JACKSONVILLE – As Trevor Lawrence saw it, it was all in good fun.
With a little fuel mixed in.
Lawrence, the Jaguars' starting quarterback, on Wednesday discussed a tweet he sent this past weekend that read: "Y'all keep your opinions and we'll keep finding ways to win. #Analysts." The tweet included two raised eyebrows and eyeballs.
"I'm joking around," Lawrence said this week as the AFC South-leading Jaguars (5-2) prepared to play the Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2) at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pa., Sunday.
"You find ways to win, you get criticism," Lawrence said. "You don't win games, you get criticism. Obviously, we're used to that here, so it doesn't bug us. It's just a good reminder to everyone that we use all this. It's a chip on our shoulder. We use it as fuel.
"That's really all it was. Nothing more to it. Obviously, those people are doing their jobs too at the same time, so you understand it."
Wide receiver Christian Kirk smiled Wednesday afternoon when discussing Lawrence's social-media response.
"I'm back there clapping," he said, adding: "It's cool. I love it because it's like, 'Enough is enough.' We're not just going to sit back and take the beating. We're just going to stick to doing what we do and we're going to let our plays speak for ourselves. So I love it from him."
Lawrence smiled when asked if he was "keeping receipts."
"One hundred percent," he said. "Everybody does. Maybe some more than others, others more than me probably. I definitely think you use all of that and that's part of getting our edge back as a team and that's what we've done the last few weeks. We'll keep doing it."
Added Lawrence, "It's good to have a little emotion and remember things that people say. We don't forget it when people are backtracking in a few weeks or at the end of the season, whatever it is. That's all it was."
- Jaguars wide receiver Zay Jones missed practice Wednesday after missing the last two games with a knee injury and also missing a Week 3 loss to the Houston Texans. Jones last season after joining the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent from the Las Vegas Raiders caught 82 passes for 823 yards and five touchdowns with 44 of his receptions producing first downs. Jones this season has caught eight passes for 78 yards and two touchdowns with five receptions producing first downs. "It's definitely an impact anytime you're missing a starter you're used to playing with," Lawrence said of Jones. "He's a really good player. We have great chemistry. We have a great rapport. Whenever you're missing a guy like that, it's going to impact you to some extent. That's why he's one of our best players. Of course we miss him and want him back out there. We know that'll happen eventually, but at the same time, guys have stepped up, guys have done a great job."
- Head Coach Doug Pederson on the Jaguars' 5-2 record and first-place status: "You expect to be in this situation. We can still play better. There's a lot left out on the field each weekend we can learn from and improve on, especially the back half of the season. It's a credit to the players. We've had our share of injuries and guys have stepped up and have played well in backup situations. We're anticipating some of our guys, whether it's this week or after the bye, getting healthy and getting back on the field. Your expectation is to win every game, obviously. But we're pleased with where we are right now."
- Pederson on Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt, the 2021 NFL Defensive Player of the Year who has eight sacks this season and whose third-quarter interception set up a game-turning touchdown in a 24-17 victory over the Los Angeles Rams Sunday: "He's a great player. He's a great player over the course of his career. You give him the respect that he is due, he's earned that. You have to spend some resources in that direction. They also have another one on the other side that can get after you as well: [Outside linebacker Alex] Highsmith. It's kind of a two-headed monster with these guys. As an offense, you have to be very aware of the down, the distance, the situation of the game, run, pass, all those different things factor into how you're going to handle this front."