Jacksonville quarterback Trevor Lawrence is in a tough spot. This team went 1-15 a year ago, and through two games, it’s becoming apparent that it didn’t improve as much this offseason as many thought. The rookie has been asked to do a lot to win games, and so far, he’s fallen a bit flat, throwing five interceptions in the first two weeks.
After practice on Wednesday, Lawrence said that the team is making some progress, though it’s far from where he ultimately wants it to be.
“The thing I have to keep reminding myself is that it’s still a game, the same game I’ve been playing since I was a kid – a game I happen to be good at,” Lawrence said. “I have to keep reminding myself that I belong here. I know I’m young, but I can play. I can play with all these guys. I think building that confidence for me and throughout the whole team [is key] and I feel we’re headed towards that.
“You saw the way we started the game and obviously you have to finish, but we feel good and it’s disappointing (that we didn’t win) but we’re getting there.”
Lawrence’s play hasn’t been bereft of impressive moments. Even in what was an overall poor showing Sunday, he led a fantastic opening touchdown drive that culminated in an absolute dime dropped to Marvin Jones. Lawrence has proven that he can have elite ball placement, but he’s been a bit inconsistent in his accuracy. He said that the talent of defensive players in the NFL has presented a bit of a learning curve.
“Everyone is just better, especially in technique, fundamentally,” he said. “The corners are much better. There is not as much separation. Even the touchdown to Marv … when I threw it, there was no separation. Marv did a great job of making a play and separating a little bit. That’s just the way it is.
“[I] still have to keep getting used to that and being more accurate. That’s the main thing, giving my guys a chance, being more accurate consistently. But I kind of knew everyone was going to be better before I got here so that’s nothing new as far as that goes, I’ve always had that mindset.”
Jacksonville lost both of its first two games by double digits, and the team didn’t even really look competitive in either contest. This was expected to be a rebuilding year to a degree, but the Jaguars should still take a step forward this season.
Lawrence said he thinks that step is coming sooner rather than later.
“I know it’s frustrating for people out there and it’s frustrating for us too,” he said. “We want to win. We’re in here every day working our tail off to get better, we want to win. But I can feel it’s getting better, and the morale is really good. We’ve got a great culture and a good environment here and it’s going to take a little time but we’re getting there.”
The immediate road doesn’t get any easier for Jacksonville. It welcomes the Arizona Cardinals and their No. 2 offense and No. 11 defense to TIAA Bank Field on Sunday, and it will likely take a breakout game from Lawrence for that one to even be close.