The past year for Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo hasn’t gone as smoothly as he as hoped. Last year, the veteran kicker was forced to watch games at home on his couch due to a hip injury, but that wasn’t the toughest part of sitting out. Even though the team didn’t succeed last year, going 1-15, Lambo wanted to be out there with his teammates.
“Like if, quite frankly, we’re going get our [stuff] kicked, I want to be in there with them,” Lambo told reporters on Thursday. “Those are my guys. I’m in there fighting, sweating, working my butt off with everybody and I want to be able to do that with them. So, that was the hardest part. If we’re going to struggle, we’ll struggle together. If we’re going to succeed, let’s succeed together.”
Lambo would land on the team’s reserve/injured list after the Jaguars’ Week 2 loss against the Tennessee Titans. While he would return in Week 7, he would last only until the following week, placed on injured reserve yet again.
The constant struggles with staying healthy impacted the veteran kicker, giving him a renewed focus on his health and body.
“A lot more mindfulness, a lot more meditation, a lot more yoga, a lot more stretching,” Lambo said of the routines he’s added to take care of his body.
“Just trying to take care of all the off-the-field things so that when I’m on the field, the only thing I have to worry about is stuff that is on the field. I shouldn’t be out there kicking and worrying about my hamstring. That just shouldn’t [happen]. I shouldn’t be worrying about my hip. And so, I’m doing everything I can to, when I’m out there, just let everything flow.”
Part of taking care of his body has extended into this year’s training camp and preseason. During one of the last media practice sessions in camp, Lambo would miss three kicks, while missing a kick in each of the first two preseason games.
That, of course, would enable questions from the media, fans and observers of Lambo’s confidence heading into the season.
To him, those claims are baseless, and he’s as confident as ever after nailing all of his kicks during the team’s final preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys.
“Confidence is as high as ever,” he said when asked about it on Thursday. “I mean, that is the funny thing about you guys reporting on me. You have no idea what’s going on in my head, you don’t know if I’m—just because I miss a kick, doesn’t mean I’m not confident. I’m as confident as ever. I’m as good of a kicker, if not better, than I’ve ever been, so I’m right on track.”
Since joining the Jaguars in 2017, Lambo has been one of the most accurate kickers in the NFL, missing just four kicks, connecting on 76 out of 80. He’s missed more extra points, connecting on 68 out of 74.
“Being a vet, I’m going into year seven, year 11 overall as a pro athlete, everything has a purpose, right? Preseason has its purpose. Yes, you want to come in firing at all cylinders, but a lot of times, that’s not realistic. My goal is to be at my peak, Week 1 and unfortunately that may have led to a couple of missed kicks in preseason.”
His accuracy has been one of the most consistent features of the Jaguars football team over the years, but he understands the business side of things, heading into this season with no more guaranteed money on his contract.
“Once you get that big number in front of your contract, you have a big old target on your back,” said Lambo. “I’m aware of how things work. And so, that has fueled me more to, like I said, work harder, do more, watch more film, ask more questions, because I still think there’s a little bit left in the tank.”
At the start of the offseason, the Jaguars worked a kicker competition with Lambo, bringing in Aldrick Rosas. Rosas wouldn't make it to training camp, however, waived and effectively ending any sort of controversy at the position.
Now, heading into his age-31 season, Lambo is ready to show that he’s still worthy of the title of one of the best kickers in the league. With a new coaching staff, that motivation is even higher.
“I’m doing more than I ever have, I’m in great communication with everybody and my confidence levels are through the roof.”