By MARK LONG, AP Pro Football Writer
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Urban Meyer figured Trevor Lawrence could be his beginning quarterback lengthy earlier than he even took the Jacksonville job.
But Meyer insisted Lawrence earn the spot, whether or not his aim was to ship a message to his younger crew or set a tone for his NFL tenure. So Meyer staged a generally laughable “competitors” throughout offseason exercises, coaching camp and the preseason.
Meyer lastly ended the charade Wednesday by naming Lawrence the crew’s starter for the season opener at Houston on Sept. 12, one of many least stunning selections in franchise historical past.
Meyer gave Lawrence the nod over third-year pro Gardner Minshew after two preseason games and a month of coaching camp. Meyer expects Lawrence won’t ever must earn a beginning job within the NFL once more.
“You can capitalize that if you need. Underline it. Cap it,” Meyer mentioned.
Now, Lawrence will attempt to grow to be the primary quarterback chosen No. 1 general to win his first NFL begin since Houston’s David Carr in 2002. Among those that have failed to take action since: Eli Manning, Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield.
Lawrence, the highest decide within the 2021 NFL draft, and Minshew, a two-year starter in Jacksonville, cut up repetitions with the first-team offense throughout camp. Meyer wished “wholesome competitors” at each place, together with quarterback.
Nonetheless, nearly everybody outdoors Minshew’s camp anticipated Lawrence to be Jacksonville’s starter in Houston. Lawrence was the highest faculty prospect in practically a decade, and outperformed Minshew at each flip throughout camp.
Meyer additionally mentioned Lawrence will begin Jacksonville’s preseason finale at Dallas on Sunday.
“It doesn’t actually change something, although,” Lawrence mentioned. “Still obtained the identical process in entrance of us, obtained to get quite a bit higher, individually, as a crew, as an offense. Just looking ahead to going to work this week. It brings some readability, which is sweet, going ahead. But it actually doesn’t change a lot, however, yeah, I’m actually excited for the chance, grateful for it.”
Lawrence has accomplished 20 of 32 passes for 184 yards in two exhibitions, each losses. He began every game, was sacked 3 times, and led the offense to only a discipline aim in six sequence.
“It’s irritating, but additionally we simply obtained to stay collectively and maintain enjoying,” Lawrence mentioned. “We’re going to determine it out. I’m actually assured in that. We obtained a bunch of fellows which are placing the work in and we’re going to do the whole lot it takes to get heading in the right direction.”
Lawrence went 34-2 at Clemson, recording the third-best profitable share by a beginning quarterback (minimal 30 begins) in faculty soccer since 1978. He completed his faculty profession undefeated in regular-season play and led the Tigers to the nationwide championship as a freshman in 2018.
After a sluggish begin to the offseason – Lawrence had surgical procedure to restore a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder in February after which was hampered by a strained hamstring in organized crew actions – he appeared each bit as marketed in camp. Teammates raved about his arm, his mobility, his contact on deep passes and his command of the huddle.
Minshew, in the meantime, appeared about like he did final yr. He’s undersized and has a mediocre arm and common mobility. He is 7-13 in 20 profession begins for Jacksonville. He seemed to be on the buying and selling block in March when the Jaguars signed former San Francisco backup C.J. Beathard to a two-year contract price $5 million. Most of Beathard’s wage this season is assured, making it unlikely he’ll get lower.
Minshew has accomplished 17 of 29 passes for 196 yards, with two interceptions and two sacks. He now joins Beathard in vying for the backup spot.
Beathard has been the best quarterback whereas enjoying with the third-team offense. He has accomplished 22 passes for 223 yards and three TDs.
“Obviously, my respect for Gardner has been properly documented as only a warrior,” Meyer mentioned. “Gardner obtained caught behind some safety points, at occasions was operating for his life again there, after which C.J. got here in. That’s two weeks in a row (he is performed properly).
“I simply admire C.J. I like C.J. as an individual and, , he’s obtained a pleasant launch, ball will get out quick, and so he performed properly. So, sure, that’s open as properly.”
NOTES: The Jaguars claimed offensive lineman Badara Traore off waivers from Chicago and waived offensive deal with Garrett McGhin. Traore spent final season on the Bears’ observe squad. … Veteran WR Marvin Jones has a sprained proper shoulder and can miss the preseason finale. Meyer says he might be prepared for the opener. … Meyer mentioned C Brandon Linder (knee), S Rayshawn Jenkins and LB Myles Jack additionally will not play at Dallas. Jenkins and Jack are “game prepared,” that means they’re prepared for the common season.
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials might not be printed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.