One of the biggest appeals of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ head-coaching opening earlier this year was the presence of Trevor Lawrence, who entered the league as one of the most talented quarterback prospects in years. After a search that stretched for more than a month, Doug Pederson got the job and he believes the sky is the limit for the young passer.
Pederson recently appeared on The Rich Eisen Podcast and talked about several topics, including the schedule, the draft, the 2021 season, and Lawrence. Pederson says Lawrence was what drew him to Jacksonville and had nothing but positive things to say about him. He points out that his quarterback is not a rookie but the coaching staff is kind of “starting over with him and just building him from the ground up”. When asked to elaborate, this is what he had to say.
"Fundamentally just starting over. Trying to erase last year and a lot of the things and be positive with him and just teach them the fundamentals of playing the game and not just throwing the ball, not the mechanics of it, but just playing the quarterback position and what it takes to be a leader on your football team, bet the face of the franchise, how to be a pro… just showing him how to study tape, what to study, and really getting him to verbalize with us as a staff, what he likes and doesn’t like and I think that’s part of the process of starting over with him and just building it from the ground floor up."
Rich Eisen asks if Lawrence learned any of that as a rookie, to which Pederson responds that he did but believes that there are things offensive coordinator Press Taylor and quarterbacks coach Mike McCoy can help him get better at. He thinks they can provide leadership to him and refine some things with him. Here’s the whole clip in case you want to watch it.
Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence is in a position to improve in 2022.
Pederson wasn’t going to throw his predecessor, Urban Meyer, under the bus but he definitely got his work cut out from the moment he arrived. Hindsight is 20/20 but throughout his short stint as the head coach of the Jaguars, Meyer made decisions that might have hindered Lawrence’s growth.
Instead of naming Lawrence the starter from the beginning, he had him compete with Gardner Minshew for the job, even though he was often the better passer. To no one’s surprise, the former Clemson Tiger won the job. Later in the season, Meyer reportedly got into a spat with his coaching staff because they didn’t see eye to eye on what offensive system to use. But it went beyond Lawrence’s development plan.
Meyer fostered a toxic environment that made it difficult for any player, let alone a rookie, to thrive. While Lawrence and other players in leadership positions backed their former head coach up and refrained from saying bad things about him, you will be hard-pressed to find someone in the organization that wishes they had retained Meyer. While the Jags shouldn’t have hired Meyer to begin with, they ultimately gave him the boot and have spent the offseason trying to improve. Hiring Pederson was a big first step but the team’s brass has also spent the offseason upgrading every single position group on both offense and defense.
The Jaguars failed Lawrence as a rookie but they’ve tried since then to fix things up. Based on Pederson’s comments to Eisen, he’s the right man to clean the mess Meyer left and turn Lawrence into a franchise quarterback.