In his first interview since being fired by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Urban Meyer called the team’s decision to let him go after 13 games “devastating” and “heartbreaking.”
“I just apologize to Jacksonville,” Meyer told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network on Friday. “I love Jacksonville. It’s one of the reasons I took the job. I still think Shad [Khan]’s a great owner. It’s heartbreaking.”
On Saturday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke news that the Jaguars are firing Meyer for cause in hopes that they can avoid paying out the final four years of the five-year contract he received in January. There were a “cumulation of instances” that predicated the decision, per Schefter.
While Meyer continued to deny reports about the discord of the team — including former Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo’s claim that he was kicked by the coach — he spoke about the team’s benching of running back James Robinson.
“We discussed it as a staff,” Meyer told Rapoport. “‘When you see someone lose the ball or even see them be loose with the ball, get them out of the game, get their mind right and then get them back in.’ When he fumbled, I said, ‘Take him out.’ We took him out, and then we had lack of communication about when to put him back in.”
That’s a different tune than Meyer’s previous explanations for the benching. Earlier in December, he said it was a decision made by running backs coach Bernie Parmalee and that he doesn’t get “too involved” or “micromanage” those type of decisions.