One game into his NFL tenure, Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer is already facing questions about his commitment to the pros, but the former Ohio State coach on Wednesday shot down any rumors linking him elsewhere -- specifically to the now open job at USC.
“There’s no chance," Meyer said on Wednesday when asked about recent rumors that have suggested he could have interest in the Trojans' head coaching job.
"I’m here and committed to try to build an organization.”
Meyer has faced criticism since the Jaguars hired him in January, but the criticisms have ramped up in recent weeks as the Jaguars limped through a 1-2 preseason. The heat got turned up on Sunday when Meyer's NFL debut ended in a dud, with the Jaguars looking sloppy and unprepared in a 37-21 loss to the Houston Texans.
As such, Meyer's name had been connected to the USC job by national media all throughout this week. USC fired head coach Clay Helton on Monday after seven seasons, and many looked to Meyer as a potential replacement.
But the Jaguars head coach denied any such rumors on Wednesday, instead placing his focus on the Jaguars' impending Week 2 home opener against the Denver Broncos.
The Jaguars are currently riding a 16-game losing streak that dates back to Week 2 of the 2020 season. Meyer is now 0-1 in NFL action, but he stressed on Wednesday that he doesn't see the Jaguars as a long-term rebuild -- at least that isn't how is choosing to look at his team's future following a bumpy start.
“I don’t want to ever fall into that trap of saying, this is [a] four-year plan, three-year plan,” Meyer said.
“That’s not fair to players. This is a one-game plan and then we’ll worry about the next game. There’s some guys that played a lot of football in that locker room and they deserve our very best and that’s what it is. Other than a bruised soul that we all have right now we’re still swinging away and like I said you’d probably see a little different look on my face if I had bad guys. That’s not the case at all.”
Meyer was hired by Jaguars owner Shad Khan in January and has since been given control of the Jaguars' entire football operation, resulting in approved plans for new practice facilities and a remade sports performance program.
But despite those, the Jaguars looked like the 2020 version of the Jaguars on Sunday. Now, Meyer will look to reverse that trend in Week 2 as he continues to have his name swirl in headlines nationally.