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Urban Meyer: Internal conversations have been “horrible”

Tony Dungy joins Michael Holley to explain why Urban Meyer's biggest mistake was not returning with the team after a loss and outlines why it might be too late to repair respect among his players.

Jaguars coach Urban Meyer next meets with reporters on Wednesday. In the interim, he conducted his weekly radio show. And, obviously, he addressed what quickly has become the biggest controversy in the NFL.

Via Mark Long of the Associated Press, Meyer said that the internal conversations regarding his misadventures in Ohio “have been horrible.” He said that he has “to move forward and regain the trust” of the organization.

“The locker room has been my entire life,” Meyer said, “how we build it, how we treat it, how we earn their trust.”

As team owner Shad Khan made clear in the statement he issued on Tuesday, Meyer has squandered that trust.

Some will raise eyebrows at Meyer’s attempt to foist responsibility for getting things back on track with the players.

“The ownership of this team is with the players,” Meyer said, regarding the question of getting the team ready to play the Titans on Sunday. “I don’t believe that’s in my court. . . . The leaders on the team are going to make that decision. It depends on how much trust you have built up with them, how we structure everything this week and focus on winning that game. . . . I’m going to be extremely clear as I can. Our staff is working their tails off. But you know as well as I do that the ownership of this team is with the players.”

That’s a copout, frankly. The coach drives the bus, not the players. Yes, the players need to be fully engaged. This week, their coach has interfered with their ability to do that. At a time when they should be preparing for facing the Titans -- and avoiding becoming the third team in NFL history to lose 20 games in a row -- their coach has committed a bizarre unforced error that has created a major internal distraction. That’s on Meyer an no one else.