Coming into the 2021 NFL season, there was some excitement in Jacksonville as the Jaguars drafted quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the number one overall pick, and they hired Urban Meyer, who is one of the greatest coaches in college football history.
However, Meyer made mistake after mistake and was fired 13 games into his first season as an NFL head coach. Enter a Super Bowl-winning head coach in Doug Pederson, who hopes to turn things around.
Things were bad in Jacksonville last season, and according to Lawrence, the players did not trust the coaching staff.
“I think that’s the biggest thing in a team is just trusting each other, trusting the guys in the locker room but also the staff,” Lawrence said after the first day of voluntary OTAs on Monday. “That’s something; clearly, we didn’t have a lot of last year, so I mean, I think our locker room did a great job last year of staying together. But it’s cool to see him [Head Coach Doug Pederson] make that a priority, and he knows and understands that that is definitely something that we have to make sure that we have in this building. I do think we’re building that, and I mean from everything I’ve seen, everyone’s trusting one another, really just going to work, and preparing ourselves.”
Lawrence is trying to build on a rookie season that saw some ups and downs. At this point, Pederson is looking for the second-year quarterback to continue to improve.
“[We] just want to see that growth in him here as we sort of wind down the offseason and gear up for training camp,” Pederson said. “But he’s been focused, he’s been here, he’s been attentive, he’s done a good job on the football field, he’s a leader, and those are the things we want to continue now as we head into training camp.”
Jacksonville again had the number one overall pick this season, and they selected OLB/DE Travon Walker out of Georgia, who has impressed Lawrence.
“He looks the part for sure,” Lawrence said. “Just really his demeanor, I enjoy being around him “[He’s] a really calm guy, humble, hard worker. Then obviously, you see him, and you see why he’s the number one pick and all that. But just his personality, I’m excited to get to know him more. I think that’s kind of the type of personality that I gel with, so I’m excited to get to know him. I think he’s going to be a great player for us.”
Jacksonville continues OTAs: May 24, May 26, May 31-June 1, June 3, June 6-9.
It didn’t last long, but based on what happened in the first 13 games on and off the field, firing Urban Meyer was probably the right thing to do for owner Shad Khan and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Meyer was fired Thursday morning, and OC Darrell Bevell was named the interim coach for the rest of the season.
“There’s been some drama; there’s been some distractions,” Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence said Thursday. “You can’t ever go back, though; you just have to move forward. Where we’re at right now, [Interim Head Coach], Coach Bev[ell] ‘s our head coach the rest of the reason, and I have a lot of respect for Bev and who he is. He’s earned my respect, so we’re going to all follow him. I’m excited about these last four games and just to go play our best and finish with some momentum.”
Despite all the drama, the number one pick says he has a lot of respect for Meyer.
“He’s great. [I] have a lot of respect for him,” Lawrence said. “This first thing I’ll say about all of this is just I respect [former Head Coach] Coach [Urban] Meyer, and I really appreciate everything he’s done for me. He’s one of the main reasons I’m here. He drafted me, so that will always be there, and I wish him nothing but the best. Obviously, it didn’t work out here; some changes had to be made. But as far as Coach and his future, I wish him nothing but the best, and I guess I’ll just start with that.”
Meyer’s firing did not come down until after Thursday midnight, but Lawrence, like others, found out about Meyer’s dismissal early Thursday morning.
“I actually, I didn’t find out until this morning. I woke up; I guess it was around six or whatever and saw it on my phone,” Lawrence explained. “I had some texts and then just naturally kind of googled it to see what’s going on, just to be honest. Saw that, and I rolled over and told Marissa [his wife], ‘Hey, this just happened. It’ll be an interesting day at work.”
Even after a tumultuous first season, Lawrence is committed to trying to win in Jacksonville.
