The Jacksonville Jaguars are set to face the Tennessee Titans in Week 11, and one of the biggest questions surrounding the game has been the Jags' inability to create big plays. A clip of defensive end Arden Key has done nothing but highlight the issue.
You have probably seen a clip of Arden Key making the rounds of social media, where the former Jaguar-turned-Titan says that once you take away Lawrence's first read, he's in trouble.
"He's grown tremendously," Key told the media Wednesday. "Being there, if we can take away his first read, the rush will be allowed to get there. Get the ball out fast. If the first read is there, he's throwing it right there, right now. If it's not, you see the kind of hesitation, so we know and realize that we've got to take away the first read, so we're able to get to him."
Key went on to say that Lawrence runs the show but some have misrepresented his comments to imply that Lawrence doesn't read the field well, even though that's not the case. The truth is that the offensive line, not the quarterback's decision-making, has been the main reason behind the team's inability to create big plays and put more points on the scoreboard.
When asked about Key's comments, Jaguars offensive coordinator Press Taylor seemed to disregard the narrative, noting that creating pressuring and taking away a quarterback's first read are basic elements of every defensive philosophy.
"I would imagine that's defensive philosophy for every quarterback," Taylor told the media Thursday. "They're saying that whatever that may be. We've been pretty good at being able to deliver the ball to the first read when that comes down to it. Trevor's 67-68 percent completion, something like that. So, a lot of that comes from being able to get the ball out early to your primary read. I mean, hitting quarterbacks, affecting quarterbacks, making the quarterback hold the ball, that seems pretty universal for defending good quarterbacks," Taylor said.
Taylor, then praised the a stout Titans defensive front that's stacked with talent, noting that the Jaguars will need to be physical and finish blocks.
"They're very strong, very stout inside. They do a good job of stopping the run. They've done it for a long time. They're getting Arden, getting Harold Landry back from injury that he was in last year. But it's a big physical stout unit that does a good job stopping the run stuff and interior gaps, making it hard to get to the second level and block the linebackers and get explosive runs off them," Taylor said.
Trevor Lawrence isn't the reason the Jacksonville Jaguars' offense is underperforming
You will be hard-pressed to find anyone at the Jaguars headquarters whose confidence in Trevor Lawrence has wavered. While it's true that he needs to do a better job of holding onto the ball — he said so himself — he hasn't been nearly as bad as some analysts would make you think. In fact, Steezy Trev has done a good job of masking the offensive line's inability to block.
Simply, you won't be able to move the ball, let alone score, if you rank near the cellar in both pass protection and run blocking. This isn't in any way a justification for Lawrence's and the offense's lack of production though. The coaching staff must put their players in a position to succeed and the players, including Lawrence, must execute. To his credit, Taylor took his share of the blame, telling the media that he didn't do a job adjusting in Week 10 once Jacksonville started trailing.
Can Trevor Lawrence play better? Most definitely but the team's offensive issues don't solely fall on him. The good news is that he and the Jacksonville Jaguars will have a chance to bounce back when they face Arden Key and the Titans in Week 11.
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