Trevor Lawrence was seen as a can’t miss prospect when the Jacksonville Jaguars took him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
But Lawrence’s rookie season was nothing short of a disaster.
Thanks in large part to a head coach in Urban Meyer who was way in over his head, Lawrence struggled mightily.
He went just 3-14 in his first season, throwing for 3,641 yards and just 12 touchdowns against the league-leading 17 interceptions.
But then the Jaguars threw him a lifeline. They parted ways with Meyer and hired Super Bowl-winning head coach Doug Pederson. Pederson, who honed his skills under Andy Reid as an offensive coordinator, worked wonders with Carson Wentz and Nick Foles in Philadelphia.
He showed signs of the same in his first season with the Jags, as well. Lawrence threw for 4,113 yards, 25 touchdowns and just eight interceptions in 2022. The Jaguars went 9-8 and shockingly won the AFC South.
Now Lawrence tells ESPN’s Michael DiRocco that he’s ready to take yet another big step forward in year three.
“It was definitely a different feel in this offseason, being able to unwind a little bit and then disconnect,” Lawrence said Monday. “My rookie year didn’t really have an offseason going into the league. Then last year with the coaching change and all that, not sure what was going to happen, and then having Coach [Doug Pederson] hired and trying to learn the system and all that, [you] really don’t have much of an offseason because you’re trying to figure out what the next step is.”
Lawrence said he believes that consistency will prove to be a huge benefit in the 2023 season.
“To have the same staff, to have a lot of the same players, to have that carryover, and the system [being the same], that feels good having that and being able to focus on little parts of my game instead of just making sure I got the installs and know the plan coming into practice,” he said. “Not having that stress of just learning the playbook, I can just really focus on my game and my mechanics.”
Pederson is also all-in on his signal caller.
“He’s the key to the offense and makes it work,” he said. So he understands his role from the standpoint of put the ball in the playmaker’s hands. But now having a full year of our offense under his belt too, that gives him a lot of confidence. He’s still learning, but he’s now teaching the offense to the other guys.”
DraftKings currently lists the Jags as the favorite to retain their AFC South crown at -150.