JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Shad Khan actually did get it proper.
It was simply eight months later than he thought.
The Jacksonville Jaguars‘ owner had to fire coach Urban Meyer lower than a 12 months after hiring him. Not due to too many losses — although that was positively an issue — however relatively an extended record of embarrassing missteps with gamers, coaches, and, in one occasion, a woman in a bar. They stored piling up and left Khan with no alternative.
It had to be embarrassing for Khan as a result of he was enamored with Meyer for years after watching his Ohio State groups rumble via the Big Ten.
He believed wholeheartedly Meyer was the coach that was going to lead — with assist from the 2021 No. 1 total choose, quarterback Trevor Lawrence — a franchise resurgence. That was evident at a information convention introducing Lawrence and operating again Travis Etienne Jr. — who was additionally a primary-spherical choose earlier than suffering a season-ending injury to his left foot — when Khan proudly, and a little bit bit arrogantly, proclaimed: “This time I got it right.”
Except he did not.
The Jaguars have been the laughingstock of the league since making the playoffs in 2007. They have had simply one successful season since and have misplaced 10 or extra video games in 10 of the final 11 seasons — together with 9 double-digit shedding seasons in Khan’s 10 years as owner. Their lone successful season since ’07 got here in 2017, when the Jaguars rode an elite protection to an AFC South title and made a stunning run to the AFC Championship recreation.
This 12 months has been even worse due to Meyer.
He bungled issues from the beginning, starting with the hiring/resignation of director of sports activities efficiency Chris Doyle, who was accused of creating racist remarks and bullying Black gamers whereas at Iowa.
The league fined Meyer and the Jaguars for having improper contact practices in OTAs … he signed Tim Tebow to play tight finish … he had Lawrence and Gardner Minshew alternate first-group reps throughout coaching camp, solely to commerce Minshew … the viral movies of him in a bar with a lady that wasn’t his spouse … the speaking in circles in regards to the benching of operating again James Robinson … not figuring out which gamers are on the sphere … the reviews of rigidity with his assistant coaches … another report of receiver Marvin Jones Jr. strolling out of the power and yelling at Meyer as a result of he was sad with one thing Meyer stated in regards to the receivers.
With one embarrassment after another, compounded by the truth that the Jaguars had been simply 2-11, Khan actually had no alternative however to hearth Meyer.
Now he’s confronted with making a very powerful rent in franchise historical past. The Jaguars lastly have the quarterback, a very powerful piece in any rebuild. Khan has to discover a coach that can construct round him, rent the correct coordinator to carry within the offensive system that matches him greatest and create the tradition within the constructing that Meyer promised however spectacularly failed to ship.
And, most significantly, do it with none drama.
The drawback is that Khan hasn’t gotten any of his soccer hires proper. He retained basic supervisor Gene Smith, who employed head coach Mike Mularkey. They lasted a 12 months, and Khan employed GM Dave Caldwell, who employed Gus Bradley. Bradley gained 14 video games in 4 years earlier than being fired.
Khan introduced in Tom Coughlin as an govt, and he picked Doug Marrone to be the coach in 2017. That resulted within the lone profitable season in Khan’s tenure, however Khan had to hearth Coughlin in 2019 after the NFLPA warned gamers not to signal with the Jaguars due to the abundance of grievances filed by gamers that Coughlin fined.
Caldwell was fired in November 2020, and Marrone was fired after the 1-15 season ended, which led to Meyer.
Khan’s biggest flaw as an owner has been his lack of ability to discover the correct folks to lead his franchise. Hiring Meyer was a pricey failure, and he can’t afford to make another mistake with his substitute.
If he does, he dangers losing a generational expertise at quarterback and establishing the franchise for another misplaced decade.
This time, he has to get it proper.