It feels like we’ve been waiting so long for the moment Trevor Lawrence stepped out onto an NFL field as a team’s franchise quarterback. Lawrence first came onto the national spotlight as a true freshman at Clemson, and from that moment on, it was not an “if” but “when” he would be running out of the tunnel as a pro.
We got our first view of Lawrence in the pros as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the team's first preseason game last week. Though the Jaguars did not come away victorious, Lawrence gave us a good baseline.
Lawrence only played 15 offensive snaps for the Jaguars, which accounted for just 22% of the team’s total offensive snaps that game. He finished the game 6-for-9 with 71 passing yards and a quarterback rating of 90.5.
“I saw good plays,” head coach Urban Meyer said. “I saw a guy who made a couple nice plays on third down.
Lawrence played just two drives as the starter for the Jaguars. In them, no points were added and he also had a sack-fumble on his first drive of the game. Not an ideal start for the No. 1 overall pick, but certainly nothing to panic over, either.
It appeared Lawrence’s biggest point of emphasis moving forward will be that internal clock in the back of his head and simply getting it calibrated to NFL speed. On the sacks, Lawrence just held onto the ball too long, which is something that is totally understandable and even expected for most rookie starting quarterbacks. But, on the flip side, there were two third-down conversion plays where Lawrence was able to time things correctly and make the necessary play you’d want to see from a quarterback with his back against the wall. So, where the timing needs work, the playmaking mentality is obvious.
“We gave up two sacks, I believe, with the number one offense,” Meyer said. “If he's holding the ball a little bit long, I kind of felt he did on one of them, but we'll have more for after watch, but just disappointing offense. I don't like slow offenses and I thought the third quarter was better with tempo, getting up to the line of scrimmage, snap the ball and it was, I don't want to be one of those slow wallowing offenses and now we'll go get that fixed.”
If this sort of trend continues with Lawrence holding onto the ball longer than he should, expect teams to really dial up their blitz packages early into the regular season until Lawrence shows he can not only handle it, but burn teams for taking guys from the coverage unit and sending them in the pocket.
“It's not going to be overnight and you got to really get better as the season goes,” Lawrence said. “It's not just about how much better you get right now, you have to keep getting better every week so we know that and we're just gonna keep doing it.”
For their final two games of the preseason, the Jaguars will face the New Orleans Saints and Dallas Cowboys on the road. It’s not confirmed just how much Lawrence will play in those games. On one hand, he’s your young, franchise starting quarterback and you might not want to play him at all until the regular season. But that internal clock issue only gets better with live reps, and the regular season will be even faster than the preseason.
Not from doubt or anything like that, but Lawrence will need all the reps he can get if he hopes to keep the Jaguars competitive right out of the gate.
- Dec 01, 2022
- Nov 30, 2022