WATFORD, England — Jacksonville Jaguars coach Urban Meyer promised Friday to not miss another team flight.
The last time he did, Meyer ended up embarrassing the franchise and drawing a public reprimand from owner Shad Khan after videos surfaced of the coach’s behavior in an Ohio bar.
Meyer, speaking outside London ahead of Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins, had opted not to fly back with his winless team following Jacksonville’s 24-21 loss at Cincinnati on Sept. 30, a Thursday night. It’s a highly unusual move for any coach, but Meyer said Friday that he had given the players three days off and his coaches two days off after the loss. He said he stayed in Ohio to visit his grandsons.
“Yeah, I look back now ... I talked to our GM about it. It didn’t seem like a big deal, but yeah that’s something I won’t do,” Meyer said Friday.
Instead of joining his team on the flight, Meyer remained in his home state of Ohio to see family members and went to dinner that Friday at his restaurant/bar in Columbus, Urban Meyer’s Pint House.
The first video shows a young woman dancing between the 57-year-old Meyer’s legs as he was sitting on a bar stool. The second, taken from a different angle, shows Meyer’s right hand on or near her bottom.
Khan publicly reprimanded Meyer for the coach’s “inexcusable” behavior and said Meyer must “regain our trust and respect.” Meyer had earlier apologized to his family, his team and Khan for actions he called “just stupid.”
The Jaguars slipped to their 20th consecutive loss in a 37-19 defeat to the Tennessee Titans last Sunday.
Rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence expressed confidence in Meyer on Friday when asked about the coach rebuilding trust in the locker room.
“He’s done a good job of handling the situation,” Lawrence said. “Obviously he’s had conversations with the team and one on one, all of us. Just him being the same guy, coming to work. Super hard worker, really cares about this team. No one can deny that. We’re in a good spot, and we all respect him, and we’re just ready to go win some games.”
Meyer said he has spoken to Khan “several times” and that he’s working on rebuilding trust with the team.
“We’re focused on making steady improvement, which you’ve seen certainly on offense. ... Consistent effort, improvement and then try to go win a game. How do you earn trust? Over time — time and just being around them,” Meyer said.
As Jacksonville edges closer to the Buccaneers’ NFL-record 26 consecutive losses, the longtime college coach who used to lead the Florida Gators and who made the jump to the NFL this season downplayed a question about whether he personally has a lot at stake Sunday.
“I don’t look at anything personally,” Meyer said. “I look at our team and how hard they’ve worked and how close they’ve come and the improvements we’ve made. ... but I don’t look at everything by myself. We have a heck of a locker room, and the guys are working their tails off.”