The Jacksonville Jaguars made a drastic move late Wednesday night, firing first-year head coach Urban Meyer just 13 games into his tenure.
And as luck would have it, these sudden changes with Jaguars come as they get set to host the Texans on Sunday. Jacksonville offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell has assumed the role as interim head coach of Jaguars and because of that decision, Texans defensive coordinator Lovie Smith doesn’t see any need to adjust his preparation this week.
“Speaking of the defensive coordinator, the guy that’s going to call the offensive calls still is doing that, so it doesn’t affect an awful lot,” Smith said Thursday. “I think all of us in the profession, we’ve been in places where firings happen, coaches leave. But eventually, they didn’t cancel the game, so they’re going to show up, we’re going to show up. I think you get down to that. We’re going to practice today preparing just like we were before.”
Prior to Wednesday night’s surprise late-season firing, this was simply going to be a clash of two 2-11 AFC South teams with no real intrigue. But following the controversial end of Meyer’s tenure, there will be interest in seeing how the Jaguars respond after being freed from the drama of their former head coach.
Texans defeated the Jaguars 37-21 during their season opener in September. The Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who was picked No.1 overall out of Clemson, had a rough day after three interceptions and three touchdown passes during his debut.
Smith says he has seen improvement in Lawrence as the season has progressed.
“I think as you look at all players, especially rookie players’ improvement, sometimes the record doesn’t show that,” Smith said. “But he threw some good balls when we played him, he would like to have some balls back. I think that’s just kind of life in the NFL a little bit.
“But the same guy that was drafted No. 1, that’s still him and he has a lot more experience. It’s just not about one guy of course, too. They beat a good Buffalo team that beat us. They beat a good Miami team that beat us, so that’s kind of what we’re going on. The second time around you know you’re going to get the best effort, and that’s what we’re playing for.”