By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — When the Jaguars hired Urban Meyer, they thought they’d be ushering in a new level of respectability and sustained success to Jacksonville. Instead, they’ve invited a circus.
And everybody’s laughing.
The latest incident of course involved a blurry-eyed Meyer sitting at a barstool while a young lady who is decidedly not his wife danced … all up in his area. The 57-year-old Meyer ended up having to issue arguably the most uncomfortable press conference in NFL history a couple of days later.
Urban Meyer on what happened over the weekend pic.twitter.com/IxdUY1STO4
— Ari Meirov (@AriMeirov) October 4, 2021
That is a tough watch. Imagine having to do that?
What Meyer could have done to avoid this latest mess is to simply … return to Jacksonville with his team. Do your job, work on the flight home, show up to work on Friday morning, apply the dedication that you ask your players to have, and try to finagle a way to maybe get one win before Christmastime in your first season as an NFL coach. Staying in Ohio to party after a nationally televised loss, leaving your team and your coaching staff to figure things out on their own for a few days? That’s clownish behavior for a guy who’s supposed to be changing the losing culture in Jacksonville, not perpetuating it.
Yet perhaps it’s the Jaguars who deserve more scorn for believing that Meyer could ever be that guy.
Look at the way Meyer stumbled his way through the Zach Smith fiasco a few years ago, and you see a person who’s not all-the-way interested in accepting responsibility for poor decisions and poor leadership. Handing that man the keys to the franchise is … ill-advised, to say the least. It is downright Jacksonvilleonian, to say a little more.
Since then, Meyer has had to immediately get rid of his choice for strength coach, Chris Doyle, because Doyle had been the subject of numerous bullying and racism complaints from his time at the University of Iowa.
“We are responsible for all aspects of our program and, in retrospect, should have given greater consideration to how his appointment may have affected all involved,” Meyer said after Doyle resigned.
Gee, Urban — you think?
Meyer also wasted his team’s time with the unnecessary and fruitless Tim Tebow tryout of 2021, an indication that Meyer doesn’t know what he doesn’t know about the NFL.
And now his players are reportedly laughing as soon as he leaves the room.
They’re not alone in that.
(Imagine not having respect of the Jacksonville Jaguars? Woof.)
Despite using the No. 1 overall pick on the extremely promising Trevor Lawrence, there should be little in the way of sunny optimism for the future of the Jaguars’ organization.
Other than that, things are going great.
Time for Week 5 picks
(Home team in CAPS; Wednesday lines)
Los Angeles Rams (-2.5) over SEATTLE
The Seahawks rank dead last in total yards, thanks to their 28th-ranked pass defense. Sean McVay and Matt Stafford are going to cook. They might be cooking already right now.
Atlanta (-3) over New York Jets
It’s an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object — in London!!
Both teams are red hot; the Jets are coming off an actual win, and the Falcons are coming off a near-win in a game where I’m sure they were featured on RedZone a lot. Small victories!
Speaking genuinely, I’m sure there are some facts and figures you could dive into here. But mostly I just think the Jets are going to need a week or six to find their level after the emotional high of winning a football game last week. Could get ugly for a minute.
I actually hate both of these teams in this situation but you’ve got to pick one, you know? I’m just happy it will be played at 9:30 in the morning.
New Orleans (-1.5) over WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM
The Saints are going to be one of those teams this year, aren’t they?
HOUSTON (+9.5) over New England
For as good as the Patriots looked on Sunday night, they may be without … most of their offensive line for this one? Maybe they’ll get them back. If so, take the Patriots. If not, get ready for a 13-6 game that literally zero people will enjoy.
Tennessee (-4) over JACKSONVILLE
I mean, did you see the beginning of this story? No?
Well regardless, imagine how awful it is to be around Mike Vrabel for a whole week after he loses a football game — any football game, let alone a football game to the Jets. That must be A-W-F-U-L. The Titans are going to make sure they win this one by 50 just to avoid having to meet Loss Mike any time soon.
CAROLINA (-4) over Philadelphia
The Carolina Panthers are about to become one of the least impressive 4-1 teams in NFL history. That’s not even a knock. You can only play your schedule. Yada, yada, yada.
They’ve beaten the Jets, Saints, and Texans, who are a combined 4-8. They lost to the Cowboys, and now they can beat the Eagles, to make Philadelphia 1-4. Bonkers.
