Jaguars plead with fans to ‘hang in there with us’

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While Urban Meyer may have come into the 2021 season with expectations to make the playoffs, he’s quickly learned that the NFL is a weekly grind. So far, his Jacksonville Jaguars have gotten off to a 0-2 start, which is unfamiliar territory for him as one of the winningest college coaches ever, and it’s been evident.

During the Jags’ postgame press conference that followed their loss to the Denver Broncos, Meyer made it a priority to start by thanking the fans and asking them to be patient with what they are trying to build.

“I just want to thank our Jaguar fans,” Meyer said. “It’s been a long haul in Jacksonville. But we appreciate them being here, and we have a saying around here, we’re going to own it, and we are going to own it, but I speak on behalf of our players that that was good. We go up 7-3 or 7-0 and they’re standing behind our defense, helped our defense, and from myself, our staff and our players, thanks for being there. Don’t give up on us. Hang in there with us. We’re going to get better. The one thing about Jacksonville and the 904, go to sleep knowing there’s not going to be any group work harder to get this thing flipped.”

Meyer’s opening statements come after he spent part of training camp rallying the Jags’ fanbase and declaring that he wanted to see a stadium full of Jags fans. However, after losing a game they were favored to win Week 1 against the Houston Texans and giving up a Week 2 lead against Denver where the Jags struck first, it appears Meyer, and most certainly the Jags, are aware of the fanbase’s morale. Additionally, Meyer genuinely feels he has a connection with the North Florida fanbase after his success with the Gators and the standard he set in Gainesville.

When looking at how the NFL works, though, support systems like the ones the Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, and Baltimore Ravens all have, simply put, are earned through winning. For that reason, Meyer’s best method heading forward has to be to focus on building the team instead of the public relations stuff, which will give them a chance to win eventually. Once that happens, the strongest following and support for the Jags will undoubtedly come as the nation witnessed in 2017.

Most who were real about the Jags’ situation understood that it would be a rebuild in all likelihood. That said, the burden of rallying a fanbase through a rebuild after Shad Khan’s 41-108 record shouldn’t fall on Meyer, because if it is, it’s just another issue to drift his focus from the team-building aspect of his job.

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