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Head Coach Urban Meyer


Q. What are your thoughts about the game today?

URBAN MEYER: Awful. Just appreciated the fact that (we) had some guys play their tails off. I mean, like really play their tails off. But the game of football will always be about complementary football, and that's offense, defense working together, and obviously special teams, and when that happens, you win games. We're not doing that right now. The best defense is sustained drives, first downs, and obviously score points, and that didn't happen today. Defense gave up a couple drives, but they were on the field far too long. I was very appreciative of the fact that they were swinging as hard as they possibly could in that second half. Even sudden changes they were out there sacking the quarterback, stopping the run. I know we gave up a few points, but they were on the field far too long.

Q. What do you say to Trevor (Lawrence) after four interceptions and no points?

URBAN MEYER: Yeah, it's tough. I grabbed him a little bit. I'm going to grab him again here in a minute. It's tough. It's growing pains. To say that's all on Trevor (Lawrence), of course not. When you run eight times for eight yards or something like that, that's -- losing sucks. That's all I can tell you. It eats at away at your soul. You got to regroup. I keep bragging about the locker room because there is a great locker room in there, guys fighting, guys that want to win. There's no pointing fingers. I've seen that before. Not very often in my lifetime, but I've seen it. There's none of that. But we just have to play better and go beat Houston next week.

Q. How much does just the offense regress, not even taking a step forward but --

URBAN MEYER: Yeah, that's what was so disappointing. I went back and getting ready for this game, you look at the trajectory of that offense, Arizona Cardinals, you've got the Titans, the Miami -- you saw some really, really positive things. We started off slow with some interceptions. I'm talking about beginning of the season. I actually spent a lot of time with our defense because I thought that's where we're going to transition from, a little bit more man to zone because I was very pleased with the offense the way it was moving forward, and then after the bye week it's been a weekly struggle. What is the issue? If it was one issue you'd fix the one issue. I think it starts with the inability to consistently run the ball and be a run play action offense. The last week against -- whoever we played last week -- yeah, Rams. We're not getting the movement. We're not running the ball very effectively, and then today just couldn't run the ball.

Q. On the Ryan Tannehill touchdown run in the third quarter, it looked like you were maybe trying to get a time-out. Can you take us through --

URBAN MEYER: Yeah, we misaligned on defense, and right at the last second you can't get a timeout like that.

Q. There have been reports in the last 24 hours about dysfunction on the team, you having an incident with Marvin Jones, you having some acrimony with the assistant coaches, saying to one assistant that they were losers because their resume didn't have any, I guess, championship or winning seasons, whatever. Can you at least address that and whether it's accurate?

URBAN MEYER: Yeah, calling someone a loser, that's inaccurate. I have high expectations for our coaches. I'm very demanding of our coaches and expect guys to be held accountable for their positions, and the times when they're not, we address it. But I assure you there was not whatever report -- Amy (Palcic) told me something about that. That's nonsense. And then the other -- oh, Marvin Jones. Marvin Jones had a conversation because he came to me and said that there was something in the media, and I said, what's that, and I didn't read it, and he said that people were blaming the receivers for all the issues on offense. And I went back and I looked at it, and it was about -- I think I said something like we have some injury issues and some lack of consistency. We talked about that, and he's great. We moved on, and he just -- one thing about Marvin (Jones), and there's a lot of players, especially these professional veterans, there's a lot of pride. Some guys aren't used to this, and he's one of them. But he's fantastic and we have a fantastic relationship, and I started hearing that, and Marvin looked at me -- he walked by yesterday when I saw something on TV, like a heated argument, and he goes, I guess we're not allowed to talk anymore, are we, and started laughing about it. So there's nothing.

Q. So no yelling --


Q. When you have those kind of reports, do you start getting concerned a little bit about losing a locker room, leaks coming on? Obviously somebody is sharing that stuff.

URBAN MEYER: Yeah, once again, most of this is fairly new to me. Am I worried about losing a locker room? I always am worried about losing a locker room when you are 2-and whatever we are.

But then I see what I saw, and I see the guys play as hard as they possibly can. I challenge our coaches, I challenge our players, and I challenge myself.

Q. Andrew (Norwell) had three penalties today. Did you ever consider taking him out of the game and putting (Will) Richardson or somebody else in for Andrew?

