Jags’ Wright named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week

Jacksonville Jaguars K Matthew Wright has been named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week, the league announced today.  

Wright is the 12th player in franchise history to win AFC Special Teams Player of the Week and the first to do so since 2019.

In the Jaguars’ Week 6 victory against the Dolphins in London, the 25-year-old Wright connected on both of his extra point attempts and all three of his field goal attempts from 40, 54 and 53 yards in his sixth career game.

With 3:40 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Jaguars trailing by three, Wright drilled a career-long, 54-yard field goal to knot the game at 20. Wright followed with a game-winning, 53-yard field goal as time expired to become the first kicker in NFL history to make multiple field goals of 50-plus yards in the last 4 minutes of the fourth quarter in a single game. 

In addition, he became the first kicker in franchise history to connect on two-50-plus yard field goals in the fourth quarter of a single game.  

Because of Wright’s performance on Sunday, Jacksonville released K Josh Lambo on Tuesday. The 30-year-old Lambo has been with the Jaguars since 2017.

Jags’ Lawrence: ‘We decided earlier this week, we’re going to win this game’

The Jacksonville Jaguars(1-5) have done it! Jacksonville snapped their 20-game losing streak and won for the first time since Week 1 of the 2020 season as they came from behind to defeat the Dolphins(1-5) 23-20 in London on Sunday after a 53-yard field by kicker Matthew Wright with no time left on the clock.

In addition, both Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer and number one pick Trevor Lawrence get their first victory in the NFL. 

“It’s special,” Lawrence said postgame about his first NFL victory. “Obviously, we’ve had a rough My first win, out here, like it’s just hard, hard to even imagine.

“It’s awesome. I’m just really proud of this group. We decided earlier this week, we’re going to win this game, and we talked about it on the sideline, there’s going to be so many ups and downs throughout every game you’ve just got to keep playing, and we did that and found a way to win.”

Meyer added: “Well, we needed a win. Someone asked me last week if we were desperate for a win, and we are desperate for a win.”

Lawrence became the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to win a game in London. He completed 25-of-41 passes for 319 yards and one touchdown, marking the most passing yards by a Jaguars quarterback in their eight international games. With less than 2 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Lawrence completed all three of his passing attempts for 20 yards to set up the game-winning field goal attempt.

Meyer was impressed by what he saw out of Lawrence and Wright.

“There was a lot of things to fix,” Meyer said. “But you saw a young quarterback make a big-time play at the biggest time of the game, and then a young kicker that we just signed a couple weeks ago pop two 50-plus yarders, so it was a great win.”

Initially, with the game tied at 20 with five seconds left, Meyer and the Jaguars were going to throw a hail mary, but Meyer and OC Darrell Bevell changed their minds and Lawrence connected with Laviska Shenault on a nine-yard pass with one second left, which gave Wright a better shot to make the game-winning field goal.

After the game, Meyer explained why he changed his mind.

“We were going to do a Hail Mary, or one of the Big Ben plays just a jump ball in the end zone, and I kept staring at the clock, and we practice this every week, and it’s called slider,” he said. “It’s where you get the ball, and we usually say six seconds, five seconds, and we told our quarterback and Laviska, and I had the official right there, and I said, as soon as he catches and goes down, time-out. He caught it, time-out, and there was still that one second left. We practice that quite a bit.”

It turned out to be a great call by the Jaguars to go with the short pass, and now Jacksonville gets their first win of the season. Hopefully, for them, they can build off this victory as they head into their bye week.

Jags’ Lawrence: ‘We’re going to turn it around’

The last time the Jacksonville Jaguars(0-5) won a game was September 20, 2020, when they defeated the Colts 27-20 in Jacksonville. That was almost 13 months ago, and losing continued on Sunday when they fell to the Titans(3-2) 37-19 at TIAA Bank Field.

With the loss, the Jaguars have lost 20 straight games, and they join the 1976-77 Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the only teams in NFL history to lose 20 consecutive games.

Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer has been apart of five of those 20 straight losses, and at this point, Jacksonville is desperate for a win.

“Desperate for a win, desperate for the way they go to work each day, each week,” Meyer said. “Desperate for a win. But we can’t worry about the past, worry about the future, and a trip to London and try to get a win. Some guys are playing their tails off. But, yeah, we’re desperate for a win.”

