If I told you the Jacksonville Jaguars would not have won the AFC South last season if not for the leg of Josh Lambo, would you believe me?
OK, so Lambo, an in-season addition to the team after Jason Myers was released, wasn’t the sole reason for the team’s march toward the playoffs, but he had a big say in it. A kicker with an accurate leg and something the team had been lacking since the days of Josh Scobee – consistency.
Lambo played in 10 regular season games for the Black and Teal and connected on 19 of 20 attempts. He was perfect at home, which was huge in the game against the Los Angeles Chargers and proved to be as much of a weapon as the top running game in the league or the second best defense in the NFL.
Now, Lambo is going through his first OTAs with the franchise, starting from the beginning. It’s something he told me was important to building team chemistry.
"“It’s been good, it’s been really positive,” the 27-year-old said. “It’s good I go through the grind with these guys. Thankfully I came in pretty hot and stayed pretty hot the entire year.”"
If there had been an Achilles Heel to start the season, it may have been the play of special teams. Myers was 11 of 15 last year, which continued a cycle of missing key kicks and extra points when the team needed them most. In comes Lambo and the kicking game improves immediately.
This is only the seventh year Lambo has been kicking a football since his days in college at Texas A&M. A converted soccer player who knows all about the Florida weather having gone to school at IMG Academy, the move from the left coast and San Diego back to the Sunshine State was the right one.
Now, Lambo will try to continue that consistency as the Jaguars’ offense has new faces with the same common goal of running the football. Jacksonville finished fifth in the NFL in scoring last season, which gave Josh Lambo plenty of opportunities to kick. He said he is in the best shape of his career and hopes that means more success.
"“[OTAs] is where bonds are formed. The guys see me out here working my ass off. Doing everything I can to help make the team better.”"
This time of the season, the one Josh Lambo missed last season, has given him a chance to get to know his teammates better, to know their personalities, to blend in more as a “team”. The move seems to have paid off as he is enjoying the experience.
"“We need to rely on each other. Not just in team meetings, but to be early to meetings. It’s that kind of atmosphere our coaches are building,” he added."
Lambo said he is a football player first and a specialist second.
There are things both he and the coaching staff had to get adjusted to upon his arrival here in Jacksonville. Working with special teams coach Joe DeCamillis has helped Josh Lambo be a better player and a better kicker.
Josh Lambo helped this team get somewhere it had not been in 10 seasons – the playoffs. He said it was a high note, but he wished the team had won one more game. It is something that could drive him to be better this season. But with a 95-percent accuracy rate in 2017, it’s going to be hard to top that kind of success.