The Jacksonville Jaguars were embarrassed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 16. This led Trevor Lawrence to say that the Jags were playing like a team that doesn't practice. Lawrence revisited his comments and said that he doesn't regret them but he would probably not say them in retrospect based on the kerfuffle he caused.
"I don't regret saying that. You have emotions after the game and you're disappointed where we're at in our year," Lawrence told the media Wednesday. "The past few weeks, we've been hoping to turn it around, play better, and right the ship, get back on track and we haven't been able to do that. It's frustrating, I don't mean anything about our process and about the way we do things. I don't think any of that's wrong. I think that we practice the right way. I think we work hard I think that our coaches do a great job of preparing us and our plans and practice and the way we rep different things and I feel like we get every look."
Lawrence continued. "I mean the way it's carrying over to the field looks like a team that doesn't practice. That's what I meant after the game Sunday. So no, I don't regret saying that. I think it's true and for myself. It's not like I'm saying I'm playing great and it's everybody else. It's myself too. There's things that are happening that can't happen, like I talked about, taking care of the ball, just the simple things, being more consistent, more efficient. Not missing some of those throws, not turning the ball over, the list goes on."
"A lot of things that go into that, I'd probably prefer not to say that going back just to not start anything up. We got enough going on where we just need to focus on ourselves and not let any outside noise affect us. But I think there's no issues with us and the guys. I don't think guys will take any offense to that. I know that they know that. I'm speaking for myself and all of us when I say things like that," Lawrence said.
Head coach Doug Pederson was asked about Lawrence's comments when he met with the media Tuesday. He downplayed them, noting that maybe that's the way the quarterback felt, which echoes what he said.
Lawrence most definitely played a role in the loss and the offense's overall struggles, throwing one interception and losing two fumbles. During the Jaguars' four-game losing streak, he's completed 60.93 percent of his passes for 990 yards with seven touchdowns and five interceptions. He's also lost three fumbles, giving him a combined eight turnovers.
it hasn't helped that Lawrence has dealt with a series of alignments. First, he sprained his ankle against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 13. He then suffered a concussion in Week 15. While he was cleared in time for Week 16, he sprained his shoulder and his status against the Carolina Panthers in Week 17 is up in the air.
The Jaguars do look like a team that doesn't practice well
Lawrence doesn't come across as the kind of player who would throw his teammates or coaches under the bus. However, he's right, whether he was talking about himself or the team. The Jaguars look unprepared on the field, and that starts in practice. Doug Pederson says they're working hard, but if that's the end result, it makes you wonder how much worse things would be if they weren't practicing hard.
Simply, the approach the coaching staff is using is clearly not working, otherwise, they wouldn't have lost four games in a row. Perhaps the prospect of going home if they drop another game is what they need to wake up, but it's clear the Jaguars haven't operated with a sense of urgency in recent weeks.
The Jaguars still have a bit of time to turn things around though, but it's up to them to seize the opportunity. As the saying goes, better late than never, but it all starts in practice.