One of the biggest reasons the Jacksonville Jaguars finally axed Urban Meyer (to go along with his countless off-the-field controversies) was his inability to develop quarterback Trevor Lawrence. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, which the Jaguars mercilessly tanked to acquire, was supposed to be a can’t-miss draft pick. Someone good enough to elevate the Jaguars out of their multi-year rebuilding efforts.
Instead, Lawrence has been one of the worst-performing quarterbacks in the league this season, which can be directly blamed on Meyer and his faulty coaching methods.
Trevor Lawrence struggled greatly under Urban Meyer
While one could reasonably make arguments about the Jaguars not having the greatest offensive personnel in the world, the truth of the matter is that Lawrence’s performances under Meyer’s watch were laughably bad.
Lawrence currently ranks 31st in passer rating and 28th in quarterback rating (out of 32 qualified quarterbacks). He’s thrown a league-high 14 interceptions compared to just nine touchdowns, and his completion rate sits below 60%. Lawrence is playing like a glorified backup despite having all the tools of a franchise quarterback and generational talent.
There are undoubtedly several throws that Lawrence wishes he could have back this season. However, it’s impossible to ignore Meyer’s role in his struggles. The former Jaguars coach had a bland and vanilla scheme and frequently abandoned the run early in games. He was setting Lawrence up for failure.
Moving forward, the Jaguars starting quarterback appears appreciative of the opportunity to work with new voices.
Trevor Lawrence believes the Jaguars firing of Urban Meyer creates clarity
Once the Urban Meyer firing was made official, Lawrence was obviously one of the first players questioned about the move. Talking to ESPN’s Michael DiRocco, Lawrence conveyed a message of clarity, hope, and vision for the Jaguars moving forward.
“I wouldn’t believe you if you told me this is how this year was going to go,” Lawrence said. “…I think it [Meyer’s firing] brings a little bit of clarity to the guys in the locker room. I wouldn’t say relief, but I would say just bring some clarity and some direction moving forward.”
“You know, we really want to go and finish the season strong, and to be honest, it’s been hard to last the last week with everything going on. And there’s a lot of things being stirred up, I think by the outside, too. That didn’t help [and] made things a lot worse, but also everything that’s going on.
“It’s hard to be focused and have all your attention and efforts going toward winning the game when there’s so many things going on.”
The Jaguars are looking to finish 2021 with a sense of momentum
With Meyer’s distraction officially out of the building, Lawrence and the rest of the Jaguars are looking to finally build some momentum moving forward.
Interim head coach Darrell Bevell has already started orchestrating positive moves, recently naming fan-favorite running back James Robinson the starter once more after being benched by Meyer two weeks ago.
At this point, any change in the Jags’ locker room feels like good change. At 2-11, they need to shuffle several pieces around to get this organization moving back in the right direction again.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.