As the smorgasbord of failures and embarrassments piled up, it was the lagging performance and measured concern of quarterback Trevor Lawrence that signaled the end for Urban Meyer.
Not the Chris Doyle fiasco. Not the offseason fines or Tim Tebow fantasy camp. Not skipping a team flight and the infamous viral bar video that followed. Not even allegedly kicking a former player during practice. To be sure, these incidents were all somewhere on the scale of being fireable.
But when it came to Jacksonville Jaguars ownership looking at the future of the franchise, only one of Meyer’s transgressions was utterly unforgivable:
Burning Lawrence’s rookie season to the ground, and losing the quarterback in the process.
Of course, it’s unlikely Lawrence will pile on here. Meyer is gone, what’s done is done, and the kid seems too smart to pop champagne corks over the career demise of his former head coach — even if Meyer earned every bit of it. Instead, the move here for Lawrence is to be above all of it, expressing some contrition that it didn’t work out with Meyer and looking toward the future as ownership does the dirty work.
But if you’ve been paying attention to the details from the start, the Meyer-Lawrence dynamic wasn’t going to last on this trajectory. Particularly after the Niagara Falls of tea was spilled to NFL Network last weekend, in a bombshell report that is starting to look like it may have been teeing up Meyer to be fired for cause, rather than just some aggrieved whistleblowing. Clearly, someone in that organization wanted him gone. Likely someone high on the food chain, if not at the very top. And you can bet Lawrence’s fade under Meyer — along with some of the quarterback’s comments — became a flashing red light in the system.
Not only has Lawrence appeared to regress over the balance of the season, it’s notable that when Meyer was fired, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell wasn’t pushed out the door with him. Instead, Bevell was…