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Urban Meyer Proves He Doesn't Know Who is on the Field for Him at Any Given Time

Carmen Mandato. Getty Images.

Peter Principle -  "a person who is competent at their job will earn a promotion to a position that requires different skills. If the promoted person lacks the skills required for the new role, they will be incompetent at the new level, and will not be promoted again."

Whenever you get an individual in a position of power and responsibility who has reached their "Peter Plateau," which is to say, they've found the level of incompetence from which they will never succeed nor get promoted, there are often signals. Sometimes they're subtle. Sometimes they are more obvious. In some cases they are warning signs no competent manager could miss. And then there are the extreme cases, like Urban Meyer. 

Since almost the day Meyer got the head job at Jacksonville, he's been flashing more warning signs than a jumbo jet making an emergency landing. And this latest one is pretty much all other Jacksonville programming being interrupted by an alert from the Emergency Broadcast System telling all Jaguars fans to get into the nearest fallout shelter. To duck and cover and pray this one passes:

SI - Meyer was asked a routine question about rookie safety Andre Cisco’s playing time on defense.

“With four games still to go, obviously he’s performing great on special teams. … How do you fit [him], do you plan on—” a reporter asked before Meyer cut her off.

“Well, Cisco’s playing a little bit more, I believe,” Meyer said. “I don’t have his numbers in front of me. But yeah, that’s a conversation.”

If Meyer did have Cisco’s numbers in front of him, he’d see that he’s actually played less over the past few weeks. He did play 17 snaps on special teams in Sunday’s game (and forced a fumble on the opening kickoff), but he didn’t see the field at all on defense. That’s after playing eight defensive snaps in Week 13. …

How hard is it to keep track of which guys aren’t seeing any playing time at their usual positions? Only five defensive backs saw significant action on defense for the Jags on Sunday.

I don't think we're picking nits here. I mean, it would be one thing if, say, Mike Tomlin or Andy Reid - somebody with a resume - was a little off on some roster bubble guy's snap count. Maybe guessed he was on the field for 10 reps and it was only eight. Or the player in question was a recent free agent signee or someone just elevated from the practice squad, you could cut a head coach some slack for not having the exact figures. That's not the case here. 

Andre Cisco was the 65th player taken in Meyer's only NFL draft. He went from eight snaps the previous week to zero this week. In a secondary where only five DBs saw the field. That's not an accident; it was a conscious decision by whoever is making the playing time decisions. Whom we can assume is not Urban Meyer. 

The fact the fifth draft selection he's ever made (out of nine in his career) was essentially benched is news to him. Which either means he's got other, bigger things to think about or just doesn't care enough to know. The only question is which of those two explanations is a more damning indictment of how checked out this guy is. He sounds like he's coaching in college, where he's got twice the roster and about a tenth of the number of players he needs to keep track of because so many of them are replaceable parts. 

Who knows what the issue is with Cisco. It's probably not that big a deal. Rookie growing pains or whatever. But had to put money on it, I'd bet he'll be in Jacksonville longer than Meyer will. 

Also, kudos to this guy. This why Twitter deserves to exist: