The Jacksonville Jaguars completed their remarkable one-year turnaround on Saturday, securing the AFC South title with a 20-16 win over the Tennessee Titans. And after seeing his team blossom under the leadership of their new head coach Doug Pederson during the season, wide receiver Marvin Jones says the main problem with the 2021 Jags was one man: former head coach Urban Meyer.
Following the Jags' win, Jones was asked by ESPN's Jeremy Fowler if he thought the team was broken after spending half the year being coached by Meyer, whose time in Jacksonville was marred by embarrassing screw-ups, bad coaching and unrelenting selfishness. But Jones wasn't having any of it.
Marvin Jones on the notion the #Jaguars were broken after last year with Urban Meyer.
"I think one person was broken. It wasn't us," he said.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) January 8, 2023
Jones doesn't believe the team was broken after the 2021 Meyer-pocalypse. To him, the only person who was broken was Meyer himself. And given that Meyer was accused of yelling and bullying coaches and players (and even allegedly kicked a player), that's not hard to believe.
It's also not hard to believe from a pure football perspective. The Jags added some players over the offseason, and they got Travis Etienne back from injury, but Pederson didn't inherit a roster that was too terribly different from what Meyer got. The results, however, are night and day. Under Meyer, the Jags went 3-14 (he was officially fired after Week 14, with a 2-11 record), the NFL's worst record in 2021, and quarterback Trevor Lawrence looked like an immediate bust. Under Pederson, Lawrence looked substantially improved, the Jags went 9-8 (their first winning record since 2017), and no players were allegedly kicked.
The Jags are also headed to the playoffs for the first time since the 2017 season and just the second time since 2007. To Jones, a team that could do what the Jags have done this season could never have been broken.