Is Trevor Lawrence officially done with quarterback competitions in the NFL?
"I hope so," laughs Head Coach Urban Meyer. "And you can capitalize that if you want. Underline it, cap it."
So here, at Meyer's request in capital letters, we relay the news: The Jacksonville Jaguars Have Officially Named Trevor Lawrence Their Starting Quarterback.
"Trevor's gonna be the starter in Week 1. He'll start this week as well," Meyer stated with little fanfare on Wednesday.
Lawrence was drafted No. 1 overall by the Jaguars in the 2021 NFL Draft. Despite that and performing as the best QB in practice, the Jaguars coaching staff had hesitated to name Lawrence the team's starting quarterback just yet.
Lawrence did start the first two preseason games but Meyer insisted he was still in a quarterback battle with third year passer Gardner Minshew for the title heading into the 2021 regular season. Lawrence and Minshew—the incumbent starter—had split reps with the first team offense through training camp to this point, with each trading off days running with the first team.
Minshew didn't struggle, per se, but it was hard to outshine Lawrence, who's physical ability stood heads above his peers.
Two days after Lawrence's performance against the New Orleans Saints in the second preseason game, Meyer officially made the call, telling the quarterback room then the whole team this morning that Lawrence would be their starting QB.
The former Heisman finalist went 20-32 for 184 yards, no touchdowns and no turnovers in his first two preseason games. Despite not scoring, he's received praise from coaches and pundits for his poise and arm during both performances.
While Lawrence was praised, Meyer was questioned as to why he waited till this point to name the starter. For the head coach, who's mantra has been "own it" since arriving, his reasoning was simple.
"We wanted him to earn it as we do with every position. We feel like he has after the last performance."
With one preseason game remaining and then a week off before the Week 1 opener, Meyer had this date circled as to when he wanted a starter named.
"I kinda in my mind had that as after the second preseason that we kinda have to, to get somebody ready to play in three weeks."
The Jaguars open the season against division rival, the Houston Texans. Between now and then, Lawrence will receive all the first team reps for the first time, but told local media the rest of his process remains much the same.
"I'm really excited for the opportunity. It doesn't really change anything though, still got the same task in front of us. Got to get a lot better individually, as a team, as an offense. So just looking forward to going to work this week. You know, it brings some clarity, which is nice going forward, but it really doesn't change much. I'm really excited for the opportunity and grateful for it.
"Moving forward, we're not making it bigger than it is. I'm gonna be the starter and just got to play well, so that doesn't change."