JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Josh Lambo doesn’t mince words.
“It's intimidation, and as far as I'm concerned it's not okay,” Lambo said.
The former Jacksonville Jaguars kicker opened up to First Coast News in his first television interview since speaking publicly about what he says head coach Urban Meyer said and did to him during an August practice after a preseason game.
“He comes up to me and he says, ‘Hey, dip the word, make your effing kicks’ and then proceeds to kick me right in the leg right in the hamstring,” Lambo said. “Literally kicks me in the hamstring. Hey, bud make your kicks. It wasn't one of those. It just wasn’t. I looked at him and said, ‘Don't you ever kick me again’, and he looked at me and said, ‘I'm the head ball coach, I'll kick you whenever I want.’”
Lambo says he decided to speak publicly after he heard Meyer’s response Sunday when a reporter questioned Meyer about reports that he had called his coaches losers and had a heated argument with Marvin Jones Jr., a team captain.
“He said if there is a source, that person is out of a job,” Lambo recalled. “I don't remember the quote, but that is in essence was what he said. I don't think he can deny that, and that's what he did to me in August. It’s just unacceptable to intimate people into your narrative.”
Lambo says he is breaking his silence for one reason.
“He's trying to shut everybody else up and he tried to shut me up once,” Lambo said. “I want to make sure it doesn't happen again.”
First Coast News reached out to the Jaguars for comment. A team spokesperson referred First Coast News to statements the team and Meyer made to the Tampa Bay Times.
“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.”
The Jaguars released Lambo from the team in October. Lambo does not think he was released for retribution but says the interaction he had with Meyer impacted him mentally.
“My observation of it was he couldn't stand being challenged. His manhood, his pride and his ego were challenged, and so he threatened me. He threatened my job, my livelihood so how was I supposed to come out and say that in preseason? I still need to make my money, make my living and I didn't feel I could say that and keep my job,” Lambo said.
How fit does he feel Meyer is to lead the Jaguars?
“For me, I would say completely unfit and that is my observation from what I saw day in and day out for a lot of months this year,” Lambo said. “The way that he treats the guys in the locker room, there's this pompous nature that he has that he can get away with anything. You know, I see myself as a Jaguar. And I certainly don't see him that way.”
Lambo says he had his agent reach out to Jaguars legal counsel in August right after this allegedly happened. He says the organization never talked to him about it.
“Truthfully, I wanted to get it on record and see what happens, honestly,” Lambo said. “I'm not suing the Jaguars right now. I'm not trying to be negative toward the Jaguars at all. Again, I have a deep-felt appreciation for the Jacksonville Jaguars and the community.”
“Jaguars legal counsel indeed acknowledged and responded immediately to the query made by Josh Lambo’s agent Friday, August 27, 2021,” the Jaguars said in a statement to the Tampa Bay Times. “Counsel offered to speak with Josh, or to assist Josh in speaking with coaching or any other football personnel, if he was comfortable with her sharing the information. Any suggestion otherwise is blatantly false.”
Lambo says he felt a responsibility to set the record straight.
“I feel like I've embodied the Jacksonville Jaguars DNA since I've been here. I hope the fans have seen that, people in the community have seen that. I'm not trying to start a war with anybody. I'm not trying to pick a fight. But if someone's going to pick a fight with my people, I'm not going to back down. And that's why I feel that what I'm doing is not only acceptable, but important,” Lambo said. “I want the Jaguars to do well. I want that franchise to do well. As far as I'm concerned, they deserve a lot better.”