Brian Schottenheimer: Jaguars ‘Certainly Haven’t Named a Starter’ at QB

Despite spending the No. 1 overall pick on Trevor Lawrence, the Jaguars have yet to officially name their starting quarterback or set a depth chart behind QB1.
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Sooner than later, Trevor Lawrence will be named the Jacksonville Jaguars' starting quarterback and will take the team's first offensive snap in Week 1 against the Houston Texans.

But for now, the No. 1 overall pick is just another rookie. At least when it comes to the Jaguars' depth chart -- or lack thereof. 

“Well, again I don’t agree 100 percent. We certainly haven’t named a starter," Jaguars Passing Game Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said on Wednesday.

"But you know, we’re not in a position where we’re saying 1, 2, 3, 4. We’re letting them all roll, everybody is getting reps, we want this thing to be really competitive. Ultimately, when we name a starter, we’ll name a starter. Urban will do that when he’s ready, but I’ve just enjoyed watching these guys compete."

While this has surely elicited some eye-rolls from across the league and national media, it is far from surprising. Few quarterbacks enter the league as the unquestioned starter in the spring (sans Zach Wilson this year, evidently).  

For example, Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy essentially said that first-round quarterback Justin Fields doesn't have a shot to win the starting job. But this is June and oftentimes, the tunes of coaches change as the season draws closer. It is also especially important to remember that head coach Urban Meyer has yet to name a starter, so it was always unlikely for one of his assistants to be the first to do so.

Even with Schottenheimer's lack of commitment to calling Lawrence the Week 1 starter during the team's conclusion of its offseason program, it doesn't take much to figure out the 2021 NFL Draft's top pick will be the Jaguars' top signal-caller come September. It is behind Lawrence where the Jaguars still need to do some sorting. 

Lawrence is joined in the quarterback room by third-year veteran Gardner Minshew, free agent addition C.J. Beathard and second-year quarterback Jake Luton. All have starting experience and all are working to find a spot on the pecking order heading into training camp.

"Our objective from day one was to build the best quarterback room that we could. We knew what we had in Gardner [Minshew], C.J. [Beathard] was a guy that we really looked at on film and we saw him make a lot of plays and have some of the athleticism that we really like from our quarterbacks," Schottenheimer said.

"Jake Luton was a guy that was highly sought-after last year. I know we really liked him in Seattle when he came out and then of course, [when] you get a chance to add a Trevor Lawrence to the mix, you’re going to do that."

There is no clear favorite in the clubhouse for the No. 2 quarterback role. Schottenheimer's public stance says the same goes for the starting role, the No. 3 role, and so forth, but logic dictates that the real competition will be when it comes to who will be Lawrence's backup in 2021. 

Minshew has the most experience and production among the trio, while Beathard carries the largest price tag. Schottenheimer said on Wednesday that Luton has gotten the least practice reps of all of the quarterbacks, but they have been impressed by his performance regardless.

"Like I said, from Gardner’s standpoint, he’s an alpha, he’s got leadership ability; we love that. C.J. has come in here, he’s had to catch up with some of the system stuff because some of the verbiage here stayed the same with Coach [George] Warhop staying," Schottenheimer said. 

"And then, of course, Jake has just been a guy that [has had] probably the least amount of reps, but every time he’s been out there, he’s moved the team and he’s done things that we’re like, ‘Wow, that’s really great.’ So, I’m thrilled with where we are right now as a quarterback room and it’s still too early to say how this thing is going to play out.”