The Urban Meyer situation in Jacksonville was seemingly growing more toxic by the day and this incident may have been the last straw that led to his firing early Thursday morning. The latest issue that has come to light surrounding the first-year Jaguars head coach comes from former kicker Josh Lambo, who revealed to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times that Meyer kicked him as he was stretching with his teammates at practice back in August just before the final preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys.
"I'm in a lunge position. Left leg forward, right leg back," Lambo told Stroud. "... 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."
The root of Meyer's kick was due to Lambo -- and All-Pro kicker in 2019 -- missing a field goal attempt in each of the Jaguars' first two exhibitions. Naturally, the blow sparked a reaction from Lambo, who also noted that Meyer did not mention specialists by name, rather their position or "S--tbag, Dips--t or whatever the hell it was."
"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.'"
On the day Meyer kicked him in warmups, Lambo said that he later reported the incident to his agent, Richard Irvin, who then contacted the Jaguars' legal counsel. In a statement to the Tampa Bay Times, the Jaguars said that they "acknowledged and responded immediately to the query made by Josh Lambo's agent Friday, August 27, 2021." They added that they offered to speak with Lambo about the incident, but he told Stroud that he has "no recollection of being able to speak with the Jags' legal team."
Meyer has said that Lambo's characterization of the incident is "completely inaccurate, and there are eyewitnesses to refute his account."
"(General manager) Trent (Baalke) and I met with him on multiple occasions to encourage his performance, and this was never brought up," Meyer added, via the Tampa Bay Times. "I was fully supportive of Josh during his time with the team and wish him nothing but the best."
This nugget is just the latest in what was reportedly a very dysfunctional situation with Meyer at the helm, as CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora has previously reported on. On Saturday, NFL Media's Tom Pelissero reported that Meyer had run-ins with players and coaches on his staff. He reportedly harshly criticized his assistant coaches, highlighting how he is a winner and they are losers while challenging them to defend their résumés. Meanwhile, he reportedly also had a heated argument with veteran receiver Marvin Jones.
"That's the reason I wanted to talk about this," Lambo told Stroud of the latest reports about Meyer. "There's been a lot of turnovers, but those are still my people. Some of those dudes are my dudes, and the staff members I have grown into amazing relationships with over the last five seasons. He threatened all of them for speaking the truth. And that's a bully, and people need to speak up against bullies."
Jaguars owner Shad Khan recently told reporters that he would not be impulsive when it comes to Meyers' future with the team and said: "I'm going to reflect on all of that and do what's the right thing for the team and the right thing for the city."
As for Lambo, he was released by the team at the start of the season after missing his first three field-goal attempts and is currently a free agent.