14 weeks into the regular season, the NFL has seen its first head coaching change. As was announced by the organization on Wednesday evening, Urban Meyer was fired as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Meyer originally arrived in Jacksonville on a five-year contract, but his tenure with the team was off to a rocky start.
From Chris Doyle’s short-time hire despite accusations of racism and bullying, to signing a 33-year-old Tim Tebow as a tight end, to being fined by the league for violating practice rules, Meyer’s time with the Jaguars was marred by controversy from its early days. The controversy continued, all while the team itself stumbled to a 2-11 record.
The final straw, apparently, came in the form of former Jacksonville kicker Josh Lambo accusing Meyer of kicking him before a preseason practice. Just a few hours after the story first broke, team owner Shad Khan announced Meyer’s dismissal:
Darrell Bevell will serve as interim head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars for the balance of the 2021 season. Darrell succeeds Urban 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.
As was pointed out by Khan, the Jaguars will turn to offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell to serve as their interim head coach. This is not Bevell’s first rodeo. Just last year, after all, he took over as the Detroit Lions’ interim head coach after the firing of Matt Patricia. He led the team through its last five games of the season, going 1-4 in the process.
Now, he will be able to add a four-game stint as Jacksonville interim head coach to his résumé — one that will also include a trip to Foxborough: the Jaguars will take on the New England Patriots in Week 17.
The Patriots and Bevell have a history of their own. A former offensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks, he called the famous goal-line pass in Super Bowl 49 that was intercepted by New England cornerback Malcolm Butler to win the Patriots the game.