Jaguars RB James Robinson, who had 18 carries for 149 yards and one touchdown, has been around for all 20 games.

“You can’t wrap your head around that,” Robinson said about losing 20 straight. “We’ve got to find a way to win. We’re a really good team. Obviously, our record doesn’t show it, but we’ve got a lot of great guys in the locker room, and we’ve just got to find something that’s going to work for us.”

Even as the losses pile up, Meyer believes the team is getting close. Early in the fourth quarter, Jacksonville had an opportunity to get within one score of the Titans. However, Jacksonville was stopped on 4th and goal from the one. According to Meyer, the team has to find a way to close out games.

“We’re not closing it out,” Meyer said. “From the Cardinals on, Cardinals, Bengals, and this one. We go down to score. I’m waiting to see Trevor(Lawrence) get the ball in his hand with a chance to go win the game. We thought we were going to have that at Cincinnati, and then that penalty, and we couldn’t get off the field. Then a similar situation today. If we score on that, we score there, our defense really stiffened up near the end of the game and played high energy, got pressure on the quarterback, stuffed the run, and we didn’t slam it in from the one-inch line, two-inch line.”

Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence completed 23-of-33 passes for 273 yards and one touchdown. The number one pick also rushed for a 4-yard TD, which was his second consecutive week with a rushing TD.

Meyer iss happy with what he’s seeing out of Lawrence.

“He’s awesome,” Meyer said about Lawrence. “We all are, the 904; we all are waiting for that. Our teammates are waiting. Just to give him the ball with a chance to go win the game because I think he’ll win it. His practice habits, his toughness, his leadership, it’s getting better each week, like you said.”

No team likes to lose, and no team wants to lose 20 in a row, but Lawrence believes there are brighter days ahead.

“We’re going to win some games,” Lawrence said. “We’re going to turn it around. We all thought today was the day we were going to get that first win, and it wasn’t. We didn’t execute enough down the stretch, but we’re going to figure it out, and we’re going to turn this thing around. It’s going to be a lot of fun when we do.”

 

 

Jaguars owner Shad Khan on Meyer: ‘He must regain our trust and respect’

The fallout continues from Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer’s weekend in Ohio. Meyer, who is married, was seen on video dancing very close to a woman that was not his wife. Meyer stayed back in Ohio after his team’s loss to the Bengals last Thursday night.

On Monday, Meyer took complete responsibility for what happened in Ohio, and according to him, he apologized to the team and the organization. On Tuesday, Jaguars owner Shad Khan issued the following statement on the incident.

“I have addressed this matter with Urban. Specifics of our conversation will be held in confidence. What I will say is his conduct last weekend was inexcusable. I appreciate Urban’s remorse, which I believe is sincere. Now, he must regain our trust and respect. That will require a personal commitment from Urban to everyone who supports, represents, or plays for our team. I am confident he will deliver.”

There are reports that players in the Jaguars’ locker room are not happy with Meyer. According to the NFL Network’s Michael Silver, one player told him the following, “He has zero credibility in that stadium. He had very little to begin with.” 

Another player, according to Silver, had this to say, “It’s bad. I don’t know how he’s gonna function.”

It should be interesting to see if Meyer can hold onto his job in Jacksonville. Meyer did acknowledge on Monday that he was concerned that this situation could be a distraction to the team, and it appears that is the case. Players are held to a high standard in the NFL, and coaches are held to an even higher standard. Clearly, with his actions, Meyer may have lost the trust of his players and the entire organization.

 

 

 

 

Jaguars’ Urban Meyer talks incident with female in viral video, apologizes to team

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer was in the news for all the wrong reasons. Meyer, who stayed back in Ohio after his team fell to the Cincinnati Bengals 24-21 on Thursday, was caught on video with a female who was not his wife dancing very close to him.

On Monday, at a press conference, Meyer explained what happened. 

“I stayed to see the grandkids, and we all went to dinner that night at a restaurant,” Meyer said. “There was a big group next to our restaurant, and they wanted me to come over and take pictures, and I did. They were trying to pull me out on the dance floor, screwing around, and I should’ve left.”

According to Meyer, he apologized to the team, longtime wife, Shelley, and his family.

