The tribulations of a rookie quarterback and head coaching combo should be evident for the Jacksonville Jaguars in key, big-time moments.
Mishaps are inevitable early, but the combination of experience, youth, and vitality in the North Florida team's offense to kick off 2021 is not only underrated but could headway for one of the most effortless transitions a so-claimed generation talent has ever seen.
Lawrence has also been learning the playbook since before his name was ever called by Roger Goodell, according to Jaguars' head coach Urban Meyer. So not only does it give him a boost heading into training camp, but high playbook retention undoubtedly breeds successful partnerships with his outside weapons, all of whom are in different stages of their careers.
"When we made a decision that Trevor was going to be our No. 1 pick, we went from the evaluation stage to the preparation stage," Meyer said on "Sports Seriously."
"And that means that I want to see — I can't remember the exact date, but we started installing the playbook with him well before the draft. So you can see the retention, he's got a really good work ethic, and he's progressed very well."
Lawrence notably brings Clemson running mate Travis Etienne to Florida but will also play under first-year Jaguars' offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. Spending five games as an interim head coach after Matt Patricia's firing, Bevell heads his first Jacksonville offense with a familiar face.
Lions' 2020 standout receiver Marvin Jones Jr. will be one of Lawrence's favorite early targets as a proven top-30 receiver in yards, receptions, and touchdowns in 2020. Jones accumulated nine touchdowns (T-10 NFL), 978 yards (21st, 1st for Detroit), and 76 receptions (26th). Jones isn't the deep threat Lawrence knows from Clemson with a career-long of just 37 but will take plenty of attention away from 1,000 yard back James Robinson and budding receivers D.J. Chark and Laviska Shenault Jr.
Chark ran the fastest 40-yard dash of any receiver in his 2018 draft class. He also stands at a towering 6'4, eerily reminiscent of Clemson-favorite Justyn Ross, who won a national championship with Lawrence in 2018, standing at the same height. Chark could be the Ross that Lawrence didn't get to utilize last year and will likely be Bevell's No. 1 deep threat option with speed and size over almost every cornerback he'll face in a critical year three for development.
Shenault Jr. could be a Swiss Army Knife for Meyer and the Jaguars, forcing more missed tackles as a rookie than all of D.J. Moore, Terry McLaurin, and Justin Jefferson in 2020, each of whom totaled over 1,000 yards receiving. Heading into his second season with a signal-caller not named Gardner Minshew III and numerous weapons giving room to operate, Shenault Jr. may be a late bloomer but could explode in year two.
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Uiagalelei hit Shipley in stride. Shipley dropped the ball. And to those watching the game, it appeared that was the moment. That was the, "Oh well. Here we go again" moment.
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The tight end seems to be a gray area in year one of the Meyer era, with no legitimate threats over the middle anywhere on the depth chart.
Likely to take the starting spot is Chris Manhertz, who spent multiple years with the Carolina Panthers but never developed as a pass-catcher, prompting his move south. Like the presumed No. 2 option, James O'Shaughnessy, Manhertz doesn't catch well but excels in pass blocking and should give edge-rushing relief to the one unit frequently voted on to let Lawrence down in Year 1: the offensive line.
Drafting Etienne gave many the feeling of regret by not selecting linemen to protect a rookie Lawrence. Still, the Jaguars return more continuity upfront than almost any team in the NFL, even if the talent along it isn't top shelf in all five spots and depth is questionable heading into training camp.
"We got everyone back," Jaguars' Center Brandon Linder said. "Everyone's excited. In that room, we truly love each other, and we truly are friends. We hang out outside the building. So, we're excited. We're ready to turn it up, and it's going to be a fun year."
Consistency is more complex to obtain than continuity. Yet, Linder insisted that returning offensive line coach George Warhop is tying everything together in front of the rookie QB in his third year with the Jaguars.
"It's always nice to build a relationship with a coach and not changing over every year having to learn from a new coach [because] everyone has different techniques and stuff," Linder said. "[Coach] Warhop truly cares about us, not only as football players but [as] men outside this building."
Warhop isn't the only player in the building with a genuine belief in what he's seen in Meyer's first offseason. Jones Jr. offered his perspective while heading into his tenth pro season with a different mindset than some should expect under a No. 1 overall pick and a head coach without NFL head coaching experience.
"It's definitely different," Jones Jr. said. "It's something I've never been a part of, but it's pretty cool just because you know what's coming next because (Meyer is) going to say it a hundred times.
"So, it gets you ready for all the energy that it's going to bring when we go to individual period, and we go to team. He's yelling and constantly reminding us to bring the energy. It's something that's different, but it's something definitely that I like just because it gets everybody going, it gets everybody rolling in the right direction. It's been great."