Urban Meyer Apologizes to Jacksonville

Urban Meyer Apologizes to Jacksonville Urban Meyer Apologizes to Jacksonville Urban Meyer's tumultuous NFL tenure ended after just 13 games — and two victories — when the Jacksonville Jaguars fired him early Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021 because of an accumulation of missteps.(AP Photo/Gary McCullough, File)

Sunday, 19 December 2021 08:09 AM

In his first public comments since being fired, former Jaguars coach Urban Meyer apologized to the city of Jacksonville, Fla., adding that it was "heartbreaking."

In an interview with NFL Network, Meyer said he was "devastated" how his short tenure ended after a 2-11 record. In its story published Saturday, NFL Network said the interview took place Friday.

"I just apologize to Jacksonville," Meyer told NFL Network. "I love Jacksonville. It's one of the reasons I took the job. I still think Shad's a great owner. It's heartbreaking. I just had a dream of it becoming a destination place with a new facility he agreed to build and some day to walk into that stadium where it's standing room only. Because I know how bad the people of Jacksonville want it. So, I'm just heartbroken that we weren't able to do that. I still believe it's going to be done. It's too good of a place."

The interview aired several hours after a report that the Jaguars fired Meyer for cause and don't plan on paying him the remainder of his contract. It is believed Meyer signed a five-year deal worth $10 million to $12 million annually.

It is possible the two sides could try to negotiate a contract settlement.

Meyer was fired early Thursday in the aftermath of former kicker Josh Lambo saying Meyer kicked him in August. But the Jaguars said Friday that owner Shad Khan had already decided to fire Meyer before the Lambo story came out.

It was one of many missteps that landed Meyer on the wrong side of the headlines, especially his decision not to travel back with the team after a Thursday night loss in October. He was later caught on video in a bar with a woman who is not his wife.

Meyer pushed back on reported dustups with Lambo and wide receiver Marvin Jones, among others, and tried to explain his decision to bench star running back James Robinson during his interview.

Regardless, his NFL debut goes down as an epic failure.

"I tell people, losing eats away at your soul," Meyer said. "Once you start losing, it's hard on everybody. I thought at one point, when we won two out of three, there was some momentum, great energy, the defense was really playing well. We were running the ball and then when that dried up on us, then we started turning the ball over. We had that bye week and then James Robinson gets hurt."