“I just apologized to the team and staff for being a distraction,” Meyer said. “It’s stupid, so I explained everything that happened and owned it and just stupid. [I] should not have myself in that kind of position..

 “I’ve always been so defensive of them. I remember when Trevor [Lawrence] told me he was going to go to Vegas for his bachelor party. I was like, ‘Oh gosh man, be careful and surround yourself’ because I’ve seen this happen. The team, I spoke to a bunch of leaders one-on-one and spoke to all the players. They’re good. They were focused on Tennessee, and I apologized again for being a distraction. A coach should not be a distraction.”

Meyer did say GM Trent Baalke and owner Shad Khan were supportive of him.

 “I did talk to Shad [Khan], and [he was] very supportive,” he said. “[General Manager] Trent [Baalke], I talked to him obviously at length right when I got that phone call that night, the next night.”

It’s an embarrassing situation for Meyer, and he’s concerned that this could be a distraction for his team.

“I am concerned about that. I have a very good relationship with our players,” he said. “I’ve dealt with this on the other side with staff members and with other things and I’ve dealt with it. So, to say I’m concerned? Yeah, I am concerned, but I just have to do right.”

Watch as Meyer talks incident in Ohio, more:

Jags’ Lawrence on loss to Bengals: ‘This one hurts to be up 14-0 and somehow come up on the wrong side of it’

Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars(0-4) were close to getting their first win on Thursday night in Cincinnati against the Bengals(3-1). Jacksonville led 14-0 in the second quarter and was one yard away from making it 21-0. However, the Bengals stopped Trevor Lawrence on fourth and goal from the one, and the Jaguars had to settle for a 14-0 halftime lead.

However, they were outscored 24-7 in the second half and would fall to the Bengals 24-21 after Evan McPherson’s 35-yard field goal with no time left on the clock.

“When you can control the game like we did in the first half, that’s the key,” Lawrence said after the game. “It should have been 21-0 (at halftime), but we got stuffed at the goal line. Second half, we didn’t do a great job of eating clock and moving it.”

The Jaguars fall to 0-4, but they made progress. However, this loss still hurts.

“We’ll have to regroup a little,” Lawrence said. “This one hurts to be up 14-0 and somehow come up on the wrong side of it. We’ll bounce back; I know what we’re made of. Seeing how we’ve handled the first three weeks, I know nothing will change. I really want to get a win with these guys. We’ve been working so hard and put ourselves in positions the last two weeks to win. We just have to finish. It’s collectively. It’s not one side of the ball. We’re right there. This hurts for sure. It’s a primetime, Thursday night game. But it happens. We’ll keep working.”

Lawrence was solid against Cincinnati. He was 17/24 for 204 yards and added 36 yards on the ground and one touchdown, and most importantly, no turnovers after having nine turnovers in his first three games.

“We played better on offense, as far as cleaning up turnovers,” he said. “I did a good job of not putting the ball in harm’s way and used my legs well. The guys up front killed it. The run game, especially in the first half, was really good. The pass protection was awesome with no sacks. We’re getting better every week. It’s a heartbreaking loss, but we’re getting better.”

There’s no such thing as a good loss and moral victories on the NFL level, but this one is pretty close for the Jaguars, especially when you consider they lost WR D.J. Chark to an ankle injury. Now, they regroup and get ready for a home game against the Titans.

Jags’ Meyer on trade of Henderson: ‘I think it’s going to be good for both of us’

On Monday, the Jacksonville Jaguars traded CB CJ Henderson and fifth round pick to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for TE Dan Arnold and a third-round pick.

Henderson, who was the ninth overall pick by the Jaguars in the 2020 NFL Draft, battled injuries and had some off-the-field issues while in Jacksonville. According to Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer, the development of rookie corner Tyson Campbell made Henderson expendable.

“I think number one is the development of Tyson Campbell,” Meyer said. “He’s started to perform at what we expect him to be, a very, very talented guy. You get Tre Herndon back who can play the nickel. We have to improve a lot of areas of our team, and it might be a good fresh start for CJ [Henderson]. [I] had a great visit with his family. I love CJ and spent a lot of time with him and his parents. I think it’s going to be good for both of us.”

