Former Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo told the Tampa Bay Times that coach Urban Meyer once kicked him during practice.
Lambo missed a field goal in each of his first two exhibition games and was stretching at practice as the team prepared to face the Cowboys in the final preseason game.
“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---, make your f------g kicks.’ And kicks me in the leg.”
Lambo added Meyer didn't call specialists by their names.
“It was ‘kicker, punter, long snapper,’” Lambo told the Tampa Bay Times. “Or s---bag, dips--- or whatever the hell it was.”
Lambo described the kick as a five out of 10 in terms of force. He said he couldn't believe what had happened, that a boss struck an employee.
“‘Don’t you ever f---ing kick me again,’” Lambo recalled saying. "And his response was, ‘I’m the head ball coach, I’ll kick you whenever the f--- I want.’”
Meyer denied the incident played out that way. Both player and coach said there were people around to corroborate their respective sides of the story.
“Josh’s characterization of me and this incident is completely inaccurate, and there are eyewitnesses to refute his account,” Meyer told the Tampa Bay Times. “[General manager] Trent [Baalke] and I met with him on multiple occasions to encourage his performance, and this was never brought up."
Lambo said the day after the alleged incident, Meyer approached him while in the nutritional aisle at the team’s training facility.
“He sees me and I’m by myself and he kind of cornered me and comes up to me and says, ‘Are you going to put a smile on that face?’” Lambo told the Tampa Bay Times. “I said, ‘I’ll smile if you’ll stop kicking me.’”
Lambo expressed to Meyer that he was not a fan of the way he was coaching him. Meyer’s response apparently included a threat.
"His response was, ‘O.K., you don’t like me doing this, O.K. 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,’” Lambo recalled.
Lambo said he was shocked at the response and also confused. He said he asked Meyer which part of his response offended him.
“[Meyer] 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 said.
Lambo said he informed his agent, Richard Irvin, of the alleged incident. His agent reached out to the Jaguars’ legal team, but Lambo said he didn’t remember getting a chance to speak with anyone from the legal team. He was released after missing his first three field goals of the season.
Lambo, who was named second-team All Pro in 2019, is currently a free agent. This is just the latest report in a tumultuous first year for Meyer in the NFL.
Trouble first started when a video went viral of Meyer dancing at a bar with a woman who was not his wife in Ohio after a Week 4 loss to the Bengals. On Saturday, an NFL Network report detailed how Meyer belittled his assistant coaches and called them “losers” and even included a heated confrontation with wide receiver Marvin Jones. The confrontation reportedly stemmed from Meyer’s criticism of the receivers and led to Jones leaving the facility.
Jacksonville is currently 2–11 and tied with the Texans at the bottom of the AFC South.
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