Jags’ Lawrence: ‘I plan on being here for a long time’

It didn’t last long, but based on what happened in the first 13 games on and off the field, firing Urban Meyer was probably the right thing to do for owner Shad Khan and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Meyer was fired Thursday morning, and OC Darrell Bevell was named the interim coach for the rest of the season.

“There’s been some drama; there’s been some distractions,” Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence said Thursday. “You can’t ever go back, though; you just have to move forward. Where we’re at right now, [Interim Head Coach], Coach Bev[ell] ‘s our head coach the rest of the reason, and I have a lot of respect for Bev and who he is. He’s earned my respect, so we’re going to all follow him. I’m excited about these last four games and just to go play our best and finish with some momentum.”

Despite all the drama, the number one pick says he has a lot of respect for Meyer.

“He’s great. [I] have a lot of respect for him,” Lawrence said. “This first thing I’ll say about all of this is just I respect [former Head Coach] Coach [Urban] Meyer, and I really appreciate everything he’s done for me. He’s one of the main reasons I’m here. He drafted me, so that will always be there, and I wish him nothing but the best. Obviously, it didn’t work out here; some changes had to be made. But as far as Coach and his future, I wish him nothing but the best, and I guess I’ll just start with that.”

Meyer’s firing did not come down until after Thursday midnight, but Lawrence, like others, found out about Meyer’s dismissal early Thursday morning.

“I actually, I didn’t find out until this morning. I woke up; I guess it was around six or whatever and saw it on my phone,” Lawrence explained. “I had some texts and then just naturally kind of googled it to see what’s going on, just to be honest. Saw that, and I rolled over and told Marissa [his wife], ‘Hey, this just happened. It’ll be an interesting day at work.”

Even after a tumultuous first season, Lawrence is committed to trying to win in Jacksonville.

“Let’s go turn this thing around, go become a winner, let’s go win some games, get this thing turned around,” he said. “I have full faith in that still. Obviously, there’s a lot of steps to be made in the future to go in that direction, but I still believe that, and I plan on being here for a long time, hopefully, my whole career. Whatever the future holds, I know I’m just going to be the best I can every day, wherever my feet are. That’s how I’m approaching it, and that’s how I always will.”

Jacksonville(2-11) hopes to end their five-game losing streak on Sunday at home against the Texans.

Watch below as Lawrence talks Meyer’s firing and turning things around in Jacksonville:

Jags owner on Meyer: ‘I am bitterly disappointed to arrive at the conclusion that an immediate change is imperative for everyone’

After 13 games, the Urban Meyer era is over in Jacksonville. The 57-year-old Meyer was fired Thursday morning. 

According to the Jaguars, OC Darrell Bevell will serve as interim head coach for the rest of the 2021 season. 

Meyer’s firing came on the heels of former Jaguars K Josh Lambo accusing Meyer of kicking him before practice in August, which Meyer denied.

Here is a statement from Jaguars owner Shad Khan on the firing of Meyer:

“After deliberation over many weeks and a thorough analysis of the entirety of Urban’s tenure with our team, I am bitterly disappointed to arrive at the conclusion that an immediate change is imperative for everyone. I informed Urban of the change this evening. As I stated in October, regaining our trust and respect was essential. Regrettably, it did not happen.

“Trent Baalke continues as our general manager and will work with Darrell to ensure that our team will be inspired and competitive while representing Jacksonville proudly over our final four games of the season. In the spirit of closure and recharging our players, staff, and fan base, I will not comment further until some point following the conclusion of the NFL season.”

Meyer has had several missteps during his short time in Jacksonville, including having a female, who was not his wife, dancing close to him at a bar in Ohio after staying behind following the team’s loss to the Bengals, to hiring former Iowa strength and conditioning Chris Doyle, who some players at Iowa accused of making racist remarks. Meyer made many questionable decisions, which gave Jacksonville no choice but to fire him.

Meyer, a three-time national champion, accumulated a 187-32 record and a .854 winning percentage, the third-highest in college football history. However, this did not translate to wins on the NFL level. 

