The Jacksonville Jaguars have watched Urban Meyer flout NFL standards and norms since they turned their franchise over to him, which is the natural consequence of hiring a 57-year-old coach who for decades constructed and lived by his own standards and norms. It’s not that Meyer refuses to follow someone else’s rules. It’s that he has never had to and doesn’t know how.

Meyer exited college football as one of the most accomplished coaches in the sport’s history. It has taken four games for his NFL tenure to devolve into career-threatening crisis. After the Jaguars dropped to 0-4 on Thursday night in Cincinnati, Meyer stayed in Ohio rather than flying back to Jacksonville on the team plane, an unheard-of move for an NFL coach. On Saturday, video surfaced of Meyer at an Ohio bar with a woman dancing against him. He apologized Monday for being “a distraction.”

The latest fallout from the embarrassing video arrived Tuesday. Jaguars owner Shad Khan reprimanded Meyer in a statement for his “inexcusable” behavior. Khan said Meyer “must regain our trust and respect.”

Khan’s statement was not exactly a broadside — he also said he appreciated Meyer’s remorse and remained confident Meyer could recover. To Meyer, it still must have seemed extraordinary. He had to answer to somebody.

Meyer’s decision not to travel with his team and his behavior at the bar fit a pattern. In Jacksonville, he has operated without regard for anyone’s protocol but his own. The difference between college football and the NFL has made Meyer’s approach a predictable disaster pockmarked with frequent missteps and controversies of his own making.

As a college coach, Meyer could bend every sliver of a football program to his will. He leveraged power imbalances with players on scholarship, boosters who worshiped him, local media with stifled access and administrations who relied on the fundraising his winning teams provided.

Meyer has discovered, through self-inflicted embarrassment and self-created calamity, that the NFL forces coaches to bend to the will of others. It may be the billionaire owner, the locker room of millionaire players, an incredulous media or a fan base that isn’t sycophantic.

Meyer told players when he arrived at Ohio State, “The plan is infallible.” They were impressionable enough to believe him, and if they didn’t, Meyer could recruit more players with better talent than his opponents. Gaining credibility with NFL players was always going to be the most crucial challenge for Meyer, and since he arrived he has made choices that undermined it.

At the start of his tenure, Meyer hired Chris Doyle as his strength and conditioning coach. Doyle had recently lost the same position at the University of Iowa after players alleged racist and abusive behavior. Meyer brushed aside criticism by saying, “We did a very good job vetting that one.” The outcry in a small college town may have subsided. In the NFL, Doyle was forced to resign just days after Meyer boasted about his vetting.

Meyer gave a training camp roster spot to Tim Tebow, his Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback at Florida, who tried to make the team as a 34-year-old playing tight end for the first time, after years of playing minor league baseball. Maybe Meyer wanted to do Tebow, a player who had done so much for him, a favor. Maybe he believed Tebow’s work ethic and attitude would provide an example. It was an obvious miscalculation. NFL players don’t have time for the coach’s favorite attending fantasy camp. They also don’t need an example — if they didn’t know how to work hard, they wouldn’t be in the NFL in the first place.

Everybody knew No. 1 pick Trevor Lawrence would start Week 1 for the Jaguars. Meyer still acted as though he was in a competition, giving Gardner Minshew II half of the reps in training camp. When Meyer declared the faux-competition in Lawrence’s favor, he traded Minshew for a sixth-round pick. It’s okay for NFL coaches to make a point about earning roster spots, but not when the entire locker room knows it’s a farce — and not at the cost of the franchise quarterback’s development.

The Jaguars, of course, could have seen all of this coming. It was clear that Meyer had come to believe in his own inherent rightness — in ways both trivial and weighty. Meyer hired assistant coach Zach Smith, the grandson of friend and former coach Earle Bruce, when he arrived at Ohio State in 2011, two years after Smith was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault against his then-wife, who was pregnant. Ohio State fired Smith in 2018 after he faced allegations of domestic assault from his ex-wife. Meyer denied he had been aware of the allegations despite Smith’s ex-wife alleging he did. “I don’t know who creates a story like that,” Meyer said. An Ohio State investigation indicated Meyer probably did know.

“When I stand before the 105 young men in our football program and talk about core values and doing the right thing and respecting women, it’s not lip service,” Meyer wrote in a statement at the time.

Ohio State suspended Meyer for three games. After the damning report published, Meyer defended himself with a “clarification” that read, in part, “My fault was in not taking action sooner against a troubled employee about his work-related issues.”

Meyer still acts as though he’s writing all the rules and gets to decide when they have been breached. On Monday, he faced reporters in Jacksonville and sputtered through an apology. “They wanted me to come over and take pictures, and I did,” Meyer said, describing what happened at the bar. “Trying to pull me out on the dance floor, screwing around, and I should have left.” Anyone who watched the video would not describe Meyer as being pulled to the dance floor.

On Wednesday, Jaguars players return to the facility for another week of practice. Meyer will have to coach them after days of personal crisis and humiliation. For him to reverse his awful start, he first will have to fit into a system of rules he did not create. He may not be capable.