The start of Trevor Lawrence's career as the Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback has been marred by a 2-14 record, sub-par production, and a coaching staff and supporting cast that is among the worst any rookie quarterback has been saddled with in recent NFL history.
Can the Jaguars offer Lawrence some sort of salvation in Year 2 and moving forward, giving the No. 1 overall pick confidence in the direction of the franchise? That is the question looming over the franchise heading into Week 18 and another week of the head coach search. But it is a question that Lawrence can't answer just 16 games into his career.
"Obviously, I haven't been here that long. I've been here for a year. We'll see in this offseason. That's something, like I said, we've got one more left, and I'm putting everything I have into this last game and trying to get a win and finish strong with these guys and end on a positive note," Lawrence said following Sunday's 50-10 loss to the New England Patriots, the Jaguars' eighth loss in a row.
"But, yeah, I haven't been around the NFL long, so I really still don't even know how everything completely works, but I'm just trusting who is in leadership positions."
Outside of owner Shad Khan, it is currently unclear exactly who will be in those leadership positions. The Jaguars named Urban Meyer and Trent Baalke head coach and general manager last January, but less than a year later the Jaguars are looking for Meyer's replacement and are facing intense public pressure to give Baalke his walking papers.
Meyer's disastrous tenure as head coach has been well-documented. Khan tabbed Meyer as his ideal head coach hire from the jump last offseason, knowing the entire time that it would be Lawrence's future in Meyer's hands.
Meyer, of course, failed in a way the likes of which the NFL has never seen, getting fired by Khan after a 2-11 record and countless mishaps on and off the field.
Baalke, meanwhile, has become the new man under the microscope in Jacksonville. The former San Francisco 49ers general manager was one of Dave Caldwell's right-hand men in 2020 before being named interim general manager and then full-time general manager following Meyer's hire.
Since then, though, Baalke has made a 1-15 team arguably worse, failing in spectacular fashion in free agency despite some of the most cap room in the NFL. Now, fans far and wide of the Jaguars have staged a social media revolt against the Jaguars' consideration to retain Baalke for 2022.
Aside from Baalke's failure as a general manager, there is also the fact that his less than stellar reputation around the league could eventually impact the Jaguars' search for Meyer's replacement.
Now it will be up to Khan to navigate those waters and prepare Lawrence for success moving forward. Khan will not only hire the head coach who will hopefully develop Lawrence for the foreseeable future, but he will also have to decide whether Baalke stays or goes entering Lawrence's second season.
"At the end of the day my job is to be a quarterback and to lead this team, and I can only do so much, and that's what I'm going to do," Lawrence said on Sunday.
"Other than that, I'm just going to put my head down, go to work, and I have faith that we are going to come out in a way better spot next year than we are right now. I 100% believe that, and I'm just looking forward to doing that because a lot of these guys deserve it."