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Report: 'Jaguars Have No Issues with Trevor Lawrence's Willingness and Drive'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 18, 2021

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence passes against Ohio State during the first half of the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

The Jacksonville Jaguars reportedly have "no issues" with Trevor Lawrence's desire to be a great NFL quarterback despite some questioning his drive amid his quotes in a Sports Illustrated profile.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler said Sunday on SportsCenter:

"I asked around on this, and the Jacksonville Jaguars have no issues with Trevor Lawrence's willingness and drive to be great. So, these two sides have spent significant time on Zoom meetings in the last few months just to get to know each other. They've talked about football, they've talked about life, they've talked about the playbook, and both are in a really good place, a place of excitement. And Lawrence, in fact, is excited about what coach Urban Meyer will bring trying to maximize players in his first year as an NFL head coach."

Fowler went on to say Meyer made the leap to the NFL in large part because he wants to coach Lawrence, saying he might have stayed in college if this job hadn't been offered. The Clemson product has been locked in as the Jaguars' choice with the No. 1 overall pick for months.

Lawrence's drive has been in question for some after he told Sports Illustrated's Michael Rosenberg he doesn't have a "huge chip on [his] shoulder":

"It's hard to explain that because I want people to know that I'm passionate about what I do and it's really important to me, but ... I don't have this huge chip on my shoulder, that everyone's out to get me and I'm trying to prove everybody wrong. I just don't have that. I can't manufacture that. I don't want to.

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"...I think people mistake that for being a competitor...I think that's unhealthy to a certain extent, just always thinking that you've got to prove somebody wrong, you've got to do more, you've got to be better."

Lawrence's father, Jeremy, also said his son is not a "win a Super Bowl at all costs" type of person. Given the somewhat negative response to those comments, Lawrence took to Twitter on Saturday to explain the rationale behind his thinking:

Of course, there was really nothing Lawrence or his father said that needed "explaining." Football is Lawrence's job. Nowhere in that job description—or anyone's job description—does it say one must be fully consumed with their line of work.

There is an odd requirement some have with athletes, demanding that they are robotically fixated on some fictional pursuit of unattainable greatness. This is especially so in football, when even a player like Justin Fields—who fought to bring back Big Ten football in 2020 and then threw six touchdowns against Clemson despite a rib injury in the College Football Playoff—can have his passion questioned.

The fact is that Lawrence is a generational quarterback prospect who is simply open about having a life outside of football. While he could have avoided any "controversy" by giving a cookie-cutter answer, every athlete has passions and interests outside their sport. If Lawrence winds up reaching his potential, perhaps he'll help erase the odd cultural expectation that athletes must be wholly consumed by their profession.