The Jaguars(2-11) hope to snap their five-game losing streak Sunday at home against the Texans.

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’ Khan: ‘What’s evaded the history of the Jags, really, has been a franchise quarterback’

After the Jacksonville Jaguars finished the 2020 season 1-15, it was clear that the team was going to make a change at the coaching position. On Monday, the team fired head coach Doug Marrone. In five seasons, Marrone went 23-43, including one playoff appearance.

The team fired GM Dave Caldwell back in November, so now the Jaguars are in the market for a GM and head coach.

Last season, Khan decided to bring back Caldwell and Marrone. On Monday, Khan was asked if that was a mistake. According to Khan, he has no regrets.

“Not at all. No, I don’t, and I’ll tell you why,” Khan said about bringing Caldwell and Marrone back in 2020. “When I sat down with them after [former Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations] Tom [Coughlin] ‘s departure, both of them expressed a desire that they want to be able to demonstrate what they can do working together. Also, as I mentioned earlier, we had serious issues with the team, so who better to help clean it up [than] who were part of that, really creating the mess. That would include me. So it was the three of us really need to join hands.

“You want to win but you want to set the foundation, and that was how do we help the players who don’t want to be there exit, and exit with the right value for the Jaguars? Then who are the players, maybe veterans, how do we identify them who’d be better off going someplace else and it would bring salary cap and draft picks we could invest in new players. That was done earlier, or last year, this season and then some of the capital obviously we have for the future. They played a role but we’re not where we would be where we could sustain or extend them.”

Jacksonville has an appealing situation. They have cap space. According to Overthecap.com, Jacksonville has $77 million in cap space. Also, Jacksonville has the number one overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, which means they probably can get their franchise quarterback in Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence or Ohio State’s Justin Fields.

 “Well, I certainly think there’s a huge amount of interest in this, much more so than the last time around,” Khan said. “And I also look at really—we’re in a much different, and I would say a better position today than we were a year ago. A little over a year ago, as you well know—and I think you reported—we did have team disharmony, and we were—for lack of a better word—salary cap hell.

“I think today; I frankly thought that we would do better. We won six games last year [2019], but you know, certainly, we have a lot of salary cap availability along with the draft picks and obviously the number one pick. But what’s evaded the history of the Jags, really, has been a franchise quarterback. And I think what’s unique, certainly, is that we have the ability now to make a choice, and it’s going to define the franchise moving forward.”

There were reports that the Jaguars had interest in former Florida and Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer, Khan addressed those rumors on Monday.

“I’ve known Urban(Meyer) over the years through Big Ten and what have you,” Khan said. “But we have not spoken to anyone about this job or even, obviously, interviewed him. I mean, this is something—just made the decision this morning. So, you know there is—and I’ll leave it at that.”

Finding a franchise quarterback is never easy, and Jacksonville has not had one of those in a long time. Now, with a chance to draft Lawrence or Fields, the future could be very bright in Jacksonville. But before that, they must find a GM and coach, which will be a big decision for this team going forward.

Jags’ Khan: ‘Racism, in all its forms, will kill’

Here is op–ed from Jaguars owner Shad Khan on racism:

Racism, in all its forms, will kill.  It kills people, it kills communities, it kills dreams, it kills hope.

By Shad Khan – Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The events of the past 10 days have been alarming and disheartening.  Alarming because we know the history of systemic inequity that brought us to this point, not only with the recent killing of George Floyd and other African Americans in our country, but also the disproportionate impact the coronavirus has wreaked in communities of color.  Disheartening because this familiar sequence of killing, followed by protest and civic unrest, followed by inactivity and silence, occurs ever more frequently in our nation.

The video capturing the final moments of George Floyd’s life offers the latest horrific evidence of injustice that is all too prevalent in the U.S.  No families in this country should have to go to bed at night worrying about whether their children are going to encounter the wrong police officer in the wrong moment. No families should have to worry about their child losing their life just because of the color of their skin.  Yet, they do.  That should never happen in what should be, and I still believe is, the greatest nation on the planet.

