Quarterback Trevor Lawrence took a significant step from Year 1 to Year 2 in his development with Doug Pederson taking over as Jacksonville's head coach in 2022.
Entering Year 3, Lawrence appears primed to make more progress with the Jaguars looking to win a second consecutive AFC South title.
Christian Kirk — who led Jacksonville with 84 receptions, 1,108 yards, and eight touchdowns last year — said on Monday that the coaches have “most definitely” given Lawrence more responsibilities within the offense entering 2023.
“The keys are his and we have the saying of, ‘Trevor can get to anything at any time,’” Kirk said in his press conference. “It’s basically his toolbox of all the tools he’s been equipped within the offense, and when we go out there, if he sees something on the fly or if the defense comes out in something we maybe weren’t expecting, he knows where to go and what to get to put us into a better play.
“They trust him to be able to do that, and that’s a thing that we did really well, especially towards the end of the year. Just being able to read and react and him thinking on his toes. Also, knowing what we’re good at and being able to identify those mismatches. He does a really good job and communicates with us, skill players especially, of where his mind is going into the week of what he can get to.”
Kirk was asked if he thinks there’s a night-and-day difference between how Lawrence started last season and where he is now. Kirk effectively said no because Lawrence was already a good QB.
“I think he’s played at a high level for a long time,” Kirk said. “I know early on last year, his second year in the league, there’s definitely some learning curves. But I still think he was playing at a high level.
“It was more of us coming together as a team and learning how to play together. He’s progressively getting better, but I wouldn’t say that there’s a drastic difference in his level of play.”
Lawrence completed 66 percent of his passes for 4,113 yards with 25 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 2023. If he can take that next step in 2023, the Jaguars may be in a position for a deep playoff run come January.