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#pounditSaturday, September 30, 2023

Ex-Jaguars kicker claims Urban Meyer kicked him

Urban Meyer in a Jaguars jacket

Former Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo claims he was kicked by head coach Urban Meyer prior to a preseason game in August.

Lambo, a former All-Pro, had missed a field goal in two consecutive exhibition games, and was warming up for the final tilt against Dallas in August. The kicker claims Meyer approached him and kicked him in the leg while urging Lambo to “make your f—ing kicks.”

“I’m in a lunge position. Left leg forward, right leg back,” Lambo told Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “… 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. 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.'”

Lambo told the Times that Meyer approached him in private the next day and the kicker once again registered his disapproval of how Meyer treated him. Meyer accepted that, but then threatened to get rid of Lambo, citing how the kicker spoke to him in practice in front of the rest of the team. Lambo also informed his agent of the incident, and it was passed on to the Jaguars’ legal counsel. The Jaguars argued that Lambo was given the chance to meet with the team’s legal counsel, but Lambo said he has “no recollection” of receiving such an offer.

In a statement to the Times, Meyer disputed Lambo’s characterization of the incident.

“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.”

Lambo was released after missing three field goals in the season opener and is currently a free agent. He said he decided to speak publicly about the incident after seeing reports about Meyer’s confrontations with players and coaches in recent weeks.

Though Meyer denies Lambo’s allegation, it’s still likely to increase the heat on the Jacksonville coach. The coach’s response to the initial report was off-putting for some, and it certainly sounded like his future with the organization was murky even before this new claim surfaced.

Photo: Joseph Maiorana-USA Today Sports


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