Football Team

Where Urban Meyer ranks among worst coaches in NFL history

Football Team

The Urban Meyer era in Jacksonville is over.

Jaguars owner Shad Khan announced at 12:51 a.m. ET Thursday morning that the team was moving on from its first-year head coach. The news came after former Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo told the Tampa Bay Times that Meyer kicked him during warmups prior to a preseason game.

It was far from the only controversy surrounding Meyer. Back in October, a video circulated of him at an Ohio bar with a woman who was not his wife dancing closely to him. That came following a road loss to the Cincinnati Bengals as Meyer stayed in the state instead of taking the team plane home.

More recently, reports have come out saying that Meyer has created tension with players and members of his coaching staff, challenging his assistants to “defend their résumés.”

 

To top it all off, the Jaguars have been putrid on the field this season. The team went 2-11 under Meyer while ranking 30th in yards per game, 31st in points per game and 27th in points allowed per game. Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, has just one touchdown pass over his last six games and has not tallied multiple touchdowns in a game since his pro debut.

The Jags will finish out the season with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell as the interim head coach, but the 13 games under Meyer led to another wasted season in Jacksonville.

Meyer’s Jaguars stint was a disaster. Here’s a look at where Meyer falls among the worst coaching catastrophes in NFL history:

Who was the last NFL coach that failed to make it through their first season?

Meyer became the first coach that did not complete their first NFL season since Bobby Petrino in 2007 (h/t ProFootballTalk).

Like Meyer, Petrino made the move from college football to the pros. Petrino went 3-10 (.231 win percentage) with the Atlanta Falcons in his first NFL campaign before ditching the franchise and taking the head job at Arkansas.

Which coach has the worst record in NFL history?

Of the 511 head coaches in NFL history, 413 of them held their job for at least 10 games. Meyer is one of just 23 to reach that threshold and win less than 20% of his games.

Here is the full list of coaches with 10 or more games under their belt and a win percentage below .200, including one of Meyer’s former AFC South counterparts:

  • Herb Joesting (1929): 1-9, .100
  • Rick Venturi (1991, 1996): 2-17, .105
  • Phil Handler (1943-45, 1949, 1951): 4-34, .105
  • Marty Feldman (1961-62): 2-15, .118
  • Jim Ringo (1976-77): 3-20, .130
  • Johnny Bryan (1925-26): 2-13, .133
  • Pete Cawthon (1943-44): 2-13, .133
  • Norb Hecker (1966-68): 4-26-1, .133
  • Carl Voyles (1948): 2-12, .143
  • Pete Henry (1926, 1928): 3-17-3, .150
  • Urban Meyer (2021): 2-11, .154
  • David Culley (2021): 2-11, .154
  • Chris Palmer (1999-2000): 5-27, .156
  • Marty Mornhinweg (2000-01): 5-27, .156
  • Luby Dimeolo (1934):  2-10, .167
  • Mike Nixon (1959-60, 1965): 6-30-2, .167
  • Rob Dowhower (1985-86): 5-24, .172
  • Ted Nesser (1920-21): 3-14-2, .176
  • Bert Bell (1936-41): 10-46-2, .179
  • Joe Thomas (1974): 2-9, .182
  • Hank Bullough (1978, 1985-86): 4-18, .182
  • Les Steckel (1984): 3-13, .188
  • Steve Wilks (2018): 3-13, .188

Culley has a chance to move out of this list and bring his career win percentage to .214 when his Houston Texans face the Jags in Jacksonville on Sunday. A Texans loss would bring Culley’s percentage down to .143.