Trailing 31-19, the Jacksonville Jaguars had the opportunity to score. They were on the Tennessee Titans one-yard line. The Jags couldn’t score and turn the ball over on downs. To make matters worse, center Brandon Linder suffered an ankle injury. That wasn’t the end of it though, as head coach Urban Meyer’s comments to the local media after the Jags’ 37-19 loss to the Titans showed a lack of disconnect between him and the team.
During the aforementioned fourth-and-one play, running back Carlos Hyde carried the ball and but ended up getting tackled for a loss. At the time, this looked like a puzzling decision because James Robinson averaged more than eight carries in the game and had scored earlier in the game.
When asked about the decision to hand Hyde the ball, Meyer said he wasn’t aware who was or wasn’t on the field. He then said he was he didn’t micromanage the team. That’s simply not acceptable. This wasn’t a matter of “micromanaging” but rather common sense. How do you not know who is or isn’t on the field? At a time when the best players are supposed to be in, the head coach didn’t know what was going on.
This wasn’t the only concerning comment by the Jaguars head coach.
During the same sitdown, Meyer contradicted a statement Lawrence said. The former Clemson Tiger told the local media that he felt comfortable running on potential quarterback sneaks. However, the head coach says that he isn’t yet comfortable calling that kind of play.
"And the quarterback sneak, he’s not quite comfortable with it yet. We’ve been practicing that. I know that might sound silly but we’ve never done it. It’s something that we need to continue to make that, so you can make that call in that critical situation."
It’s uncertain how much input Lawrence has in the game plan but the Jaguars need to get him more involved. How do Meyer and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell not know that the rookie quarterback does feel comfortable about running a sneak? It’s true that quarterbacks are exposed to injuries when running the ball but the benefits might have outweighed the risk at that moment.
After all, quarterback sneaks tend to catch opposing defenses by surprise. Instead of giving the ball to Hyde, the Jags could have given Lawrence the chance to score. Here is Meyer’s whole presser in case you want to take a look at it.
Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack didn’t wear the green dot.
Meyer also told the media that linebacker Myles Jack is no longer wearing the green dot on the helmet and now Damien Wilson does. The head coach told the local media that they figured that Jack performs better when he has less on his plate.
"We have been evaluating that because Myles plays three positions, base nickel, dime. And it’s something we’ve been working on and he played his best football. We just did some research, he plays best when he doesn’t have to make the call."
How did the Jags didn’t figure this out before the start of the season? This is something they had to check in the offseason, not several weeks into the regular season.
There are many reasons why the Jaguars lost to the Titans in Week 5. Their inability to stop Titans’ passing game is one. Their lack of points on the scoreboard is another. However, the most concerning one may have been the lack of involvement from head coach Urban Meyer.