URBAN MEYER: There was some conversation there. Obviously we didn't make that decision.

Q. Have you talked to Shahid Khan? Do you have any sense this is going to be okay, a vote of confidence or anything going forward?

URBAN MEYER: I talk to Shahid (Khan) all the time. He's been fantastic since the day I've been here, and we're going to do the best we can to win games. That's our job.

Q. What about this week amid all of this, whether right, wrong, indifferent? Have you talked to him like last night or the night before, today?

URBAN MEYER: Yeah, I talked to him last night. I talked to him today. Our focus is to finish the season strong and to make whatever adjustments we have to make to get this thing cooking.

Q. Do you still have confidence that you can win at this level in the NFL?

URBAN MEYER: Yeah, I do. Most certainly. Me personally you mean? Yeah. It hasn't exactly materialized the way I expected it to have, the experience of winning games. I knew that this was somewhat of a build. I also really believe that we have plenty of good enough players to go win games. I still believe that. That's why I get so disappointed sometimes with our coaching staff or myself, because I think we can do better than we're doing. Really disappointed.

Q. You've been telling us all year that you have faith in that offensive line. They're getting their (butt) kicked every week. What's going on there? They're getting paid a lot of money to be better than what they've been.


Q. Do you have a contentious relationship? You were hard on your assistant coaches --

URBAN MEYER: I'm not hard, I'm honest. When people say that, that's -- I've done this a long time, and I'm very demanding and honest with coaches. If we're struggling, let's get this thing fixed. Why? I'm not a big blame-player guy. When something is going wrong and I hear a coach or someone say, 'Well, I told him to do it,' that's not the coaching tree I grew up in. What are we doing to put that player in position to have success? So, when you say 'hard,' I'm very transparent, very honest with coaches and have extremely high expectations with staff, and I've done that for as long as I've been a head coach.

Q. For guys that haven't coached with you before, is that a shock to them, or is it an adjustment to them? Is there any tension with you and some of those guys because they've not dealt with this before?

URBAN MEYER: Yeah, I think sometimes -- whatever coaching trees people are from. Once again, I don't believe in saying that (a) player is not good enough. That's something that in my entire years when I hear that, that's not -- don't put this on a player. Why are we not putting them in position to be successful? That's the way I've always approached it. That's the way I grew up in coaching.

Q. You've been around this long enough that you've heard noise before, but how tough is that to navigate when you're doing all these storylines that --

URBAN MEYER: Yeah, this week for some reason was a week of storylining, and like I said, one was like I had an argument with Marvin Jones, and once again, Amy (Palcic) told me, and I was like, 'What argument?' Then Marvin (Jones) and I talked about it. The other one was something about a coach on our staff is seeping things out. That's a new one to me, too. I've not been in that conversation where there's -- whatever happens in the staff room, something starts leaking out. That's the first. So those are all things we have to address and find out what's going on.

Q. The psyche of everything, is that a hard thing to navigate for those guys, for you? Do you have to talk about that stuff?

URBAN MEYER: I mean, this just happened yesterday when I started hearing stuff, so no, we'll address it on Monday. The reality is that losing sucks. Losing tears you apart. Especially people with pride and people that work their butts off, man. We've just got to stick together and keep going.

Q. Is that what you tell Shahid in your meetings, Shahid Khan? About losing sucks and we've just got to stick together and get this thing turned around?

URBAN MEYER: Yeah, I assured him that I still believe in my heart that we will. How fast, that depends on -- again, I still think there's good pieces. You watched out there today, Myles Jack and that defense and some of those kids, Roy (Robertson-Harris), (Dawuane) Smoot, those guys are playing their tails off.

You get a couple scores on offense, you're right there, and we didn't do it. So what's the answer? Start leaking information or some nonsense? No. No, that's nonsense. That's garbage. That's once again -- I've been very blessed. I've not really dealt with that. I've not dealt with, 'Well, did you hear what he said?' What? No. Let's improve on offense and get our quarterback in a position to be successful. That's our focus. What someone's brother said, or someone said someone said, that will occupy very little of my time. And if there is a source, that source is unemployed. I mean, within seconds, if there's some source that's doing that.

Q. Have you ever been shut out?

URBAN MEYER: I don't know. I don't want to talk about it.

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