Trevor Lawrence on Drama Surrounding Jaguars: 'You Can't Always Be in the Headlines'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 15, 2021

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - DECEMBER 12:  Trevor Lawrence #16 warms up in front of Head Coach Urban Meyer of the Jacksonville Jaguars before a game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on December 12, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee.  The Titans defeated the Jaguars 20-0.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Trevor Lawrence is tired of the drama.

The Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback told reporters Wednesday that the team needs to find a way to eliminate the distractions and focus on football.

"You're always going to have some form of drama. I've learned that the NFL is just more drama in general than college, no matter where you're at. ... There's been a lot," he said. "... I do think that has to change and that's something that we need to work on for sure. So you can't always be in the headlines. You just got to go play football and that's where we're trying to get and I have no doubt we'll get there, but for sure [it has to change]."

Most, if not all, of the drama has surrounded first-year head coach Urban Meyer:

  • He hired Chris Doyle to serve as director of sports performance, despite allegations of racism made against him by Iowa's Black players during his time with the Hawkeyes. Doyle resigned shortly thereafter.
  • Before the season, Meyer signed his former player at Florida, Tim Tebow, who hadn't appeared in an NFL game since 2012. Rampant media attention followed, though Tebow was cut in August.
  • Meyer held a quarterback competition between Lawrence, the top overall pick and presumed starter, and Gardner Minshew. The latter was ultimately traded to the Philadelphia Eagles.
  • Meyer was investigated by the NFLPA in August when he said publicly that a player's vaccination status played a part in the team's roster decisions when making cuts before the season.
  • A video went viral in early October showing a woman dancing against the married Meyer, who appears to be touching her backside. The encounter reportedly took place after Jacksonville's 24-21 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
  • He has repeatedly benched James Robinson for long stretches in games after fumbles, later telling reporters he "should be more aware of the rotation at running back" and that he doesn't "doesn't micromanage position coaches," implying that running backs coach Bernie Parmalee was behind the benchings.
  • There have been other instances where it appears Meyer isn't really aware of who is on the field and who isn't:
Demetrius Harvey @Demetrius82

<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Jaguars?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Jaguars</a> HC Urban Meyer was asked about Andre Cisco playing more (again). He said “Cisco is playing a little bit more, I believe, I don’t have his numbers in front of me”<br><br>Cisco played 0 defensive snaps yesterday.

  • A report from Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network outlined several alleged conflicts between Meyer and various members of the organization, including a heated meeting with wideout Marvin Jones and a staff meeting in which he reportedly "delivered a biting message that he's a winner and his assistant coaches are losers, according to several people informed of the contents of the meeting, challenging each coach individually to explain when they've ever won and forcing them to defend their resume." Meyer has denied the reporting.
  • Finally, on Wednesday former Jags kicker Josh Lambo told Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times that Meyer kicked him during a preseason warm-up:
Jonathan Jones @jjones9

Former Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo tells <a href="https://twitter.com/NFLSTROUD?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFLSTROUD</a> that Urban Meyer kicked him during an August warmup this preseason <a href="https://t.co/JoN0UDdVz1">https://t.co/JoN0UDdVz1</a> <a href="https://t.co/aqFS4HScCL">pic.twitter.com/aqFS4HScCL</a>

So there haven't been many dull moments in Jacksonville this season. There also haven't been many wins—the team is 2-11, has lost five games in a row and its last two losses have been by a combined 50 points.

Jacksonville is regressing, and more concerning is that Lawrence is struggling, throwing for 2,735 yards, nine touchdowns and 14 interceptions while taking 25 sacks and completing just 58.2 percent of his passes.

Lawrence is the future face of this franchise. If all of the drama surrounding the organization is impeding his development, it's fair to question why the source of that drama remains employed.