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Urban Meyer Mishandles Yet Another Jaguars Player

  • The Draft Network
  • December 7, 2021
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Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer continues to deal with team matters in a rather puzzling fashion. Jacksonville's most recent embarrassment was a thorough defeat by the Los Angeles Rams by a hearty four-score margin (37-7). The lackluster performance has largely been lost in the shuffle in the wake of yet another player dispute involving Meyer and his questionable coaching tactics. Meyer has largely struggled with honesty since taking over as Jacksonville's head honcho and his latest controversy unfortunately contains more of the same.

Lead running back James Robinson handled the football on just eight occasions in the blowout defeat. It’s an oddly low workload for an excellent player on a team that largely lacks playmakers on the offensive side of the ball. Robinson is by far Jacksonville’s most talented skill position player and should be heavily involved on a weekly basis. That wasn't the case. Robinson lost a fumble for the second consecutive contest and didn’t see the field for quite some time following his turnover. Robinson was ultimately out-touched by veteran journeyman Carlos Hyde. 

Meyer was vehemently questioned about Robinson's lack of usage against the Rams and chose to answer questions in a rather non-committal fashion. When asked if Robinson was benched following his fumble, Meyer had the following to say:

"He's still not 100 percent health-wise," Meyer said. "We were giving Hyde an opportunity."

When questioned whether or not Robinson would have remained in the game following his fumble if not for his alleged health issues, Meyer responded in rather shrewd fashion with a, "Oh, sure."

The issue with deferring to health regarding Robinson's 20-play absence? Robinson carried the ball on three of Jacksonville's final four plays from scrimmage, which accounted for nearly half of his carries for the day (eight). If Robinson's part-time role was truly due to injury, why is he playing in the final minutes of a 37-7 game? Jacksonville's offense struggled mightily throughout the contest and placing their most talented playmaker on the sidelines for an extended period of time chalks up as yet another puzzling decision from Meyer in a year where he's made no shortage of them.

Credit Jaguars local media members for refusing to let the bewildering incident go, and that's when Meyer expectedly passed the buck.

"You'd have to ask running backs coach Bernie Parmalee,” Meyer said. I don't get too involved. I don't micromanage that."

Of course he doesn’t. This story gets weirder by the minute. Robinson was recently asked if he believes he was benched following his fumble. Adding fuel to the fire, Robinson didn't seem to agree with Meyer's half-hearted explanations.

"Was I benched? I would say so," Robinson told Action Sports Jacksonville. "When you fumble and you're removed from the game for that long, you have to feel that way [it was a benching]. I was waiting for my chance to re-enter the game, but it didn't happen until the third quarter."

Yikes. The seemingly growing disconnect between Meyer and his star running back is especially concerning, and yet another perplexing occurrence in a 2-10 campaign that's been riddled with unwelcomed and unnecessary conflicts within the coaching staff. Meyer continues to live at the center of team-based dissension. Meyer continues to coach the Jaguars with an unprecedented amount of toxicity.

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