Meyer is excited about adding the 6-6, 240 pound Arnold, who posted career highs with the Cardinals in 2020 when he tallied 31 receptions for 438 yards and four touchdowns in 16 games played.

“We really are excited about Dan Arnold,” Meyer said. “I wanted him out of free agency. He’s a hurdler; he’s fast, he’s big. His ball skills are very, very good to great. He doesn’t have a lot of receptions this year. [After seeing him] last year with the Cardinals on tape, I wanted him. We just couldn’t fit it in with all of the other stuff going on. The thing that knocked it over the edge with me was when Carolina was hesitant to get rid of him because of his leadership because he’s on the leadership committee. He’s very well-respected, which those are the mindset things I’m trying to really put together is making sure you get a locker room of that.”

Jags’ Lawrence on loss to Cardinals: ‘I feel like we should have won that game’

Most rookie quarterbacks have their ups and downs, and for number one overall pick, Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, that has been the case after three games.

On Sunday against the Cardinals, Lawrence was 22/39 for 219 yards and one touchdown, but that was overshadowed by his two interceptions, one that was returned for a touchdown and two fumbles as the Jaguars fall to 0-3 after losing to the Cardinals 31-19 at TIAA Bank Field.

Jacksonville had a 19-17 lead in the third quarter, but Byron Murphy’s pick-6 put the Cardinals up for good in the third quarter. The Jaguars would turn the ball over on two of their final three possessions.

“Gosh, I’m sick,” Lawrence said after the game. “I feel like we should have won that game. But yeah, nothing changes. I thought we got a lot better today, and you could tell there were some sparks. We made some plays. Collectively, the defense, gosh, they played great, especially against the weapons over there that the Cardinals have. You can’t ask for any more out of that. Same thing, just got to be more consistent. That pick-six killed us, obviously. That’s all on me.”

Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer was happy with the team’s efforts despite the loss.

“I just want to win so damn bad for our players and for Jacksonville, the crowd was — I appreciate them coming out and the noise,” Meyer said. “We’re going to get this thing going, and I know I said that last week, but damn, they played hard. Our players played their asses off today. “

Lawrence has nine turnovers after three games and became the fifth quarterback in NFL history with multiple interceptions in his first three career games, but even with the turnovers, Lawrence is not going to be timid.

“I had one today that turned into a pick-six. Just can’t do that,” Lawrence said. “The other ones, ball security in the pocket on the last play of the game that they ended up stripping, that’s one I can learn from. You learn from all of them, but you can’t let it change the way you play. As far as making better decisions, that does need to change for sure, but I’ve got to be the same guy.  I still have to go play. I can’t play timid, and not take any shots or chances.”

Despite the turnovers, Meyer is not concerned about Lawrence.

“I worry about everything,” Meyer said. “But Trevor is a unique individual, and he competes like –competed his tail off. We’ve just got to — when something is not there, throw it away, and one of them was not his fault. One of them was a dropped pass. You can’t do that with a young quarterback… He’s the most consistent — one of the most consistent players I’ve been around.”

Lawrence is just like any other rookie quarterback at this point. He’ll get better, and ultimately, things will get better for Jacksonville. However, this season will be a struggle, which should not be surprising to anyone.

Notes:

-Jaguars WR Jamal Agnew returned a missed field goal 109 yards for a TD on the final play of the second quarter, tied for the longest TD in NFL history. Agnew, who also returned a kickoff 102 yards for a TD in Week 2, becomes the ninth player in NFL history with multiple 100-plus yard special teams returns in the same season.

Agnew discussed what happened on that touchdown:

“I mean, that’s probably one of my favorite ones,” he said. “I mean, I’ve never done it before, but I mean, it’s all offensive linemen and probably a couple tight ends and then the kicker. My thing was obviously I know [Matt] Prater from playing in Detroit. I know he’s capable of that, but he was going into the wind, it was a 68-yarder. I was like, ‘If he doesn’t get this, I’m probably going to score.’ And everybody—they made the wall for me on the left side of the field and it was just that spark we needed before halftime. We just couldn’t get the job done.”

-Jaguars RB James Robinson recorded a season-high 134 scrimmage yards (88 rushing and 46 receiving yards), marking his 17th consecutive game with at least 50 scrimmage yards. Robinson, who has tallied 50-plus scrimmage yards in every game of his NFL career, has 1,562 career scrimmage yards and joins RBs Fred Taylor and Leonard Fournette as the only players in franchise history with at least 1,500 scrimmage yards through 17 career games.

