Jaguars S Andrew Wingard hurt Urban Meyer's massive ego with most benign remarks ever

• Jaguars S Andre Wingard wanted to help Urban Meyer

• Dewey got berated and threatened for trying to help

Oct 31, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer.
Oct 31, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer. / Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Everybody is aware of how terrible Urban Meyer was during his short stint with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Heck, you could say out loud that he's the worst coach in NFL history and nobody will bat an eye. What not everybody knows is that safety Andrew Wingard tried to show support for Meyer and was threatened in return.

Tyler Dunne of Go Long recently talked about the turnaround the Jaguars have undergone under Doug Pederson and the stark contrast with his predecessor. The whole story is worth reading but the highlight might be an anecdote about Meyer that Wingard shared

Wingard, through Dunne, says that Jaguars players on the defensive side held a meeting after the 31-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 8. The bottom line was that it was up to the defense to help their first-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence and rookie head coach Urban Meyer.

About that, Meyer was an experienced head coach at the collegiate level but he had never coached in the pros before, so the rookie label was accurate. However, he didn't take the characterization well. After the meeting, the player known as Dewey got a phone call from safeties coach Chris Ash but it was Meyer the one reaching out. Here's what happened next:

"“He says, ‘Dewey, why the hell did you call me a rookie head coach? Tell me why. If it was anybody else right now, you’d already be cut,’” Wingard relives. “Explain yourself to me is essentially what he said. So I had to freaking save face and tell him how much I love him and how he’s the greatest coach ever. … You’re sitting there on your off-night chilling and you get a call from your head coach: ‘Hey, I’m going to cut you if you don’t apologize for calling me a rookie head coach.’”"

All things considered, that feels like an overreaction to what was a genuine attempt at helping Meyer. Like why would being called a rookie rub him the wrong way? Wingard didn't lie or say anything disparaging. Insted, he tried to help and he got berated for it.

This isn't the first time that the veteran safety talks about how much of a disaster the Urban Meyer was. Following the win over the Baltimore Ravens last season, Dewey talked about how bad Meyer was and added that nobody had it worse than Trevor Lawrence in 2021.

Wingard isn't the only player that has talked about what the Jaguars had to go through during the Meyer debacle. Wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr., now with the Detroit Lions, said that he knew almost from the very beginning that it wasn't going to work out. Similarly, he called Meyer broken.

Andrew Wingard remains with the Jaguars while Urban Meyer is persona nón-gráta in the NFL

You might be wondering why Wingard or any other players didn't speak sooner about Meyer's tyrannical methods and this anecdote is a reason why. Players, along with assistants, were consistently threatened and belittled. And by speaking out, they ran the risk of losing their job.

The good news is that Meyer is toxic and pretty much unemployable after details of his failed stint with the Jaguars arose. Moreover, the Jaguars are in great shape ahead of the 2023 season. What's even more impressive is that many of the players that were on the roster when Meyer was the coach, including Wingard, are still on the team.

That goes on to show that being a head coach is more than Xs and Os and you need to press the right buttons if you want to get the most out of them. Pederson knows how to do it and he's been able to connect with his players from the moment he got hired.

Given the Jags' recent success, you could argue that it doesn't make sense to bring up the Urban Meyer era. But by revisiting it, they can remember how far they've come since the end of the 2021 season.

Here are other recent Jaguars stories you might also like: