nine touchdown passes — just one since the start of November — and 14 interceptions. He threw a career-high four picks in last Sunday’s loss to the Titans, which was the fourth shutout in franchise history.

Based on Khan’s history of patience with his previous head coaches, it shouldn’t be surprising for him to wait until after the regular season ends — the Jaguars play at the New York Jets (3-10) on Dec. 26, at New England (9-4) on Jan. 2, and finish the season at home against Indianapolis (7-6) on Jan. 9 — before he makes any decision regarding Meyer.

“I’m not impulsive,” Khan said. “I learned that a long time ago with anything that’s this important. You don’t want to be impulsive. You want to look at exactly what I know firsthand or people are telling me and then collect that and do the right thing.”

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