The worst-kept secret in the National Football League is finally out, with Urban Meyer naming Trevor Lawrence as the starting quarterback of the Jacksonville Jaguars for the 2021 NFL season. Meyer made the not so surprising announcement on Wednesday, saying that Lawrence will be the starter for the Jaguars’ Week 1 clash against the Texans in Houston and their preseason finale this coming Sunday in Dallas against the Cowboys.
Many expected Lawrence to be given the Jaguars’ offense’s reigns immediately after Jacksonville made him the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft. After a stellar three-year collegiate career at Clemson, Lawrence was a highly-touted prospect, leading the Tigers to the national championship in 2018 and finishing second in the Heisman voting in 2020 despite playing in just ten games.
Lawrence named the starter despite shaky preseason start
Lawrence finished his college career with a whopping 10,098 passing yards as he recorded 90 passing touchdowns and 18 rushing touchdowns across 40 games played. Even with those accolades, Meyer decided to make Lawrence earn the starting position, competing with Gardner Minshew for the coveted QB post.
The two quarterbacks alternated practice days with the first-team offense throughout training camp, though Lawrence was given the starting position in each of Jacksonville’s first two preseason games. Though he didn’t set the world alight with his performances thus far in the preseason, Lawrence did just enough to become Jacksonville’s starter in 2021.
.@Trevorlawrencee rolling out and tossing a rope. 🎯
— NFL (@NFL) August 24, 2021
Meyer said that he felt Lawrence earned the right to be the Jaguars’ starting QB after his performance on Monday against the Jaguars, even though he admitted that it was just good and not great. He has not yet engineered a touchdown drive in the preseason thus far, completing 20 of 32 passes for 184 yards with no interceptions in the losses to the Cleveland Browns and the New Orleans Saints.
Lawrence needs to gel with Jacksonville’s first team fast
Jacksonville’s first-team offense has sputtered out of the gate, recording just three points in six drives. It didn’t help that Lawrence hasn’t been protected well by the Jaguars’ offensive line in the preseason. The rookie quarterback was sacked three times against the Browns and the Saints, with Lawrence pressured on 37 percent of his dropbacks in those two outings.
Lawrence still lacks chemistry with his fellow starters, which is concerning given that the league opener is just a couple of weeks away. Making Lawrence’s job even more difficult is the sudden absence of Travis Etienne, who was lost for the season after suffering a Lisfranc injury in the game against the Saints.
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