Urban Meyer causes Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence to land on dubious list

• Trevor Lawrence was held back by Urban Meyer as a rookie. That helped him earn a spot on a recent list.
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer holds Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, FL, Sunday, November 7, 2021.
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer holds Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, FL, Sunday, November 7, 2021. / Bob Self/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY

It's been established that the Jacksonville Jaguars made a huge mistake when they hired Urban Meyer as their head coach in 2021. He took over a team that went 1-15 the season prior and somehow sunk it even lower. Among his biggest mistakes was the handling of Trevor Lawrence's rookie season. While the quarterback had the talent to succeed in the NFL, Meyer mismanaged his development. That's why it's not surprising to see Steezy Trev land on a dubious list.

Dallas Robinson of Pro Football Network drew up a list of rookie passers who were put in impossible situations. He gave Lawrence the top spot, noting that the Jaguars didn't help him much in his rookie season.

"Unlucky enough to be paired with Urban Meyer in his pro debut, Trevor Lawrence’s supporting cast was nearly as poor as his head coaching situation.

Zay Jones, a free agent import in 2021, led the Jacksonville Jaguars with 832 receiving yards, while Laviska Shenault chipped in with 619. TE Dan Arnold finished fourth among Jacksonville pass catchers in yards (324) despite being traded to the Panthers midseason.

But Meyer was the true culprit. Nearly everything the three-time collegiate champion touched in the NFL turned into a disaster. He hired disgraced strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle, who was quickly forced to resign after reports of his racial discrimination at the University of Iowa emerged."

For the sake of clarity, the Jags didn't sign Zay Jones until 2022. It was Marvin Jones Jr. the one they locked up in 2021. Having said that, the front office simply didn't do enough to put Lawrence in a position to succeed. Instead of making an aggressive effort to get him weapons, they looked for second-tier additions in free agency.

Bringing in Jones certainly helped but he was pretty much Lawrence's only reliable target in 2021. Once injuries struck, Jacksonville had to lean on draft bust Laquon Treadwell, who went on to have a career year.

But as Robinson noted, Meyer was the biggest reason Lawrence fared poorly as a rookie. He would tell players that they wouldn't be able to get a job that paid $15 if they got cut. The coaching staff didn't have it better, as the embattled head coach would question their credentials and remind them he was a national champion at the collegiate level.

By the end of 2021, the Jaguars had seen enough of Meyer and kicked him to the curb. He did such a poor job that he ensured he would never get another chance in the NFL. On the other hand, Lawrence has gone on to sign a contract that makes him one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL.

Ex Jaguars HC Urban Meyer had a great QB in Trevor Lawrence

You will be hard-pressed to find someone who will question Trevor Lawrence's place on the list. After all, most of the quarterbacks who made the cut landed in pretty bad situations but none of them had a coach as incompetent as Urban Meyer.

The fact that Meyer didn't fully derail Lawrence's career is also worth praising. The likes of David Carr, Tim Couch and Joey Harrington never recovered after struggling early in their respective careers. Meanwhile, Lawrence showed notable progress once the Jags hired a head coach who actually knew what he was doing.

Since Doug Pederson was hired as the head coach in 2022, Lawrence has been among the best passers in the league. His interception totals went up last year, and he must do a better job of holding onto the football. However, those are things he can correct. Moreover, the former Clemson Tiger is at last healthy after dealing with injuries in 2023. With a much better supporting cast, he's poised to bounce back next season.

The truth is that Urban Meyer could've done great things alongside Trevor Lawrence if he had been interested in coaching. He didn't and instead squandered his only chance in the NFL.

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