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The Jacksonville Jaguars didn’t get off to the start they would’ve liked but were able to go into their bye week with some momentum. Of course, that’s because they were able to end a 20-game losing streak Week 6 by defeating the Miami Dolphins 23-20 across the pond.
Now, with the team a bit more upbeat and their first win under their belt, owner Shad Khan told NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that he ‘absolutely’ has faith in head coach Urban Meyer. Khan also said he was impressed with the cohesiveness he’s seen from the team, which is something we’ve seen emphasized by the leaders on the team like Shaquill Griffin.
“I couldn’t ask for anything more from the players,” Khan said this week at the NFL’s Fall League Meeting. “The cohesiveness and the strength to pull it out. This is where the impression from the outside is very different from the inside.”
Often overlooked is the way the Jags have stuck together through scandal. Just last month, Meyer made headlines after a video surfaced of him at a bar with an unknown woman. In addition to being an unnecessary distraction for a team looking for its first win, Khan himself felt compelled to release a statement as Meyer’s actions made the Jags the NFL’s hottest topic for the wrong reason.
Despite that, though, Rapoport says he’s been informed by a source that Khan is “all in” on Meyer. Rapoport also got Khan to further comment on the situation, which happened just weeks ago.
“I think this is NFL football,” Khan said. “You’re on stage all the time and you have to be absolutely self-aware. But I’ve gone over this so many times there’s very little to add.”
Fans and critics alike have come into this week questioning Meyer’s job security, and it appears Rapoport’s report has provided some clarity on that. Khan’s endorsement shouldn’t come as a surprise, either, when looking at how patient he’s been with coaches in the past.
Another big indication that Khan will be able to move past Meyer’s rough start in the NFL and off the field was pointed out by Albert Breer of the Monday Morning Quarterback: the fact that both sides have invested so much into each other. When the Khan’s hired Meyer, they just weren’t looking for a coach, but a program leader. With that came a big investment into Meyer’s staff, sports science, training tactics, and even a new facility in the future, among other things.
Despite all of that, though, the Jags’ win against Miami isn’t a case that should have moved the needle much if Meyer’s job security was ever truly in question. A win against a struggling Dolphins team probably isn’t the best bellwether for Meyer’s future.
To put it simply, if the Jags’ next six games go like their first six, it would be hard to frame Meyer’s performance as anything other than a disappointment. However, looking at the team’s progress, there’s still a chance things will look up in the next six games.
The bad and the good
Frankly, plenty of things should concern fans about Meyer. His ability to avoid being a distraction from now on should be interesting to watch, as well as his ability to get players to buy into him as a leader (that is, if they haven’t), especially after his concerning remarks about how the team’s ownership falls on the players. While we’ve seen the last regime have success by playing for each other, it only worked for so long, and eventually the players needed leadership from the coaches, too.
But there’s also reason to have hope. The staff has helped Trevor Lawrence (and the team in general) get better by the week. If that continues, and the Jags can have consistent success, the rest could fall into place easily.