Jags’ Lawrence on being named the starter: ‘I am really excited for the opportunity’

In a shocker(sarcasm), Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer named Trevor Lawrence the team’s starting quarterback for Week 1 against the Houston Texans on Wednesday.

Meyer started today’s press conference with the following:

“Trevor [Lawrence] ‘s going to be the starter in Week 1,” Meyer said. “He will start this week as well.”

Meyer waited the first few weeks of training camp and two preseason games to do the inevitable, which was name Lawrence the starter, and he explained why.

“We wanted him to earn it, as we do with every position,” Meyer said. We felt he has, after the last [game], nice performance. It was good, obviously not great, but we didn’t run the ball very well. I kind of, in my mind, had that as of after the second preseason [game] that we kind of have to get somebody ready to play in three weeks.”

The number one overall pick is excited to be the starter for Jacksonville.

 “It was good, man; we talked about it in our QB room,” Lawrence said. “We have a great group, so I am really excited for the opportunity, but it doesn’t really change anything. We still have the same task in front of us — got to get a lot better individually, as a team, and an offense, so just looking forward to going to work this week. You know it brings some clarity which is nice going forward, but it really doesn’t change much. But, yes, I am really excited for the opportunity and grateful or it.”

According to Lawrence, he got plenty of support from Gardner Minshew and the other quarterbacks on the roster.

 “We more so talked about it in our QB room, and really like I said, we have a great group,” Lawrence said. “You know Minsh [Gardner Minshew] has been awesome and treating me really well. We have had a lot of conversations, and he has been a guy that I have been able to learn from, and CJ [Beathard] and Jake [Luton] and all those guys. We are all in it together; we are all on the same team, and at the end of the day, that is the most important thing. It has been good — moving forward, we are not making it bigger than it is. I am going to be the starter and just have to play well, so that does not change.”

Obviously, this was always Lawrence’s job, and now if Jacksonville is fortunate, this will be Lawerence’s job for many years.

Josh Evans retires as a Jaguar

Josh Evans, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ sixth-round draft pick out of Florida in 2013, has announced his retirement from the National Football League. Evans played three of his four NFL seasons with the Jaguars before completing his NFL career with the Washington Football Team.

IEvans, 30, started at free safety or strong safety in 37 of the 47 games he played for the Jaguars over three seasons, making 196 tackles and recovering three fumbles. As a rookie in 2013 Evans made 11 starts with 54 tackles. He ranked third on the team with 90 tackles in his second season, playing in all 16 games and starting 14, while also sharing the team lead with two fumble recoveries. In 2015 Evans started 12 games and finished with 52 tackles.

“I appreciated my time here in Jacksonville playing for the Jaguars, and I felt it was only right that I announce my retirement from football as a member of the Jaguars family,” Evans said. “I look forward to remaining involved along with other alumni through the NFL Legends Community. And I want to say thank you to the fans for their support.”

A native of Irvington, NJ, Evans played quarterback and safety at Irvington High School, where he was named all-state and the county player of the year, before signing with Florida and moving to Gainesville. Playing his first two seasons under Head Coach Urban Meyer, he started 24 of 47 games played for the Gators from 2009-2012 and completed his college career with 154 tackles, five interceptions and 3.5 sacks. He earned three letters and majored in criminology while at Florida.

Minshew on Tebow: ‘I mean, every time I throw to him, I just smile’

This time last year, Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew was preparing to be the team’s starter. While it appears he will not be the starter this season after the team selected QB Trevor Lawrence with the number one overall pick in this year’s draft, the third-year quarterback is keeping the same preparation.

“Yeah, absolutely,” Minshew said on Friday when asked if he’s competing to be the starter this season. “I think any time you go into anything thinking that losing or second best is an option, most of the time that’s what you’re going to get. That’s like when [Hernán] Cortés landed up at Veracruz with 600 dudes, trying to take the Aztec Empire, you know what he said? He said, ‘Burn the boats; we’re going back on their boats.’ So, that’s kind of a mindset that stuck with me, pretty much, since I heard that story.”

According to Minshew, while he’s competing with Lawrence for the starting job, he and Lawrence have a solid relationship.

“Oh, it’s great,” he said. “Trevor(Lawrence) is an awesome dude, super humble, coming in here ready to work, ready to learn. It’s been a lot of fun working with him, and I’m excited to continue to build that relationship.”

There’s another quarterback in camp with the Jaguars, but he’s a tight end. Tim Tebow, who won the Heisman Trophy at Florida, and many consider one of the greatest college quarterbacks of all time, is trying to get back into the league after last playing in a regular-season game almost nine years ago. 

Minshew has always been a big fan of Tebow, and now he’s throwing to him.