“Let’s go turn this thing around, go become a winner, let’s go win some games, get this thing turned around,” he said. “I have full faith in that still. Obviously, there’s a lot of steps to be made in the future to go in that direction, but I still believe that, and I plan on being here for a long time, hopefully, my whole career. Whatever the future holds, I know I’m just going to be the best I can every day, wherever my feet are. That’s how I’m approaching it, and that’s how I always will.”
Jacksonville(2-11) hopes to end their five-game losing streak on Sunday at home against the Texans.
Watch below as Lawrence talks Meyer’s firing and turning things around in Jacksonville:
On Sunday against the Titans, Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence had the worst game of his young career. The number one pick was 24/40 for 221 yards and a career-high four interceptions as the Jags were shoutout 20-0.
Lawrence was off yesterday, and according to Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer, the coaching staff discussed benching the rookie quarterback.
“There were some conversations about what would be best for Trevor [Lawrence] at this point,” Meyer said Monday. “I obviously relied on Bev [Darrell Bevell] and Schotty [BriaSchottenheimer] to give their opinions. We thought, all three of us, that it would be best to let him finish.”
Meyer was asked if he thought about sitting Lawrence down for a game, but at this point, Meyer is not looking to go in that direction.
“I don’t think so,” Meyer said about possibly sitting Lawrence. “I’ll go have that chat with—. I think this is a learning experience for Trevor [Lawrence]. We need to go win a game, and if we believe Trevor is our best chance to win a game and he’s going to be our quarterback here, then to keep just fighting through it, fighting through it.”
In the last seven games, Jacksonville has not scored more than 17 points, and while Meyer is seeing frustration, he is not seeing players turn on each other.
“Yeah, on offense, I feel when things aren’t performing to the level that we expect, you would expect frustration,” he said. “I don’t see finger-pointing, I don’t see yelling at each other, I don’t see fist-fights on the sideline like I’ve heard about, I don’t see any of that. But I see frustration.”
Jacksonville should stick with Lawrence. Young quarterbacks struggle, and they have bad games. Look, Peyton Manning threw 28 interceptions as a rookie, so interceptions come with youth. Lawrence will get better, but unfortunately, there will be struggles.
Down 21-3 in the third quarter, it appeared the Jacksonville Jaguars were on the verge of getting routed on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons(5-6) at TIAA Bank Field.
However, they battled and fought and cut the lead to 21-14 in the fourth. Jacksonville had one final chance to tie the game late, but after getting a first down from their own 29, Trevor Lawrence would throw four straight incompletions, and ultimately, Jacksonville would fall to the Falcons 21-14.
With the loss, Jacksonville(2-9) has lost three straight and four out of their last five.
In two of the last three games, the Jaguars had their offense on the field with an opportunity to win or tie the game, and both times, the offense failed to get the job done, which Lawrence discussed post-game.
“Our defense two times has put us in a situation to go win the game and haven’t been able to do it,” Lawrence said. “So we’ve just got to get better and go make those plays in the biggest moments. I know we can do it, but we’ve got to go do it, and that starts with me and staying on schedule even in the two-minute. It’s tough when you get in 3rd and 4th and 10. We’ve got to get better at that, but we’re going to get some more opportunities and just keep working for when you do get it to go and execute and win the game.”
Despite the loss, Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer was happy with the team’s efforts.
“Yeah, they fought their tails off, and 84 [Cordarrelle Patterson] is a really good player for them, and he hurt us early, and then on offense, we moved the ball a little bit, just no big plays. Just none,” Meyer said. “And then, all of a sudden, we started getting some. Offensive football is a big-play — not many teams can drive the length of a field without a hit here and there, and we had some hits and scored a couple times.”
Against Atlanta, Lawrence completed 23-of-42 passes for 228 yards and a touchdown, interception, and after 11 games, Lawrence is 231-of-398 passing for 2,369 yards with nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
The first overall pick has been up and down this season, but according to Meyer, Lawrence remains confident.
