Trevor Lawrence’s rookie season was nothing to write home about, as the 2021 No. 1 overall pick many predicted as a “can’t miss” prospect struggled under the stranglehold of former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer and his dictatorial ways. Fast-forward to year two, and no more Meyer, who was fired just 13 games into his first season following a slew of mishaps brought on by himself.
The happiest person in that Jaguars locker room had to be Lawrence, whose rookie season was essentially a wash with Meyer at the helm.
Doug Pederson Got Trevor Lawrence On Right Track
That turnaround got a quick boost when team owner Shahid Khan hired Super Bowl-winning head coach Doug Pederson, who immediately came in and treated his players like men, which was the total opposite of Meyer’s college-style approach.
Behind the improved play of Lawrence, the Jaguars went from dead in the AFC South to division champs and will now host the Los Angeles Chargers this weekend.
Pederson is a Super Bowl-winning coach who knows how to handle these moments, and that’ll be key for the young Jags on Saturday night at AllTel Stadium. On Wednesday, an elated but focused Pederson told reporters this in his weekly interview session.
“It’s exciting for the game. It’s exciting for the fans, the league, the whole thing, to have these young quarterbacks who are in year in and year out vying for these postseason spots, and now Trevor gets his opportunity,” Pederson said. “It just goes to show you how important that position is, as we know.”
“We’re just fortunate and blessed to have Trevor as our guy and how much he’s improved over the course of the season,” Pederson added. “Really looking forward to watching him now on this stage. Last week was a step for him. Obviously, now this is another step in that direction.”
Trevor Lawrence and Jaguars starting practice with some Rick Ross Boss vibes ahead of Saturday night playoff debut vs. Chargers. pic.twitter.com/Xj3MYjiiso
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) January 12, 2023
Trevor Lawrence Makes History With Improved Play
The former Clemson Tigers star passed for over 3,600 yards, but just 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in his rookie season. Not horrible numbers when you consider the lack of talent the Jaguars had around him. Jacksonville was very aggressive in free agency, bringing in talent like wide receivers Christian Kirk and Zay Jones, plus talented tight end Evan Engram. That influx of juice played a huge role in Lawrence passing for over 4,200 yards, 25 touchdowns and just eight interceptions this season.
In fact, he joins future Hall of Famer Drew Brees as the only QBs since 1950 to double his wins and passing touchdowns, while also cutting his interceptions in half. Never a bad thing to be mentioned in the same breath as Brees who’s recognized as one of the greatest passers to touch the gridiron.
It’s a credit to Lawrence and the aforementioned Pederson, who’s recognized around the league as a QB guru. It’s a huge deal that Lawrence has someone like him to learn from daily.
How Many Playoff Appearances Have Jags Had Under Shad Khan?
This is just the Jags second playoff appearance since owner Shad Khan purchased the team 11 seasons ago. The team was one play away from the Super Bowl in 2017, losing to the Patriots 24-20.
Who’s The Best Young QB In The NFL?
This playoff game features two of the better young QBs in the league, with Lawrence and Chargers star Justin Herbert. These two are hoping to soon be associated with the Patrick Mahomeses, Josh Allens and Joe Burrows of the league. This is the type of game that could go a long way in determining how they will be perceived as leaders. They’re also two of the most physically imposing QBs, both standing about 6 feet 6 and 230 pounds.
— Speak (@SpeakOnFS1) January 11, 2023
The aforementioned Pederson told reporters, “They’re very similar, both athletic guys, both can run, extend plays, good vision.”
Now both are trying to write their own story in postseason football, where greats are made.