“It’s still so cool,” he said. “I mean, every time I throw to him, I just smile. That’s like my favorite thing. But it’s like, it’s unbelievable. You hear bigger-than-life stories about the dude, and it’s all real. It’s unbelievable. I’ve never—truly bigger-than-life type person. So, it’s been really awesome to be around him.”

Barring a trade or catastrophic injury, Minshew will probably be the backup this season for Jacksonville, but he’s a competitor, so expect him to do everything in his power to be the starting quarterback for Jacksonville in 2021.

 

 

Jaguars’ Jones happy with the progress of Trevor Lawrence

The biggest story of Jacksonville Jaguars training camp is the development of the number one overall pick in this year’s draft, quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

Anytime you’re the number one overall pick, much is expected, and much will be expected of Lawrence. 

According to Jaguars WR Marvin Jones, who signed with the team in the offseason, Lawrence is looking more comfortable by the day. 

“I think he’s getting more and more comfortable,” Jones said about Lawrence on Tuesday. “Obviously, he is a rookie, and as you get those reps, you get more and more comfortable. Just the play-making ability, he’s had it from the start. So, I’d say him being more comfortable, him getting more reps. Obviously, you’re going to get a ton of reps in camp, and it’s been good so far.”

The 10-year veteran has seen a lot over his career, and when he sees Lawrence, he sees a player with an elite skill set. 

“He makes some tight-window throws, and he wants to be aggressive and stuff like that, which I don’t mind because that’s what I like, but yeah, it’s been good,” Jones said. “He wants to make every play, so as he gets more and more familiar with the coverages and the type of drops and where everybody’s going to be, it’s going to be even better.”

Jaguars offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell added on Lawrence: “There are throws, you know, on some of things you can see on some of those downfield throws are really testing those guys. Those are some yokes there —you have really got to put it into it. I have been fortunate like you said, [Matthew] Stafford, [Brett] Favre, even Russell [Wilson]. I mean, those guys can throw it a long way, and Trevor [Lawrence] has done a good job. There really hasn’t been a throw that I’ve seen that he can’t make.”

It’s still early, and Lawrence will only get better as training camp moves on in Jacksonville, but seeing those throws has to be exciting for the franchise.

Watch highlights from Day 5 of Jaguars’ training camp:

Jaguars sign rookies’ Etienne, Campbell, Little

The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed rookie RB Travis Etienne Jr., CB Tyson Campbell, and OL Walker Little, the team announced on Tuesday.

With the signing of the three players, the entire 2021 Jaguars’ draft class is now signed and ready to go for training camp.

The Jaguars selected Etienne with the 25th overall pick of the 2021 draft. Etienne, 22, played in 55 games with 42 starts at Clemson. He is the ACC’s all-time leader in rushing yards (4,952), total touchdowns (78), rushing touchdowns (70), and points (468). 

Campbell, 21,  was selected in the second round (No. 33 overall) of the 2021 draft. Campbell played in 33 games at the University of Georgia and finished his collegiate career with 89 total tackles (58 solo), 11 passes defensed, and one INT.

The Jaguars selected Little in the second round (No. 45 overall) of the 2021 draft. Little, 22, played in 22 games at Stanford from 2017-19. In 2017, he became the first player at Stanford to start at left tackle as a true freshman since Kirk Chambers in 2000 and was the Pac-12 Freshman Co-Offensive Player of the year and earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention accolades. 

Rookies report to training camp on Tuesday, while veterans report on July 27.

Jags officially sign number one overall pick Trevor Lawrence

The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed rookie QB Trevor Lawrence, the team announced on Monday.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, it’s a four-year, $36.8 million contract that includes $24.1 million in guaranteed money and the standard fifth-year option.

The Jaguars selected Lawrence with the first overall pick of the 2021 draft. Lawrence, 21, played in 40 games with 36 starts at Clemson from 2018-20. His 34-2 (.944)  record as a starter is the third-best winning percentage by a starting quarterback with at least 30 career starts in college football history since 1978. He finished his career undefeated as a starter in regular season play and did not lose a regular season game at either the high school or collegiate levels. Lawrence led the Tigers to a national championship as a true freshman in 2018.

For his career, Lawrence completed 758-of-1138 passes (66.6 percent) for 10,098 yards, 90 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He holds several school records, including career winning percentage.

Jaguars sign WR Laquon Treadwell

The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed WR Laquon Treadwell, the team announced on Friday.

To make room for Treadwell on the 90-man roster, the Jaguars have waived WR Jon’Vea Johnson. 

Treadwell, 26, enters his sixth season in the NFL. Last season, with the Falcons, Treadwell had six receptions for 49 yards and two touchdowns. 

The former first-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings has 71 receptions for 750 yards and four touchdowns in his career.