“Yeah, I’ve had many, many daily conversations with him, and he’s a fighter,” Meyer said. “He doesn’t look at it that way. He looks, he came here to help lift an organization, and that’s the way he looks at it. He’s very hard on himself, as most great players are, and the whole question even I ask the team, ask myself, ask ourselves, what can we do better to go win that game, and the answer is a multitude of things. That’s never really come up. That’s not a woe-is-me, and feel sorry for yourself. What can we do to get better is how he approaches everything. Like I said, he’s very — that cat now works — is very hard on himself; what can he do better, and not just on the field but lead guys. That’s why he’s going to be a great player here.”
Jacksonville heads on the road next week to battle the Rams.
The 2021 NFL season for the Jacksonville Jaguars(2-7) is about growing and getting better each and every week. Before Sunday’s 23-17 road loss to the Colts, Jacksonville had won two out of three after starting the season 0-5.
Against the Colts on Sunday, the Jaguars trailed 17-0 in the first quarter but were able to cut the lead to 20-17 in the fourth, but with the score 23-17 and less than a minute to go, Trevor Lawrence fumbled the ball on a scramble, and the Colts would hold on for the win.
Lawrence struggled on Sunday as he was 16/35 for 162 yards, and he was disappointed that he could not will his team to victory.
“I was super disappointed in how it ended,” Lawrence said. “[I] had the ball in my hands, and the game ended that way instead of us scoring and going up there, but the defense really rallied behind me. The locker room picked me up and just said, ‘stuff like that’s going to happen, and we all have to play better.’ [I] just appreciate those guys, and I think it’s cool the group we have. I know there’s a lot of times that fingers can start getting pointed at each, and you start bickering and kind of start turning on each other, and we haven’t done that at all. I think you’ve seen how we’ve gotten better every week and even last week.
“You have to finish those games, and that would’ve been huge for us, but moving forward, it’s like how much we’ve grown since Week 1. We get down 17-0 with two minutes left in the first quarter earlier in the season; I’m not sure how we would’ve responded. Just seeing how we fought back, stayed in the game, didn’t panic, and had a chance to win it, you see how much better we’ve gotten. We’re going to get there. We’re going to finish those games.”
Earlier in the season, Lawrence had issues with turnovers. In the first three games, he threw seven interceptions. In the next six games, he threw only three interceptions, so he has cleaned that up, and according to Lawrence, that has been his most significant improvement
“Obviously, I had some bad turnovers earlier in the year,” he said. “It took me a couple weeks, got those out of my system. But that’s one thing I try to pride myself on is being coachable and getting better. Obviously, there’s going to be new things every week. Some areas you might take a step back and be like, ‘Okay, I need to really hone in on that again and go back to the drawing board, work on that in practice.’ But then there’s some things that you consistently work on every week, and you just want to see that improvement. I think in general, just taking care of the ball, not putting it in harm’s way since the first couple games, that’s been the biggest improvement.”
Lawrence has to be better than he was on Sunday, but like the Jaguars, he’s a work in progress.
On any given Sunday, anything can happen in the NFL, which was on full display at TIAA Bank Field as the Jacksonville Jaguars hosted the Buffalo Bills(5-3).
Coming into this game against Jacksonville, Buffalo was averaging 29 points per game. However, the Bills’ offense did not score a touchdown against the Jaguars, and they would lose 9-6.
There was no touchdowns on Sunday as both defenses came to play.
The six points were the fewest points Buffalo has scored since the 2019 season. Bills QB Josh Allen threw for 264 yards but had no touchdowns and threw two picks. He also lost a fumble. In addition, the Jaguars sacked Allen four times and limited Buffalo to 72 rushing yards. It was the third consecutive game the Jaguars have allowed fewer than 100 rushing yards.
The Bills’ Josh Allen struggled on Sunday, but Jacksonville’s Josh Allen was big time.
