Josh Lambeau got off to a slow start. The Jaguars kicker missed trying to score a field goal in each of their first two pre-season games.
But the fourth-most accurate player in NFL history wasn’t worried as he stretched with his teammates in training during the week leading up to the final exhibition game against the Cowboys in August.
Then Lambo was contacted by technical director Urban Mayer, who did not call the Jaguar specialists by name.
“It was a ‘kicker, punter, long snapper,’” Lambeau said. “Or S-tbag, Dips-t or whatever the hell it was.”
The names didn’t bother Lambeau, but what the former Florida Gators coach did next, Lambeau said, was the actions of a mean bully.
“I am in a lunge position. His left leg forward, right leg back,” Lambeau said. “Urban Meyer, while I’m in this stretching position, comes up to me and says, ‘Hey Dips-t, do your awesome kicks!'” “He kicks me on the feet.”
Lambo spoke publicly for the first time about what he had told him in an interview with Tampa Bay Times.
Hours after the story broke on Wednesday, Jaguar fired Mayer, ending a turbulent period in the NFL after 13 games.
Lambeau said of the kick, “It certainly wasn’t as hard as he (kick) could have done, but it certainly wasn’t a love flick. Honestly, I would have scored it as a five (out of 10). In the workplace, I don’t care if it was football. Or no, a coach can’t hit an employee. And for a second, I couldn’t believe it actually happened. Pardon my vulgarity, I said, “Don’t the king kick me again!” And his response was, “I’m the head ball coach, I’ll kick you whenever you want to.”
Lambeau said other players had seen and heard the incident, but he did not reveal any names because he did not want to involve them.
Meyer, speaking before the shooting, denied that the incident had occurred in the manner described by Lambeau.
“Josh Lee’s description of this incident is completely inaccurate, and there are eyewitnesses who refute his account,” Meyer said. “(General Manager) Trent (Balkey) I have met him on multiple occasions to encourage him to perform, and this was never touched upon. I have been fully supportive of Josh during his time with the team and wish him the best.”
Concerns about how to train him
The next morning after Lambeau said he was kicked, he said he was in the food aisle at the team’s training facility to make juice.
Meyer approached him.
“He sees me and I’m alone and he kind of corners me and he comes up to me and says, ‘Are you going to put a smile on that face?'” ‘ said Lambeau. ‘I said, ‘I’ll smile if you stop kicking me.’
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Lambeau said the conversation was out of reach for other players or crew.
“Details of the conversation I remember, I had issues with the way he was coaching me all spring, and throughout camp I kept to myself and expressed a couple of these issues with the Special Teams coordinator, who hooked them up to Urban, who apparently understood halfway through. His response was, “Well, you don’t like me doing this, okay. If you don’t like me doing that, that’s fine. But if you ever talk to me again that way, you’ll get out of here. You’re the first player I’ve ever allowed to talk to me that way in my career, and if I do it again, you’ll be gone. “
Lambo said stunned.
I said, ‘I’m really not trying to be sarcastic here, Urban, but what would I say if I offended you?’ Remember Lambo question Mayer. ‘ He said, ‘When you shouted at me at the training ground in front of everyone. If you have a problem and you don’t like me kicking you, well, you keep that to yourself and you wait until after practice and after meetings and you come and find me in the office and tell me in private. “
Lambeau said he reported the incident to his agent, Richard Irvine, who called Jaguar’s legal counsel the day after Mayer kicked him.
Irvine and Jaguar confirmed that legal counsel had been contacted and had offered Lambeau the opportunity to meet them. Lambeau said he “doesn’t remember being able to speak with the Jags’ legal team.”
Jaguars said in a statement to Tampa Bay Times. The attorney offered to speak with Josh, or help Josh talk to the coaches or any other footballers, if he was comfortable sharing information with her. Any suggestion otherwise is blatantly wrong.”
Lambo, 31, was released after missing the first of three field goal attempts to start the season.
Lambeau, currently a free agent, said he felt it was his duty to tell his story after watching Mayer’s encounters with players and assistant coaches in recent weeks.
The Jaguars lost their fifth game in a row on Sunday, as the Titans beat them 20-0, to go down to 2-11.
‘People need to speak out against bullies’
Mayer’s future with the Jaguars has been cloudy since October after he stayed in Ohio rather than taking the team’s jet home after a fourth-week loss to the Bengals. The video was captured in a bar with a young woman whose wife was not dancing near his lap.
last week, nfl.com has been reported Marvin Jones was so enraged by Mayer’s public and private criticism of Jaguar receivers that he left the team facility until other employees persuaded him to return.. he He had a heated argument with Mayer in practice.
According to that story, Meyer also delivered a scathing message at a staff meeting that he was a winner and his assistant coaches were losers, challenging each in a meeting to defend his resume.
Meyer, 57 years old, has He denied the news, saying, “If there is a source, this source is unemployed.” …I mean, within seconds. “
That comment didn’t sit well with Lambo, who spent five seasons with Jaguar and was named the second All-Pro team in 2019.
“That’s why I wanted to talk about this,” he said. “There’s been a lot of sales, but these are still my people. Some of these guys are my buddies, employees with whom I’ve developed amazing relationships over the past five seasons. (Meyer) has threatened them all for telling the truth. That’s a bully, and people need to speak up against bullies.”
Lambeau knows he could face opposition from Mayer’s supporters, including the players and coaches who won national titles with him in Florida and Ohio State. But he said he felt it was important to speak out.
“A 50-year-old can kick a 30-year-old, both working at their job, and he can do it in front of everyone else and that’s fine? But I can’t defend myself?” Lambeau said. “Again, an adult, in class, I do what I’m supposed to do for his team, I can’t stand up for myself, and when I do, I get fired?”
Lambeau said Mayer’s actions have no place in any business environment.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s football or not, I know football has this conception of it, ” Lambo said. “But at the end of the day, that’s my job. I’m not there as a footballer, I’m there where Josh Lambeau does his job. What (Meyer) did was unfathomable.”
Contact Rick Stroud at [email protected]. Follow @NFLSTROUD.
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