Jags’ Shaquill Griffin is impressed by Trevor Lawrence

The Jacksonville Jaguars begin mandatory minicamp with a lot of hope. They have a new coach in Urban Meyer and a new quarterback in Trevor Lawrence, but with any rookie quarterback, there will be growing pains. However, for Lawrence, those pains are in his hamstring.

The number one overall pick in this year’s draft has been dealing with a nagging hamstring injury that has limited him during minicamp, but according to Meyer, if this were a real game, Lawrence would be a go. 

“Yeah, if we had to go, he could’ve went,” Meyer said on Monday. “Our trainers and Shad [Khan] are being a little cautious because right now, when you’re a month out if you yank a hamstring now, you’re going to miss the early part of training camp. So, we’re just being cautious. That’s that one muscle that—you guys have all seen it like I have, [if] you pull a hamstring at this point, you’re going to miss all your summer conditioning, so we’re being somewhat conservative on it. But he actually could play a game if we had to.”

Lawrence added: “I’m just trying to work it back to full capacity. It’s a little frustrating just not being able to go full speed, but I’m feeling good. [I’m] just trying to not have any more setbacks, so [I’m] taking it slow, got some good reps today, just starting to get more and more each day this week and just kind of work back into it. But it’s doing great, trying to work it back.”

Regarding Lawerence’s ability to execute the team’s offense, Meyer thinks it’s been a mixed bag.

“His retention and carry over has been very good,” Meyer said. “Execution at times, like you would imagine, has been up and down, especially when they start changing the looks up on defense—which obviously is going to happen a ton. But we’re very pleased with where he is. The summer is going to be great, and training camp is going to be great.”

One guy who has been impressed by Lawrence is the newest Jaguars CB Shaquill Griffin. 

“I feel like the main thing is he is very exposed, so when the ball is out, it’s out. I can tell when you see him throw, so even if I’m out on the sideline, I’m watching him throw to different receivers,” Griffin said. “The rotation of the ball, the timing, the way he’s putting it there, away from everybody, it’s just insane to see that so early in a quarterback. You’re talking about coming in the league with so much high hopes, and he’s proving it. That’s why I’m so excited for him.”

It’s one day at a time for Lawrence, and hopefully, for the Jaguars, he can grow into the franchise quarterback this team desperately needs.

Meyer on Robinson: ‘I can’t name a harder worker right now on our team’

Last season, after the Jaguars released RB Leonard Fournette, then undrafted rookie free agent James Robinson took advantage of the opportunity. He started 14 games in 2020 and finished with 1,414 scrimmage yards (1,070 rushing, 344 receiving), the most scrimmage yards by an undrafted rookie in the common draft era. He was the only rookie in the NFL to average more than 100 scrimmage yards per game last season. His 1,070 rushing yards ranked second among rookies and fifth overall. 

Robinson scored 10 total TDs (seven rushing, three receiving), which were tied for the fourth-most among rookies in the NFL in 2020. 

This season, Robinson will have some competition. First-round pick RB Travis Etienne Jr. will be the mix as well as veteran RB Carlos Hyde.

“When they brought those guys in, I knew of them,” Robinson said on Thursday during OTAs in Jacksonville. “It’s really just I have to go out there and control what I can control, and once I get my opportunity, just make the most of it.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many things were virtual last season, and according to Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer, having players in person will benefit Robinson and the team.

“We’re keeping our distance from each other, but a team meeting is so much better than the Zoom,” Meyer said. “And I heard—I wasn’t coaching last year—but the horror stories about videos not being able to show videos, the technology wasn’t great. So, having them here in person has been fantastic. James Robinson is one of my favorite guys. I can’t name a harder worker right now on our team, and that started in January all the way through June now. So, I love that guy.”

Robinson added: “It gives all of us a lot of opportunities to learn the offense more instead of just being virtual and having to do it yourself. Getting to work with the quarterbacks and the new guys coming in, it helps all of us because if you’re just doing it on your own, you’re not really getting the work that you need. There’s certain coaching points that we need to know, and just having OTAs and being here helps out a lot.”

It should be interesting to see the role Robinson will have this season, but regardless of the role, it appears he will work hard to put himself in a position to succeed.

Jaguars’ sign WR Pharoh Cooper

The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed former Pro Bowl and All-Pro WR Pharoh Cooper, the team announced on Thursday.

Cooper, 26, spent the 2020 season with the Carolina Panthers. Entering his sixth season, Cooper made his mark on special teams. He has 82 punt returns for 729 yards and 104 kickoff returns for 2,523 yards and one TD. Cooper was a Pro-Bowler with the Rams in 2017.

The Los Angeles Rams originally drafted Cooper in the fourth round of the 2016 draft.

In another move, Jacksonville placed WR Terry Godwin on the injured reserve list.