Allen sacked Allen, marking the first time a player sacked a QB with the same first and last name in NFL history. Allen finished the game with a career-high eight tackles, including two tackles for loss and 1.0 sack. He also recorded the first interception of his career, becoming the second defensive lineman in franchise history to post at least 1.0 sack, one interception, and one fumble recovery.
“We’re not going nowhere,” Allens said postgame. “We’ve got — we’re going to build on this. I’m glad I’m not up here saying, oh, we’ve got to do better. No. When we’re on our stuff, we can be a really great defense, and it showed today. Our defensive line can go against any offensive line any time of the week, any offense, stop any run, stop any pass. We did what we needed to do.”
Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence, who was 18/26 for 118 yards, interception and left the game with an ankle injury but returned, was very impressed by the defense.
“I mean, it’s great. It speaks to the progress that we’re making,” Lawerence said. “I mean, our defense today, that’s one of the best defensive performances I’ve seen, and that’s a great offense. Obviously, Josh Allen, quarterback, and their wideouts and O-line, all those guys, they’re great players, and to see what our defense did, all the takeaways, the big stops on third and fourth down. I mean, it was just fun to watch.”
After losing their first five games, Jacksonville has now won two of three. This game was all about the defense, and the Jaguars’ defense shut down the Bills’ offense and led the team to victory.
After defeating the Dolphins two weeks ago, there was a lot of optimism for the Jaguars(1-6) as they traveled to Seattle to play the Russell Wilson-less Seahawks, who were on a three-game losing streak.
However, even without Wilson, the Seahawks(3-5), led by backup quarterback Geno Smith(20-24, 195 yards, three touchdowns(one rushing), had no problems with Jacksonville as they defeated them 31-7 at Lumen Field.
“Just disappointed, Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer said postgame. “Obviously, we’ve got to play better; we’ve got to prepare better. I didn’t see that coming. I saw a good week of practice; guys were fresh off a bye week. We got down 14-0, and we got out of a . . . we’re not built to just be a throw team, and we got out of the run game, and then the penalties were nonsense. I don’t know if it was the noise or what was the problem. But we’ve got to get that corrected.”
Jacksonville had a hard time on offense and did not score until late in the fourth quarter when they scored a meaningless touchdown. The Jaguars were sloppy and committed 12 penalties. According to Meyer, this game was a step back for the team.
“I felt like every week we made great strides,” Meyer said. “I thought the team got better and better and better. Today was a step back. We tried to build on the momentum of the win because we played pretty decently in London, and offensively Trevor had one of his better games, and offensively we played better, and defensively we played better. We just went backward. On the positive, we held them to 60 some (rushing) yards, got three sacks – our defense just kept swinging. Just placed in horrendous field position. The defense hung in there against some talented receivers and talented players.”
Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who was 32/54 for 238 yards with a touchdown and interception, agreed with Meyer that Sunday’s loss to Seattle was a step back.
“Guys that are open and not giving them a catchable ball, I think that’s all on me. So there was three right there. And then guys just making plays when you need to make plays. That’s me on the third and fourth down, that’s receivers on some catches, it’s everybody. [Offensive] line, running backs, tight ends, everybody. We took a step back, I think, in making the plays that we need to make as far as just, good teams do that and good players do that. It all starts with me…
“I think it just goes to show if you don’t come out ready to play and you don’t play well; this can happen to anybody on any week. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing, you just have to play well, and we didn’t. It’s not concerning; for me, it’s not. Because I’m in that locker room, I’m with all those guys and see how hard they work, how they prepare. I know probably from the outside looking in, it might be. But it’s not concerning; it’s just we played like crap today. That’s going to happen every now and then, but we can’t let this happen again, for sure.”
Jacksonville was without one of their key weapons in RB James Robinson(heel) for most of the game, but this was a very winnable game. However, the Jaguars are a work in progress, so moments like these will happen. Jacksonville will try to bounce back next week when they host the Bills