Trevor Lawrence Has a 'Long Way to Go' After Preseason Debut, Says Jags' Urban Meyer

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVAugust 15, 2021

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence looks up at the scoreboard during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton

Urban Meyer's assessment of Trevor Lawrence's first preseason game is in, and it isn't exactly glowing.

The Jacksonville Jaguars coach said he was "disappointed" with the team's offensive performance in Saturday's 23-13 loss to the Cleveland Browns, saying Lawrence needs to do better at anticipating his passes.

"Just disappointed offensively…I don't wanna be one of those slow, wallowing offenses," Meyer told reporters. "(Lawrence) held the ball a little bit. He certainly wasn't awe-struck. I saw good plays.

"I saw a guy who made a couple nice plays on third down. I think he held the ball a little bit a couple times, which you would expect out of him maybe. Instead of anticipating the throws, (he was) holding on to it a little bit, but we have a long way to go."

Lawrence went 6-of-9 passing for 71 yards in his preseason debut, solid-but-unspectacular numbers as the Jags failed to score a touchdown on both of his drives. The No. 1 overall pick took two sacks, including one on the opening play of the game that nearly resulted in a fumble.

While he admitted to feeling some nerves and needing to do better getting the ball out, Lawrence gave a more positive outlook of his debut.

"I feel like the first time out there, I felt comfortable, felt poised," Lawrence said. "Obviously, the first play's not kind of what you want for the first play, but after that, I thought we did a good job. We communicated well up front. They did a really good job of protection. At least one of those sacks was on me, for sure, just holding the ball too long. That's something I'll work on. Just maneuvering in the pocket is something I've always got to work on."

Few (if anyone) will ever remember this game when writing Lawrence's career story. The only interesting takeaway here is Meyer's continued lack of full-throated endorsement of his young quarterback.

Meyer would not publicly commit to Lawrence as his starter this week, an odd move given that no one—likely not even Gardner Minshew himself—believes Minshew will be under center Week 1. The longtime college coach's assessment of Lawrence also seems a little too harsh given the quarterback was forced to throw into tight windows all evening because of a lack of separation from his receivers.

It's unclear if Meyer is doing some type of motivational technique or is simply too used to dominance on the college level. Either way, the rhetoric is a little surprising given Lawrence was pretty solid all things considered.