Jaguars Give Urban Meyer the Boot After Ex-Kicker Josh Lambo Claimed Jacksonville Coach Kicked Him
Lambo alleged Meyer kicked him while he was stretching during warm-ups before a practice
Already the subject of ridicule due to reports about his treatment of players and coaches, Urban Meyer is back in the headlines again for what may be the final time after being fired as the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the middle of the night.
“After deliberation over many weeks and a thorough analysis of the entirety of Urban’s tenure with our team, I am bitterly disappointed to arrive at the conclusion that an immediate change is imperative for everyone,” Jacksonville owner Shad Khan said in a statement. “I informed Urban of the change this evening. As I stated in October, regaining our trust and respect was essential. Regrettably, it did not happen.”
The firing comes following the publication of a piece in The Tampa Bay Times where former Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo alleged Meyer kicked him in the leg while he was stretching during warm-ups before a practice in August during the final week of the preseason.
Per Lambo, 57-year-old Meyer was upset with Lambo for missing kicks in each of his first two preseason appearances and kicked him out of frustration and in an effort to motivate him.
“I’m in a lunge position. Left leg forward, right leg back,” Lambo said. “[Meyer], while I’m in that stretch position, comes up to me and says, ‘Hey (expletive), make your (expletive) kicks!’ And kicks me in the leg.”
Angered, Lambo said he told the first-year NFL coach to never “(expletive) kick me again.” Meyer’s response? “‘I’m the head ball coach, I’ll kick you whenever the (expletive) I want,” he allegedly said.
Meyer’s agent gave The Times a statement in which the coach said Lambo’s “characterization of me and this incident is completely inaccurate and there are eyewitnesses to refute his account.”
“[GM] Trent (Baalke) and I met with him on multiple occasions to encourage his performance, and this was never brought up,” the statement continued. “I was fully supportive of Josh during his time with the team and wish him nothing but the best.”
Whether or not the incident happened, the fact that it seems entirely plausible speaks volumes about how terrible Meyer’s brief tenure in Jacksonville was. Fired after going 2-11 this season despite drafting presumed franchise QB Trevor Lawrence at No. 1 overall out of Clemson, Meyer bears the brunt of the blame for the Jaguars being such a hot mess on and off the field.
To his credit, Lawrence has been a good soldier, but one has to wonder how much he lobbied behind the scenes for the Jaguars to make a change at head coach. “You’re always going to have some form of drama. I’ve learned that the NFL is just more drama in general than college, no matter where you’re at,” Lawrence said Wednesday prior to Meyer’s firing, according to ESPN. “But you’re right. There’s been a lot. To your point, I do think that has to change and that’s something that we need to work on for sure. So you can’t always be in the headlines. You just got to go play football and that’s where we’re trying to get and I have no doubt we’ll get there, but for sure [it has to change].”
Courtesy of an after-hours news dump in the middle of the week, that change has come. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will serve as Jacksonville’s interim head coach for the team’s final four games starting Sunday when the Jags take on the Houston Texans (2-11).
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