As many of you know, I am a very hard grader when it comes to player performances. I may be the hardest grader out there. However, at a time like this I ask myself what I would do if I were the general manager (GM) of the Jacksonville Jaguars…
First, let me begin by saying this is a very tough spot for Jaguars’ GM Trent Baalke to be in. I honestly can not say I have seen many situations like this in my 40 years of watching the game. His team is 0-4 and the foundation is shaking around top draft choice, quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
It also does not help that we live in an America that is built like the Roman Colosseum. As soon as anyone in the public light screws up, society lines up to drive the nails in.
What would I do if I was faced with this situation?
The first thing I would do is say something. I would call a team meeting and request Urban Meyer to stand next to me as I address the entire team:
“Jaguars team, I stand next to this man Urban Meyer, our head coach. Let me begin by saying I believe none of us is above reproach. I have screwed up plenty in my life – – as much if not more than this man…
In my first marriage, I hired a prostitute in my hotel room at the NFL Scouting Combine. That was two marriages ago. I am only standing before you today by the grace of God – – and the grace of God alone.
Yes, Urban Meyer is our head coach, but he is also a man – – a man like you and a man like me. As our team owner, Mr. Khan has said, his actions are inexcusable, but also let me remind us all, his actions are also forgivable.
It is a choice that we all have.
While it is easiest to run Coach Meyer out of town on a rail, I would like to take this opportunity to make us a team – – a real team – – a team of men – – real men. Can I please see a show of hands in this room who has not made a mistake in their lives?
By no means, am I trying to minimize the actions of our head coach, but at the same time by no means, am I trying to throw stones at a man when I myself should have been stoned long ago.
Grace gentlemen. I am asking for us to extend grace towards our head coach at this hour. I extend grace towards our head coach at this hour. I extend my hand to Urban Meyer and I extend my support to him. I know that is what I would want more than anything if I were in his shoes right now.
It is easier to run him out of town than to rally around him, but let me suggest if we rally around him we just may become a team today.
I do not care about our record right now. Our record says what we have done, it does not say who we are as men. What we do in this hour will define who we are as men.
Where we go from here is up to us and it will be decided right here…right now in this room.
I believe we can still rise up and win the Super Bowl…but it is going to take us being a team to get there. Every single player and coach in this room is a professional. Every player in this room is just as big or fast or small as any other player – – every player in here is just as strong as any other player. Every player has an agent, a diet, and a training regime. There is no difference between the men who are in this room and the men who will be holding the Vince Lombardi Trophy at the end of this season. The only difference is found from the neck up and in the heart and soul of the men who play this game.
I heard something that a player on our team said Urban Meyer has “zero credibility” right now.
I believe in you Urban Meyer. Look at this man’s resume. This man has been to the top of the fucking mountain. This man has won National Championships….
But now, this man has slipped on that mountain….now….this man lost his grip on that mountain and is hanging there…helplessly… He is fucking hanging there on the side of that mountain.
Who is going to help him up?
I sure am. Take my hand Coach Meyer, let me help you up, because I for one sure as hell would not even be on the mountain right now had it not been for kind hearted people who helped me to get here .
Who else will extend their hand to Coach Meyer?
Who else in this room hopes like hell there will be a hand…a hand like this one.. …if you ever need the help?
I sure hope there will be…
Coach Meyer can get us to where we all want to go – – I have a hold of Coach Meyer’s hand, but I am not strong enough to pull him up all by myself…
I can not catch the ball, I can not throw the ball, I can not make tackles, I can not kick the ball or make blocks…I can not run the ball and I can not score any touchdowns.
Who else here will help me pull up our head coach? Come up here to this stage if you will help me pull him up from the side of this mountain he is hanging on….
If we are going to fight as a team, conquer as a team, win as a team, and be champions as a team…we need to be a team right now….
Or we will die as a team…
Who’s with me…
Who’s with me…
Who’s with me…”
Daniel Kelly is a former NFL scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions and he is a contributing evaluator for Draft Diamonds. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @danielkellybook and his Facebook page is WHATEVER IT TAKES NFL TALK.