- Former Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo says head coach Urban Meyer kicked him at practice.
- After Lambo told him not to do it again, he says that Meyer responded, “I’m the head ball coach, I’ll kick you whenever the f–k I want.”
- Lambo said that Meyer later expressed frustration that the kicker had called him out in front of the team.
Former Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo said that Jacksonville head coach Urban Meyer kicked him during practice ahead of a preseason game.
In a report from Rick Stroud at the Tampa Bay Times, Lambo said that Meyer kicked him, and then expressed frustration with Lambo after he told the coach to never do it again.
Per the Tampa Bay Times:
“I’m in a lunge position. Left leg forward, right leg back,” Lambo said. “… Urban Meyer, while I’m in that stretch position, comes up to me and says, ‘Hey Dips–t, make your f–king kicks!’ And kicks me in the leg.”
“It certainly wasn’t as hard as he could’ve done it, but it certainly wasn’t a love tap,” Lambo said. “Truthfully, I’d register it as a five (out of 10). Which in the workplace, I don’t care if it’s football or not, the boss can’t strike an employee. And for a second, I couldn’t believe it actually happened. Pardon my vulgarity, I said, ‘Don’t you ever f–king kick me again!’ And his response was, ‘I’m the head ball coach, I’ll kick you whenever the f–k I want.'”
Meyer denied the incident as Lambo described it.
“Josh’s characterization of me and this incident is completely inaccurate, and there are eyewitnesses to refute his account,” Meyer said. “(General manager) Trent (Baalke) and I met with him on multiple occasions to encourage his performance, and this was never brought up. I was fully supportive of Josh during his time with the team and wish him nothing but the best.”
Meyer’s response to the incident, according to Lambo, was also shocking.
Lambo said that he and Meyer later spoke with each other at the team’s training facility where he brought up issues he had with Meyer’s coaching.
“[Meyer’s] response was, ‘OK, you don’t like me doing this, OK. If you don’t like me doing that, fine. But if you ever speak to me like that again, you’ll be out of here. You’re the first player I’ve ever let speak to me that way in my career, and if you do it again, you’re gone.’
“I said, ‘I’m genuinely not trying to be sarcastic here, Urban, but what did I say that offended you?'” Lambo told the Tampa Bay Times. “He said, ‘When you responded to me out there on the practice field in front of everybody. If you have an issue and don’t like me kicking you, well then you keep that to yourself and you wait until after practice and after meetings and you come find me in the office and tell me privately.'”
Lambo was cut by the Jaguars in October after kicker Matt Wright hit a game-winner for the Jaguars in Lambo’s stead.
Lambo played in just four games in 2020 due to injury, and missed his first three field-goal attempts of the 2021 season with the Jaguars. He is currently a free agent.
As Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk noted, the incident should lead to an investigation in the near future, as the accusation relates to the league’s the Personal Conduct Policy, which prohibits “violent or threatening behavior toward another employee or a third party in any workplace setting.”
The story is just the latest in a series of scandals that have plagued Meyer’s first year leading the Jaguars.
On Saturday, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com published a blistering report breaking down the morale inside the Jaguars coaching staff. Things were not going well.
“During a staff meeting, Meyer delivered a biting message that he’s a winner and his assistant coaches are losers, according to several people informed of the contents of the meeting, challenging each coach individually to explain when they’ve ever won and forcing them to defend their résumés.”
All of this would be bad enough on its own, but it’s far from the only Meyer-related bit of bad news the team has suffered through this year.
A media storm broke out earlier in the season after a video went viral of Meyer dancing with a woman at a bar in Ohio. The footage was taken after an earlier game — a 24-21 to the Bengals back in Week 4 — when Meyer did not take the team plane home with his players. Instead, he stayed in Ohio as the team flew back to Jacksonville.
As things stand, it’s still unclear how much longer the Jaguars will stand behind Meyer as their head coach. Through 14 weeks, the Jaguars are 2-11 and an untenable amount of off-field drama.
Before the Tampa Bay Times story was published on Wednesday, Jaguars owner Shad Khan said that he wouldn’t make a quick decision to remove Meyer from the job.
“I want to do the right thing for the team. I want to do the right thing for the city,” Khan said, per ESPN. “That, to me, is way more important than just acting helter-skelter on emotion. I think we have a history of really looking at the facts and then really doing the right thing.”
Meyer and the Jaguars are set to play their next game this Sunday against the Houston Texans, who are also 2-11.