Quarterbacks carry more weight than any other position in the NFL. That’s why often get the credit when the team is winning and usually get the blame when they’re losing. Trevor Lawrence isn’t exempt from this dynamic, and a media personality isn’t sold on him.
Keyshawn Johnson of ESPN recently weighed in on Lawrence. He acknowledges the rookie passer has improved but believes he isn’t doing enough to help the Jaguars win games. Johnson then compares Lawrence with wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase is helping the Cincinnati Bengals win games.
"I don’t mind where Trevor Lawrence he is right now as a rookie. He is certainly growing and getting better each week. But this whole putting him in once in a lifetime generational quarterback… Give me some damn wins, that’s all I care about, because those type of guys, they win football games and so when you talk about Ja’Marr Chase, as a wide receiver as the fifth [overall] pick. He’s helping his team win games."
Johnson argues that Lawrence’s development doesn’t matter if it doesn’t translate into wins. He then says Justin Fields and Mac Jones are helping their respective teams win games. Here’s the whole clip if you want to watch it.
Trevor Lawrence gives the Jacksonville Jaguars a chance to win.
You can’t use wins as a sole means to evaluate a quarterback’s performance. Sure, the best ones put you in a position to win and make clutch plays when it matters the most. On the other hand, football is a team sport and there is only so much a quarterback can do. Take for example the Kansas City Chiefs in 2021. Patrick Mahomes is still a top signal-caller but his team has one of the worst defenses in the NFL. As talented as he is, outscoring your opponents every game isn’t s recipe for sustained success.
Coincidentally, the Jaguars won a game when their defense allowed less than 23 points and made a few impact plays. This isn’t to say things Lawrence needs a complete team to flourish. He’s showing growth every week, he’s making throws other quarterbacks wish they could attempt. His pocket awareness is outstanding but he’s only played six games in the NFL. Expecting him to be as good a Peyton Manning in his prime at this stage of his career.
The coaching staff has consistently praised Lawrence for his growth. Also, the former Clemson Tiger has shown he possesses the maturity and emotional intelligence to play in the NFL and eventually become the face of the franchise in Jacksonville. As Lawrence and his teammates have rightfully pointed out, the wins will come. They just have to keep working hard.
The Jaguars want to win games but also develop Trevor Lawrence.
Keep in mind that the Jaguars are in a development year in spite of what head coach Urban Meyer previously said earlier this year. Before the start of the season, you would have been hard-pressed to find someone who thought Jacksonville was going to be a Super Bowl contender. The organization is aware it will take time to right the ship after years of losing. Meyer knew that turning this team around was going to be no walk in the park.
Of course, the Jaguars want to win games, what team would like to willingly lose games? But they still don’t have enough talent to compete in spite of all the additions they made this past offseason.
As long as Lawrence keeps showing improvement in 2021, the Jaguars will have nothing to worry about. Depending on how he finishes the season, they can adjust expectations for next year.