With Urban Meyer Gone, Will the Real Trevor Lawrence Please Stand Up?

Lawrence has nine touchdowns and 14 interceptions through 13 games this season

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence warms up in front of former coach Urban Meyer
Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence warms up in front of former coach Urban Meyer.
Wesley Hitt/Getty

Of the five rookie quarterbacks taken in the first round of the NFL Draft in April, Clemson product Trevor Lawrence has not been the worst, as, unlike San Francisco’s Trey Lance, the No. 1 overall pick has actually played meaningful snaps this season.

But Lawrence, who is completing under 60% of his passes and has 2,735 passing yards this season to go along with nine touchdowns and 14 interceptions through 13 games (2-11 record as a starter), has not been much better than Zach Wilson of the Jets or Justin Field of the Bears and has unquestionably been worse than Mac Jones of the Patriots.

However, Lawrence may not be fully at fault for his ho-hum rookie season as he was playing under a coach who may have had the most dysfunctional tenure as the head of a team in the history of the NFL. That coach, Urban Meyer, was canned in the middle of the night on Wednesday and left Jacksonville’s facility without checking in with any of his assistant coaches or addressing any of his players.

It was a fitting end to Meyer’s brief reign in Jacksonville as the three-time national championship-winning college coach will slink out of pro football the same way he came in: with controversy and undeserved fanfare.

For Lawrence, the departure of Meyer marks a new beginning and the 22-year-old now has an actual chance to show what he can do over the season’s final four games with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell serving as interim coach.

“I wouldn’t believe you if you told me this is how this year was going to go,” Lawrence said. “I think it [the coaching change] brings a little bit of clarity to the guys in the locker room. I wouldn’t say relief, but I would say just bring some clarity and some direction moving forward. You know, we really want to go and finish the season strong and to be honest, it’s been hard to last the last week with everything going on. And there’s a lot of things being stirred up I think by the outside, too. That didn’t help [and] made things a lot worse, but also everything that’s going on. It’s hard to be focused and have all your attention and efforts going towards winning the game when there’s so many things going on.”

With Bevell, who also served as the Detroit Lions’ interim head coach for the final five games of the 2020 season, running the show, Lawrence won’t have to worry about his coach kicking players, being caught on video doing inappropriate things with women who aren’t his wife or acting like an entitled jerk to other members of the team.

For the first time this year, Lawrence will just have to worry about playing NFL football. Let’s see what he can do, finally.

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