I came to the United States from Pakistan in 1967 with $500 in my pocket and faith in the American Dream.  Opportunities to learn and succeed were abundant, and more than 50 years later I am forever grateful and proud to be a citizen of the United States.  Nonetheless, while I pursued my goals as a student and later in the workforce, being a Muslim-American made me a frequent target of prejudice, discrimination and hatred.  I won’t claim to know what it means to be a young African American today, but I can speak honestly and painfully to my own experiences as a person of color for the past 53 years in this country.  Even recently, I have had people spew racist language in my presence when talking about other people of color — apparently ignorant of my ethnicity.  Change for all people of color in the United States is long overdue, and it must happen now.

I know change is possible, and here’s one reason why: While I am often described as “self-made,” the truth is I benefitted tremendously from hundreds of good and generous people early on, from all walks of life, who supported me unconditionally and contributed mightily to my realization of the American Dream.  My classmates, professors, fraternity brothers, colleagues, friends and family all helped to shape the person I am today.  Opportunity and some help along the way allow us all to do great things.

I also know what impact economic opportunity can have on marginalized families.  The most rewarding professional accomplishment of my life has been the recent opening of my company’s automotive plants in the underserved areas of Chicago and Detroit.  People in those areas only needed an opportunity  – and hope – to break the relentless cycle of poverty and oppression.  It is inspiring and why I am also committed, with the Jaguars, to investing in developments we envision for downtown Jacksonville, where new jobs will result in immediate and sustainable livelihoods.

My overarching goal, or mission, is to do my part to level the playing field so everyone has the same access and opportunity to achieve the American Dream, without fear or compromise.  As a member of the NFL family, I recognize I have a unique opportunity to address inequity wherever it is present, expand opportunity for all who seek it, and seek justice for all who deserve it.  I take that responsibility seriously.

In Jacksonville, I frequently meet with Jaguars players to better understand their experiences and concerns.  I can only imagine their range of emotions today in the wake of all that has unfolded in 2020.  I know they are hurting, yet also committed to doing good in Jacksonville and the communities where they were raised and will always consider home.  Mindful of this, I will listen to the players in the days ahead with an exceptionally keen ear so we can work with them to make the transition from conversation to actionable plans in the name of lasting change.  And I will do the same with employees and associates throughout my various businesses, where the interests and concerns on this matter are no less vital.

Racial discrimination has no place in our society.  That’s been said.  But, what’s been done?

We must have the answer today, and we will work with players, staff and more to arrive at a timely response.  Because this moment, while agonizingly similar in many ways, is unlike any other in our history for underserved people and communities in the United States.  We cannot attack the virus of racism with indifference or periodic attention.  We cannot expect an easy cure or give up when the quest becomes inconvenient or uncomfortable.

Most of all, we cannot fail our children – children who deserve to know they have the same opportunity to earn a living, have a family and live safely — no matter the color of their skin.

Racism, in all its forms, will kill.  It kills people, it kills communities, it kills dreams, it kills hope.

For many Americans, now is the moment.  Never has that been clearer.

I don’t want to waste this moment.

Jags’ Khan believes Marrone can lead the team to a Super Bowl

In 2017, the Jacksonville Jaguars finished the regular season 10-6 and were very close to going to the Super Bowl. In the AFC title game against the Patriots, the Jaguars had a lead late in the fourth quarter, but Tom Brady worked his magic, and Jacksonville would lose 24-20.

After that season, the Jaguars have struggled. Jacksonville has missed the playoffs the last two seasons and have a record of 11-21. 

Because of Jacksonville’s struggles, many thought that the Jaguars would fire head coach Doug Marrone, but that was not the case as Jaguars owner Shad Khan decided to part ways with Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Tom Coughlin.

On Tuesday at a press conference, Khan explained why he felt it was in the team’s best interest to keep Marrone and GM Dave Caldwell. 

“The key question that I have to ask myself, ‘Is this the time to start over from where we were just two years ago?’ A game away from the Super Bowl. I know things change greatly year to year, but we’ve been closer more recently than many teams in the league. My feeling is that we can return to that place and go much faster to where we want to be if we can keep some things intact for 2020.

