Armando Salguero: Trevor Lawrence Admits ‘I Didn’t Play Great Last Year’ But Super Bowl Still On His Mind

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There was that first week of October last year when the Jacksonville Jaguars were winless and coach Urban Meyer stayed behind in Ohio after another loss only to be captured on video with a young woman (not his wife) gyrating to music on his lap as the coach sat on a stool at a Columbus bar.

Meyer answered for that tomfoolery and eventually apologized to ownership and his team for causing a distraction, but it was rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence who had to answer for the mood of the locker room and what players were thinking about their coach.

And Lawrence loved that exercise about as much as he’d love a root canal every day for a month.

On Tuesday, there was Lawrence in front of reporters again answering questions about his coach and the locker room and what players were thinking.

But this was different.

Much different.

These questions about Doug Pederson had Lawrence excited and striking a chord of optimism because the Jaguars’ new guy played quarterback in the NFL. And he’s has already won a Super Bowl. And he’s never stayed behind in a town after his team lost and let his players fly home without him.

“I think that’s big, when you know your coach has been there, he’s been in your shoes, he’s played quarterback,” Lawrence said, stamping his approval on the Pederson hire. “And then, too, having that success at this level as a head coach. He’s won a Super Bowl, you’ve seen his run with the Eagles, all those things.”

This is a good time to be Trevor Lawrence. Well, it’s probably never been a bad time to be the guy born with those genes and that arm and have that wife.

But now is pretty great compared to last season, which was quite challenging.

Lawrence went from perennial national championship contender on a Clemson University team that was 38-2 in his 40 starts to losing his first start as a pro. And his second.

And then 14 out of 17.

He went from never being questioned about much other than all his touchdown passes to wishing at the end of the season he didn’t always have to address reporters about drama — especially when he had to answer for the antics and mistakes of his head coach.

Did I mention Lawrence also didn’t play all that well? He threw a modest 12 TD passes and 17 interceptions, the same number of picks he threw in three seasons at Clemson.

So, yeah, last year wasn’t good. But now the kid, preparing for his second NFL season, is talking about winning a Super Bowl.

And, again, Pederson’s hiring is the reason.

“Obviously, that’s the goal is to win a Super Bowl, and that’s going to remain the goal until we get there,” Lawrence said. “So, having someone that’s done it and knows how to do it, that helps a lot and gives us a lot of confidence.

“So far, it’s been great to see kind of how he runs things. [He’s] really laid back, expects a lot out of us, obviously. I think that’s important, that you have those high expectations for your team, but I think he handles things the right way.”

Lawrence believes, even as he reboots in 2022 with a new coach and a new roster and a new mindset, that even the memory of last season can be used to everyone’s benefit.

“There’s a lot of positivity in the locker room, the building, a lot of energy, which has been great,” Lawrence said as the Jaguars have begun their offseason conditioning program.

“But I’ll say, I think it’s important to just kind of learn from last year and always not necessarily think about that all the time. You don’t want to think about the bad things, but you want to use what you learned and not make the same mistakes, especially as individuals, as players.

“For me, I learned so much. I wouldn’t say it’s like starting over because I’m thankful for those
things I learned. I don’t want to start over. I want to keep those in my back pocket. So, stuff like that, I think it’s a good way to look at it, and I think guys are doing it.”

Aside from a new coaching staff, the Jaguars have a new roster, as the club imported $263.5 million worth of new free agents this offseason.

All of that was meant to make the team better. But most of it was done to make Lawrence better.

And being much better is the expectation everyone has for the Jaguars and Lawrence. That’s also the expectation they have for themselves, and they’re already working to improve.

“Your play on the field is going to speak for itself, and obviously you have to perform,” Lawrence said. “It’s about performance. Same thing for me, I have to play better next year. I didn’t play great last year. The work will show, and you’ll take care of that on the field, but just how you carry yourself and treat people [is important].”

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

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