The Jacksonville Jaguars selected Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft with visions of him becoming an elite NFL quarterback. After a rocky first season, Lawrence began to show that potential last year.
But Lawrence’s head coach already puts him among the best current quarterbacks as well as the great QBs who came before him.
After mentioning how Lawrence’s confidence is “incredible” and that his “leadership ability” has stood out this summer, Jaguars coach Doug Pederson explained why the Clemson product is already in the upper echelon of quarterbacks both present and past.
“Great quarterbacks that I’ve either played with or we’ve watched in the NFL have all had that great ability to make others better and really rise and bring the talent around him up,” Pederson told the Jaguars’ official team website Monday. “He’s one of those guys. He’s not demanding or pounding his fists on the table, nothing like that. Just conversations you see with guys and how he’s willing to learn. He doesn’t have all the answers, but at the same time, they’re working through things.
“Him and Calvin [Ridley], you see it all the time, they’re working through things. Him and Evan [Engram], they’re working through things. You can go right down the list. That’s the leadership part that I’m encouraged with and the dialogue that he has. It just keeps getting stronger each week.”
Lawrence had a disappointing rookie season, throwing just 12 touchdowns and a league-high 17 interceptions while completing 59.6% of his passes. He began to show star upside when Jacksonville hired Pederson after the 2021 season. The then-second-year quarterback totaled 4,113 passing yards, 25 passing touchdowns, eight interceptions and a 95.2 passer rating (a 23.3-point jump from 2021), while completing 66.3% of his passes (a 6.7% jump from 2021).
Last season the Jaguars went 9-8 (they were 3-14 in 2021), won the AFC South and advanced to the AFC divisional round after mounting a 27-point comeback against the Los Angeles Chargers in the wild-card round.
Lawrence has started all 36 games (regular season and postseason) in his two seasons with the team.
Pederson, who played quarterback in the NFL from 1993-2004, was teammates with Hall of Fame QBs Dan Marino and Brett Favre, as well as six-time Pro Bowler Donovan McNabb. Before being hired by the Jaguars, Pederson coached the Philadelphia Eagles from 2016-20, a tenure highlighted by winning Super Bowl LII.
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