Jacksonville Jaguars must keep faith in divisive Trevor Lawrence

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Who would have guessed it? It took Trevor Lawrence less than two years to become a divisive figure among fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars. One look at social media will show you there are those that support the former Clemson Tiger and believe he can legitimately develop into a franchise.

On the other hand, there’s a camp that thinks they’ve seen enough of Lawrence to know he’s not the long-term answer for the position. One thing that is certain and it’s that the Jags must show patience with him, at least for the remainder of the season and probably next year.

See, quarterbacks don’t grow on trees and Lawrence was the best one in the 2021 draft class, so it’s fair to say that if the Jaguars hadn’t drafted him first overall someone else would have. Coming out of college, he was seen as a generational talent because even though he played in a somewhat basic system at Clemson, he had no trouble making the throws he would need to pull off in the NFL. Moreover, he had the prototypical size to play the position and the athleticism to break off a few runs if necessary.

However, Lawrence currently has a 5-20 record as a starter in the NFL and although he’s made progress in his sophomore campaign, he’s also made the kind of mistakes that will make you roll your eyes. Sure, wins aren’t a quarterback stat but if he had played better in each of the six losses the Jaguars have had this season, there’s a good chance they would have at least a couple more victories.

As Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports noted one day after Jacksonville’s loss to the Denver Broncos, all Lawrence’s interceptions this year have “come in the red zone or in the final two minutes of a one-score game“. With the game on the line, you want your quarterback to rise to the occasion and Lawrence hasn’t been able to do so. He may be able to eventually get to that point but he isn’t there yet.

The Jaguars will keep giving Trevor Lawrence chances to succeed

Trevor Lawrence is aware he must play better but he can’t perpetually keep talking about it. At some point, he must show something, and it will have to be sooner rather than later. The Jaguars can’t simply stop the season and let the quarterback fix whatever’s wrong. Instead, he will need to learn on the fly and he will have nine games to do so. After all, benching him doesn’t make much sense.

The best way Lawrence can improve is by playing. Watching from the sidelines won’t help him much. Also, C.J. Beathard isn’t anything more than a backup and while he might be able to win a couple of games, he’s not franchise quarterback material nor the long-term answer for the Jags.

If Lawrence doesn’t show progress by the end of the season, the Jaguars can then bring in a veteran in the offseason to push him in training camp or get him a but they will cross that bridge when they need to. For the time being, they need to keep putting Lawrence in a position to succeed and let him learn on the job. It’s up to him to make the most of the situation.

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