On the Eagles: One thing I’ve seen a few times on NFL Films mic’d up stuff now is Nick Sirianni introducing himself to other coaches and officials and whatnot before games, stating his full names. “Nice to meet you, I’m Nick Sirianni.” That’s very nice, and I’m sure Nick Sirianni’s parents feel proud of raising a young man with proper manners. But it’s also just not inspiring confidence to see a man who holds one of 32 NFL head coaching jobs feeling obligated to identify himself by his full name so often.
That’s legitimately analysis you can’t get anywhere else. You should be paying me for that. Pay up!
PITTSBURGH (-1) over Denver
The 3-1 Broncos are less impressive than the Panthers. Next!
Miami (+10) over TAMPA BAY
I don’t really like anybody against the Bucs, but injuries are a real concern. The cornerback situation is dire. Richard Sherman went from hanging out at home to playing 98 percent of the Bucs’ defensive snaps in the second-most-watched Sunday Night Football game in history. It was admittedly a weird one for Tom Brady, but the Bucs are losing a lot in the red zone without Rob Gronkowski, too.
Detroit (+9) over MINNESOTA
When you’ve got two teams that are both 2-2 against the spread, and one of them is a favorite for just the second time of the year, and that team also lost outright in their lone game as favorites, you go ahead and take the team with nine points, and you close your eyes, and you go to sleep, and you hope for the best.
Green Bay (-3) over CINCINNATI
I love that this line is three points. It’s exciting that the Bengals are climbing toward relevancy. Joe Burrow could be real good.
But, come on now.
Let’s not get carried away here.
Cleveland (+2.5) over LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
Sometimes sports are complicated. Sometimes people over-complicate sports.
I look at this game, and I see the No. 1 rushing offense in the NFL going against the 29th-ranked rushing defense in the NFL. And I say, ” … oh. OK. Simple enough.
LAS VEGAS (-5.5) over Chicago
Grumpy Gruden isn’t quite on the same level as Perturbed Vrabel, but he’s close. And Gruden’s definitely mad about losing on Monday Night Football, but he’s also still gotta be miffed about the lightning delay for an indoor game:
Gruden’s reaction to being told about the lightning delay. Just looking up at the roof pic.twitter.com/6cCEiSFCCp
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) October 5, 2021
ARIZONA (-5.5) over San Francisco
I base this on nothing, but what if Jimmy Garoppolo got shadow-benched on Sunday and his calf is fine? Rather than shame him with a benching for a rookie, Kyle Shanahan made up some fake calf injury that magically prevented Garoppolo from playing the second half, then had him believing he’d be out a few weeks, then had his prognosis magically improve to where he might be able to play this week? WHAT. IF?
Again, that’s based on nothing. But it’s definitely correct and accurate. Hurley had it first.
Anyway, Kyler Murray’s feet have done the impossible: They have made people want to watch Arizona Cardinals games. Or at least their offensive plays. That right there is a feat.
DALLAS (-7) over New York Giants
I can’t believe the Giants won a game. What a letdown. They were fun to laugh at. Alas. Nothing gold can stay. Or in this case, nothing rusted and sharp and covered mud and trash can stay.
Buffalo (+3) over KANSAS CITY
Well, well, well, if it isn’t the old Buffalo Bills, back in Kansas City, where they let us down with a dud of an AFC Championship Game last year. Well, well, freaking well. Will they dud it up again on Sunday night?
It feels like … no. The Bills have proven they weren’t a one-hit wonder, or they’re at least on their way to proving that, coming off a 40-0 win and averaging over 39 points in their last three games (all wins, with an average margin of victory of … 32 points. LOL!) And they appear to be catching the Chiefs at a vulnerable time. Unlike in the past three years, things don’t appear to be coming too easily for Patrick Mahomes’ team.
So while you can’t ever feel great about picking against the Chiefs, at home, on Sunday Night Football, against anybody, the circumstances of this one are as close as you can get.
BALTIMORE (-6.5) over Indianapolis
I will close with this Lamar Jackson quote:
“I said my butt cheek when I did the flip — not my back. I never said anything about my back.”
Lamar, thank you.
It’s not about the back. Got nothing to DO with the back.
You gotta give.
We should probably cut this off here.
Last week: 8-8