One of the many incidents that defined Urban Meyer’s infamous tenure as the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach was his decision not to fly back with the team after their Week 4 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Doug Pederson won’t be making the same mistake this weekend when he attends the Hall-of-Fame ceremony.
Pederson met with the local media earlier this week and said that he would fly back with the team after Thursday’s 27-10 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders and then return to Canton, Ohio to attend the HOF ceremony.
"I’ll be going back up with Trent [Baalke] and will meet Shad [Khan] up there. Be there in support of Tony [Boselli], his family Of course, with LeRoy [Butler], coach [Dick Vermeil], and some of the others I know. It will be good to be there and to witness it first-hand."
It’s standard procedure to fly with the team and wouldn’t have been a big deal if it weren’t for Meyer, who stayed in native Ohio after the Thursday Night game against Cincy last year. He said at the time that he was going to spend time with his grandkids but instead went to a bar and was caught dancing improperly with a young woman that wasn’t his wife.
Not aware of the video evidence, Meyer tried to claim that a group invited him to join them on the dancefloor. To make matters worse, he tried to pin the blame on general manager Trent Baalke, who had seemingly approved the head coach’s plan. Here’s a clip of Pederson telling the media he’ll be making the trip, via Jamal St. Cyr of News4JAX.
The Jaguars probably want to forget the Urban Meyer era
The first sign Meyer wasn’t a fit to coach a professional football team was when he announced Chris Doyle would be director of sports performance. This seemed like a big promotion for Doyle, who had a history of mistreating players and using racial slurs as the strength and conditioning coach at Iowa.
Meyer and the Jaguars later backtracked and announced Doyle wouldn’t be joining the team after all. However, that was one of many red flags that showed up during Meyer’s short stint in Jacksonville. His abuse of players and the coaching staff, his lack of knowledge, and his reduced emotional intelligence were among many of the reasons he didn’t last a year on the job.
Meanwhile, Pederson is well-liked by his players and has done a good job removing the stench his predecessor left. Similarly, he understands he’s in a position of authority and knows that expectations come with it.
LeRoy Butler, who was his teammate, during his playing days will be enshrined Saturday but instead of spending the weekend in Ohio fraternizing, he’s traveling back to Jacksonville and later returning. Is it tedious? Most certainly but Pederson is a professional and won’t do anything that will reflect poorly on him or the Jaguars.
There’s a night and day difference between Pederson and Meyer and the fact that the latter couldn’t do something as inconsequential as flying with the team shows he wasn’t suited to coach a professional team.