Urban Meyer spoke out for the first time since his tumultuous ending as the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach earlier this week.
Meyer, who was reportedly fired for cause after just 13 games and a multitude of scandals, again denied all accusations and allegations made against him to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Still, Meyer said he was “devastated” by the result.
"I just apologize to Jacksonville," Meyer said Friday, via the NFL Network. "I love Jacksonville. It's one of the reasons I took the job. I still think Shad's a great owner. It's heartbreaking. I just had a dream of it becoming a destination place with a new facility he agreed to build and some day to walk into that stadium where it's standing-room only. Because I know how bad the people of Jacksonville want it.
"So, I'm just heartbroken that we weren't able to do that. I still believe it's going to be done. It's too good of a place."
Urban Meyer fired after countless gaffes, scandals
Meyer’s short tenure in the NFL did not go well — and ended with him being fired on Wednesday after just 13 games in Jacksonville.
Among other things, Meyer briefly hired a former college strength coach who was in the middle of a scandal of his own, signed and then cut Tim Tebow, was investigated by the NLFPA, was caught on video drinking at a bar with a young woman who was not his wife after their loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in Ohio, started reportedly feuding with his players and assistants — even allegedly calling his coaches “losers” to their faces — and even reportedly kicked his former kicker after calling him a “dips***.”
The Jaguars reportedly fired Meyer as a result of all of his issues, and have fired him for cause — meaning they won’t pay him the rest of his contract. He signed a five-year deal reportedly worth about $9 million per season.
Though Meyer denied the allegations against him, he only briefly addressed a few of them specifically with Rapoport. He said he doesn't remember the incident with former kicker Josh Lambo the way Lambo does, and denied the incident with his coaches again. He also said his benching of running back James Robinson was prolonged due to "poor communication."
In general, the 57-year-old said he believes that both the college and professional games are “so fragile right now” and look very different than when he first started.
"I think college has changed quite a bit, too," Meyer said, via the NFL Network. "Just society has changed. You think how hard you pushed. … I believe there is greatness in everybody and it's the coach's job to find that greatness however you do that. Positive encouragement. Pushing them to be greater, making them work harder, identifying flaws and trying to fix [them].
"I think everything is so fragile right now. And that includes coaching staffs. When I got into coaching, coaches weren't making this kind of money and they didn't have agents. Everything is so fragile where it used to be team, team, team.”
As for what’s next for Meyer, he said that’s “to be determined.” He also insisted that his relationship with Jaguars owner Shad Khan is still fine — even after losing his job.
"I love our owner Shad. Shad's a great man," Meyer said, via the NFL Network. "Two reasons I took the job: One for him, the second reason was I loved Jacksonville and wanted to help turn around an organization that had been struggling."