Quarterback Trevor Lawrence played a huge role in the turnaround the Jacksonville Jaguars underwent last year. He's also become one of the most recognizable names in today's NFL. However, former running back LeSean McCoy doesn't understand the hype surrounding Steezy Trev heading into the 2023 season.
Shady McCoy said on FS1's Speak that he doesn't get what the fuss over Lawrence is, noting that Justin Herbert is the better quarterback of the two, and the Jaguars' offense runs through Travis Etienne anyway.
"When I watch Lawrence, I think he has some talent. I don't see what everybody gets so hyped about," McCoy told his fellow hosts. "When you really watch the Jags play — ETN is the running back, right? — they go through him — whereas Herbert, the offense goes through Herbert.
"When we want to lose it's because of what I do about it. When he had injured guys at wide receiver, he had to carry that load while I haven't seen Trevor Lawrence do that. What I'm saying is they run the ball well, and if it doesn't work, the offense don't be that great," McCoy said.
Nevertheless, McCoy would pick Jacksonville over the Chargers to have a better year because of head coach Doug Pederson, who was on the Philadelphia Eagles' staff when they drafted him in 2009.
McCoy racked up 11,102 yards with 73 touchdowns during an NFL career that included stints with the Eagles, the Buffalo Bills, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He also earned two Pro Bowl selections and two First-Team All-Pro designations, so he knows a bit or two running backs. However, it was puzzling to see him say the Jaguars' offense runs through Etienne, the 25th overall pick in 2021.
Make no mistake, Etienne is a talented running back, one that totaled 1,414 yards from scrimmage one year after suffering a Lisfranc injury. That said, he's not the main reason the Jaguars' offense ranked 10th in both points scored and total yards last year. That would be Trevor Lawrence, who got off to a somewhat slow start last season but played like a top 10 quarterback in the second half.
It's true that Etienne made his fair share of key plays. His fourth-down conversion late against the Los Angeles Chargers in Super Wild Card Weekend comes to mind. However, Lawrence had a bigger impact than him in the eventual 31-30 win. Here are McCoys' comments.
Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence, or Justin Herbert? Things will become clearer in 2023
The Trevor Lawrence or Justin Herbert debate has been a hot topic since the end of the 2022 season. If you go by wins, the Jaguars swept Los Angeles last season. On the other hand, Lawrence does have a better coach than Herbert and arguably a better-supporting cast.
This has led Herbert to carry his team on his shoulders more than he should. Then again, that comes with the territory. You could make the case that the Chargers' defense lost to Jacksonville but the offense stalled in the second half. Who was behind center? Herbert, who couldn't move the ball when it mattered the most.
Another reason Herbert is usually ranked higher in the quarterback hierarchy is that he's played well since his rookie season. Meanwhile, Lawrence's rookie year was less than stellar, and has only had one good season. If he can keep improving as expected in 2023, maybe he can put the debate to rest.
For the time being, both the Jaguars and the Chargers should feel good knowing they have a franchise quarterback in place, regardless of who's the better of the two.