Jimmy Johnson says Urban Meyer firing included ‘backstabbing’

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Hall of Fame head coach Jimmy Johnson had some interesting things to say about his pal Urban Meyer and what led to his firing in Jacksonville.

Johnson, while appearing on Fox’s Sunday pregame show, implied that the former Jaguars head coach was betrayed by his staff in a “backstabbing” environment.

“Going to Jacksonville, just like when I went to Dallas, you knew you were gonna lose, you’re gonna have adversity,” said Johnson, whose resume includes a successful transition from coaching at the college level in Miami to the NFL with the Cowboys.

“The difference is, in Dallas, I had my entire coaching staff from college. I had my administrative assistant, I had my P.R. director, I had my trainer. We were all on the same page when we had adversity. He didn’t have that in Jacksonville. There was a lot of backstabbing, one thing or the other, because he didn’t have his people.”

Urban Meyer was fired by the Jaguars on Dec. 16, 2021.
Urban Meyer was fired by the Jaguars on Dec. 16, 2021.
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On Saturday, Meyer addressed his firing for the first time, and told NFL.com that he recently spoke with Johnson.

Johnson joined the Cowboys in 1989, after five seasons at the University of Miami. When he made the move, Johnson hired his Hurricanes college staff in Dallas, where he spent five seasons and won two Super Bowls before a falling out with owner Jerry Jones.

While Meyer had major success as head coach at Florida and Ohio State, he took two seasons off before he was lured out of retirement and into the NFL this season.

Jimmy Johnson celebrates the Cowboys' Super Bowl XXVIII victory.
Jimmy Johnson celebrates the Cowboys’ Super Bowl XXVIII victory.
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Jaguars owner Shad Khan announced Meyer’s dismissal last Thursday, following a string of negative headlines, including reports of dysfunction within the organization.

Meyer allegedly called his assistant coaches “losers,” and had mounting tensions with the roster, specifically Marvin Jones. More recently, former Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo alleged that Meyer kicked him during a practice in August.

Meyer denied the allegations and reports to NFL.com.

“I just apologize to Jacksonville,” Meyer said. “I love Jacksonville. It’s one of the reasons I took the job. I still think Shad’s a great owner. It’s heart-breaking.” 

Urban Meyer speaks with Jaguars assistant Brian Schottenheimer
Urban Meyer speaks with Jaguars assistant Brian Schottenheimer
Getty Images

Meyer and the Jaguars were 2-11 before he was let go. The team now stands at 2-12 after a 30-16 loss to the Texans on Sunday in the first game under interim head coach Darrell Bevell

“I tell people, losing eats away at your soul,” he said. “Once you start losing, it’s hard on everybody.”

As for what Meyer’s next move will be? He said, “To be determined.” Meyer has not received any coaching calls since his failed Jaguars experiment, according to the outlet.

The Jaguars visit the Jets this Sunday.

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