The Star Democrat

Meyer learns bullies run out of rope fast in NFL

- BY JIM LITKE

There’s a dozen good reasons why college coaches rarely make a successful jump to the NFL. Leave it to Urban Meyer to trip over the dumbest one.

After 13 games packed with more missteps than a Master P appearance on “Dancing With the Stars,” Meyer was still treating grown men like kids, still behaving like he was the king on a campus somewhere. Still sloganeeri­ng, blustering at some and blaming everybody else at the drop of a pass. But there’s a reason bullies run out of rope a lot faster in the pros. It’s because the guys holding onto the other end have contracts, too.

In that sense, Meyer’s firing hardly qualifies as a surprise. And it hardly matters whether the final straw was the report in a Florida newspaper about Meyer kicking a former kicker in disgust back in training camp last August. Jaguars owner Shad Khan had so many gaffes to choose from that the statement he released Thursday — “an immediate change is imperative for everyone” — could have been written shortly after his coach got caught grinding in a bar in late September.

Or anytime last month, when Meyer’s offense was wheezing out an average of less than 10 points a game en route to losing five in a row. Or just this past Monday, for that matter, when a reporter asked Meyer whether safety Andre Cisco would get more playing time.

“Cisco is playing a little bit more, I believe,” he said. “I don’t have his

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