Jaguars’ Urban Meyer fired, joins the Bobby Petrino club

First-year Jacksonville head coach Urban Meyer was fired Wednesday after a brief and tumultuous tenure. Meyer is the first NFL head coach since Bobby Petrino not to finish his first season.

FLOWERY BRANCH -- Jacksonville owner Shad Khan fired first-year coach Urban Meyer late Wednesday night after a tumultuous tenure.

Meyer became the first NFL head coach since Bobby Petrino, who was the Falcons’ head coach for part of 2007 season, not to finish his first season.

“Darrell Bevell will serve as interim head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars for the balance of the 2021 season,” Khan said in a statement. “Darrell succeeds Urban Meyer. After deliberation over many weeks and a thorough analysis of the entirety of Urban’s tenure with our team, I am bitterly disappointed to arrive at the conclusion that an immediate change is imperative for everyone. I informed Urban of the change this evening. As I stated in October, regaining our trust and respect was essential. Regrettably, it did not happen.”

The tipping point for Khan was a report in the Tampa Bay Times that Meyer kicked his place-kicker Josh Lambo in August.

“Trent Baalke continues as our general manager and will work with Darrell to ensure that our team will be inspired and competitive while representing Jacksonville proudly over our final four games of the season,” Khan said. “In the spirit of closure and recharging our players, staff and fan base, I will not comment further until some point following the conclusion of the NFL season.”

Petrino, who was hired in 2007 after Jim Mora was fired, lasted only 13 games before leaving for Arkansas. He was hired in part to maximize Michael Vick’s talent.

When Vick get entangled in a federal dogfighting investigation, Petrino became disenchanted with his new job.

Petrino had a 3-10 record with the Falcons. The veterans on the team were elated with his departure. His college approach – which included no talking on the plane rides and Saturday walk-throughs – was not very popular.

Petrino had success at Arkansas, but was fired for personal misconduct. He’s currently the head coach at Missouri State.

Meyer is one of the more successful coaches in college football history, but his tactics didn’t work with professionals.

Falcons safety Lawyer Milloy scratched through Bobby Petrino's letter to the players and replaced his name with the word "Coward!" at the team facility in Flowery Branch.    CURTIS COMPTON / Staff

Credit: Curtis Compton

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Credit: Curtis Compton

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Buccaneers 48, Falcons 25

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Washington 34, Falcons 30

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