 

 

 

Jags’ Lawrence: ‘Everyone is frustrated; everybody is disappointed’

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence has not lost a lot of football games in the last few years, but after playing his first two games in the NFL, Lawrence and the Jaguars are 0-2 as they fell to the Broncos(2-0) 23-13 in their home-opener at TIAA Bank Field on Sunday.

It started out well for Lawrence as he connected with Marvin Jones on a 25-yard touchdown pass as the team drove 83 yards on their opening drive to take an early 7-0 lead. However, Jacksonville’s offense would not score again and would accumulate only 106 yards the rest of the way following that opening drive.

“Yeah, I think it’s a combination of a few things, just some ill-timed errors on everyone really,” Lawrence(14-33, 118 yards, touchdown, two interceptions) said after the game. “It was different people each time; we had a turnover and another one at the end, so that’s on me, and some penalties, whatever it may be—just bad timing for those things to happen. And then Denver played off that momentum and put a few scoring drives together. I think we were in the game the whole game. Really first half should have had the lead. Then after that, I didn’t think we kept playing like we did in that first quarter.”

Jones, who had six catches for 55 yards and one touchdown, added on the offensive struggles after the first drive: “We just had a lull. We just had lulls. I think it was a common theme after that drive in the second and third quarters. It’s just something that we need to figure out, and we have to find that energy and that spark and keep it. So yeah, I think that’s what it was.”

Even with the losing, Lawrence feels Jacksonville is improving.

“Yeah, I hate losing, like I said last week, so it’s not fun, obviously,” Lawrence said. “But at the same time, you’ve got to — you’ve just got to realize we’re getting better, and each week we’ve got to keep getting better, and it’s a long season. We’ve still got 15 more games, kind of like I said last week. That’s the mindset in the locker room, too. Everyone is frustrated; everybody is disappointed. Obviously, we worked our tails off to win this game, and we felt like we were prepared. Just got to keep getting better, though.”

At 0-2, Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer will do everything he can to keep things positive in Jacksonville and keep the “nonsense” out of the locker room.

“I’ve seen nonsense seep into organizations when you’re 2-0, and I’ve seen it when you’re 0-2,” Meyer said. “Well, I guess I haven’t seen it when you’re 0-2, but I’ve seen it when you lose a game. We can’t allow that. The good thing is I don’t see that happening. If I do, I told the players and staff that’s the one thing that will not be tolerated with the Jags is nonsense.”

Jacksonville did play better in Week 2, but again, they fell short. As they go forward, they have to limit the turnovers(two) and take advantage of scoring opportunities(two missed field goals). Growing pains are not easy, but it may be what the Jaguars have to go through in 2021.

Jags’ Meyer: ‘I’m here and committed to try to build an organization’

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer has no interest in the USC coaching job, at least that’s what he said on Wednesday.

“There’s no chance that—I’m here and committed to try to build an organization,” Meyer said.

On Monday, USC fired head coach Clay Helton, and from there, the speculation was that Meyer had an interest in that job, but he made it clear that he wants to stay in Jacksonville.

The 57-year-old Meyer, who won three National Championships in college with Florida and Ohio State, has gotten off to a rough start in Jacksonville. The Jaguars did not look very good in their season-opening loss to the Texans, and there have been rumors that players have been unhappy with some of his coaching methods. 

In addition, many have criticized his handling of the quarterback competition between the number one overall pick Trevor Lawrence and Gardner Minshew.

However, according to Meyer, everybody is committed to getting things right in Jacksonville.

“I think every team—I don’t ever want to fall into that trap of saying this is a 4-year plan, a 3-year plan,” he said. “That’s not fair to players. This is a one-game plan, and then we’ll worry about the next game. So, that’s not fair to the [players]. There are some guys that have played a lot of football in that locker room, and they deserve our very best, and that’s what it is. Other than a bruised soul that we all have right now, we’re still swinging away.”

It’s only one game, and no expected Jacksonville to be world-beaters overnight. Meyer may have to adjust some things, but that all comes with experience on the NFL level.