Trevor Lawrence found a new level to his play in the second half of the 2022 season, leading the Jacksonville Jaguars to a playoff berth and the AFC South title. However, general manager Trent Baalke believes Lawrence can rise even higher in 2023.
During a recent appearance on the Rich Eisen Show, Baalke talked about Lawrence and his expectations for the 2023 season. He got straight to the point: The general manager thinks Steezy Trev can accomplish big things.
"The sky's the limit for Trevor, he's got all the talent in the world, it's important to him", Baalke told host Rich Eisen. "He's really taken on a leadership role. It's the second year in the system where he's go t a great connection with the head coach and the coaches that work with him on the offensive side of the ball."
"They've got great play in skilled position players around them on the offensive line. The sky's the limit but there's a lot of work to be put in before we get there," Baalke said.
Lawrence had a rather underwhelming rookies season, completing less than 60 percent of his passes and throwing 17 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions. However, he also showed flashes of the player that led Clemson to a National Championship, especially in the season finale, when the Jags beat the Indianapolis Colts 26-11 to knock them out of playoff contention.
Knowing Urban Meyer had hindered Lawrence's growth the Jaguars performed an extensive search to make sure they found a head coach that could squeeze every ounce of talent out of Lawrence. After nearly two months, they chose Doug Pederson, who had a solid track record of developing quarterbacks.
Under Pederson's tutelage, Lawrence showed improvement right off the bat. But he also made several mistakes that proved to be costly. It was until the second half of the 2022 season that a switch flipped and started playing like a top-10 passer.
After a heartbreaking loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 10, Lawrence completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 1,779 yards with 12 touchdowns and just two interceptions. On top of that, he led comeback wins against the Dallas Cowboys, the Baltimore Ravens, and the Los Angeles Chargers in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs. Not surprisingly, expectations have gone up in Year 3. Here's Baalke's full sitdown with Eisen.
Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence is in a position to exceed expectations in 2023
While there's always a chance Lawrence will regress next season, signs point toward him having a banner year. Besides trading for wide receiver Calvin Ridley, the Jags did their best to keep most of their 2022 starters in place. On top of that, Lawrence is entering his second year in Pederson's system. All this continuity should lead to a highly productive year for the quarterback.
That said, Trent Baalke is right. This is a new season and Jaguars can rest on their laurels and must put in the work if they want to return to the playoffs and get over the hump. Then again, that's precisely what Trevor Lawrence and his teammates have been doing for the last few months, so expecting them to do big things in 2023 is reasonable.