05 Apr

Why Doug Pederson thinks Trevor Lawrence is ‘light years’ ahead of this part of game compared to rookie year

Trevor Lawrence didn’t have the season he nor the Jacksonville Jaguars anticipated. Lawrence had 21 giveaways in a season which he regressed after a promising first year under Doug Pederson, as the Jaguars went 0-5 in his last five starts to miss the playoffs.

The turnovers were shades from 2021, a disastrous first season from Lawrence under Urban Meyer. In that season, Lawrence had 22 giveaways (17 interceptions and five fumbles lost). Lawrence lost confidence in his game from that first season with Meyer, something Pederson fixed in his first year under his tutelage.

Has Lawrence reverted back to his ways under Meyer. Pederson was adamant at the NFL Annual League Meeting last week, saying Lawrence was “light years” past there.

“Just where he is mentally, just the mental part,” Pederson said, via a Jaguars transcript. “We’ve got to get better as a football player, but mentally he’s in a good place. Again, I wasn’t here in 2021, so I don’t know, but I can only speculate and say that he couldn’t have been in a very good mental headspace coming out of that year, but now he’s playing meaningful games.

“He’s taken, the last two years, our team right there and now we’ve got to push through that. Now it bothers him. That part bothers him. Football bothers him and that’s a good thing. That’s where we’ve got to get him pushing us through that envelope, that wall. The way we ended our season, that’s his motivation too.”

Lawrence has finished with 20+ giveaways in two of his three seasons. He had 17 in the 2022 season when the Jaguars won the AFC South (eight interceptions, nine fumbles lost). Turnovers have always been a problem for Lawrence since he entered the NFL, which Pederson continues to work on. Pederson wants to cut down the giveaways by reducing the fumbles.

“Obviously, interceptions are going to happen but it’s the pocket stuff. It’s the fumbling in the pocket, out of the pocket. That’s the part that we can help him with, the ball security stuff,” Pederson said. “It’s hard for young players because they feel like they can make every play. It’s okay to throw the ball away.

“We just have to keep educating him in these situations. You can coach it. You are the guy that’s touching the ball every snap. We have to make smart decisions too.”

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