“We have a really good core of young players from our recent drafts. We have excellent draft capital. The message as the whole football organization as I met with them after our season was over, is the time to win is now. We have everything really in place with some of the changes to expect a good season. The results are going to speak for themselves a year from now, and we will all know if this is the right approach I took, and I will take full responsibility for it.”

This is Marrone’s last chance to turn things around for the Jaguars, and as we have seen in recent years, things can turn around very fast in the NFL, so if the Jaguars can have a good draft and bring in the right free agents, maybe things can turn around for this team in 2020. If not, Marrone and Caldwell are probably looking for new jobs. 

Statement from Jaguars owner Shad Khan on the return of Doug Marrone

In somewhat of a surprising move, Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan has decided to retain head coach Doug Marrone and GM Dave Caldwell. According to Khan, both will report to him, and Jacksonville will not hire an Executive Vice President of Football Operations for the 2020 season. A position that was recently held by Tom Coughlin, who the Jaguars fired earlier this month.

Here is the complete statement from Jaguars owner Shad Khan on the return of Marrone and Caldwell:

“I have met on several occasions over the past few days with Dave Caldwell, Doug Marrone and their staffs to fully understand their plans to reverse our course and compete for a postseason berth in 2020.  In addition, I held numerous one-on-one meetings with players on Monday and thoroughly appreciated their candor and thoughtful views – some expected, some not – on the season behind us and where we go from here. 

“While our discussions will remain confidential, the decision I am making to keep our staff intact for 2020 has nothing to do with our victory on Sunday and everything to do with my positive meetings with Dave, Doug, the coordinators and our players, as well as my belief that this is not the time to consider an overhaul of our organization.

“The 2019 season was unacceptable and I’ve made my dissatisfaction clear.  While many unusual circumstances influenced our season, none can fully explain or defend our second-half collapse with first place in the division within reach on Week 9.  At the same time, there were positive developments and contributions that should not be overlooked. 

“We came out of our AFC Championship Game season of 2017 by making a four-year commitment to the collective leadership of our football operations.  Only two seasons have passed and one change from that leadership team has already been made.  I want to see what we produce under a new organizational structure in 2020.  Goals have been established.  Accountability will be paramount.

“As part of our new framework, the position of Executive Vice President of Football Operations will not be filled in 2020.  Dave and Doug will each continue to report directly to me, as they have since mid-December.  Our work begins immediately.  We have a lot of draft capital in our favor to help us achieve our goals for 2020, and beyond.

“Finally, I was struck and impressed, but not surprised, by the strong showing of our fans Sunday at TIAA Bank Field.  The euphoria and passion was genuine and appreciated by everyone with our team, and that goes double for me.  My sincere thanks to everyone.  It was a moment that underlines the fact that nothing beats having a winning football team.  It’s my obligation to deliver one to Jacksonville in 2020.”

Statement from Jaguars owner Shad Khan on team’s future

Statement from Jaguars owner Shad Khan:

I informed Tom Coughlin this week that I want him to see through our shared goal of bringing a Super Bowl title to Jacksonville.  Given our overall body of work over the past two seasons, I offered to Tom that I preferred entering the 2019 season with as much stability as reasonable or possible at the top of our football operation.  However, those decisions, at all times, are Tom’s decisions, and I would respect any call he made on our general manager and head coach.  I am pleased that Tom sees our situation and opportunity similarly, so we will return to work this week fully confident and optimistic with Dave Caldwell as our general manager and Doug Marrone as our head coach.

I have the same trust in Tom, Dave and Doug as I did upon their introduction two years ago, and I do believe our best path forward for the moment is the one less disruptive and dramatic.  Stability should not be confused with satisfaction, however.  I am far from content with the status quo and while it’s best to put 2018 behind us, I will not overlook how poorly we accounted for ourselves following a 3-1 start.  There were far too many long Sundays over the last three quarters of the season, with today’s loss in Houston being the final example, and that cannot repeat itself in 2019.  That’s my message to our football people and players, but also our sponsors and fans, both of whom were remarkable.