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Urban Meyer apologizes to Jacksonville, heartbroken over firing

Meyer was fired after 13 games because of his numerous issues that were a public relations disaster for the franchise.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — In his first public comments, Urban Meyer told NFL Network he was heartbroken by his dismissal by the Jaguars on Thursday because he won't get a chance to turn the Jaguars into a destination place.

Meyer was fired after 13 games because of his numerous issues that were a public relations disaster for the franchise, and he didn't have the necessary answers to resolve the team's problems on the field. 

Jaguars owner Shad Khan spokesman, Jim Woodcock, issued a statement Friday that the decision to fire Meyer had already been made before former kicker Josh Lambo went public with his allegation that Meyer kicked him during a practice in August.

''I just apologize to Jacksonville," Meyer told the NFL Network on Friday. "I love Jacksonville. It's one of the reasons I took the job. I still think Shad's a great owner. It's heart-breaking. I just had a dream of it becoming a destination place with a new facility he agreed to build and some day to walk into that stadium where it's standing room only. Because I know how bad the people of Jacksonville want it. So, I'm just heartbroken that we weren't able to do that. I still believe it's going to be done. It's too good of a place." 

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It went downhill for Meyer, 57, starting in October when two embarrassing videos surfaced on Twitter. One of the videos showed Meyer touching a woman's backside in a restaurant bar in Columbus, Ohio. Another video showed Meyer sitting in a chair while a woman who is not his wife was seen dancing up to him.

Instead of flying back with the team after their 24-21 Thursday night loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 4 that dropped the Jaguars to 0-4, Meyer chose to remain in Ohio.

And just more than a week ago, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported, citing sources, that Meyer had multiple run-ins with players and coaches that had developed into an ongoing tension at the Jaguars facility for months.

Fired for cause

A league source confirmed the Jaguars fired Meyer for cause, voiding the final four years left on his contract. Meyer declined comment when he asked during the NFL Network interview if there has been ongoing discussions regarding his contract.

''"I tell people, losing eats away at your soul," Meyer said. "Once you start losing, it's hard on everybody. I thought at one point, when we won two out of three, there was some momentum, great energy, the defense was really playing well. We were running the ball and then when that dried up on us, then we started turning the ball over. We had that bye week and then James Robinson gets hurt."

You can read more from our partners at the Florida Times-Union.


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