JACKSONVILLE – He threw a pitch and talked a little football.
Trevor Lawrence's pitch – the ceremonial first pitch at Tuesday night's Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp's 2023 Triple-A baseball season opener – was a bit outside the strike zone. But the Jaguars' third-year quarterback wasn't too disappointed.
It was better than it might have been.
"It was a little high," Lawrence said.
Lawrence added with a smile that maybe he felt a little pressure in the moment.
"I felt like I had to throw hard," he said. "If I didn't throw things for a living, I feel like I could have just lobbed it. But I had to throw to at least throw with some heat.
"I was a little nervous coming out of the tunnel, but it was awesome."
Lawrence added, laughing, "I just didn't want to skip it in the dirt. It wasn't a strike. We can improve for next time. I didn't want to be like 50 Cent when he threw it to the dugout."
Lawrence, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft who will enter his third season as the Jaguars' starting quarterback next season, discussed a few on-field topics following the pitch – including the addition of wide receiver Calvin Ridley, the team retaining tight end Evan Engram and the upcoming beginning of the team's voluntary offseason workout program.
"We're pumped," he said of the offseason program, which is scheduled to begin April 17. "We'll have a good crew there. It's such a cool time of year. Everybody comes back and you get to start building your team and building your foundation for the season.
"I'm really excited to start that with the guys."
Lawrence said he has thrown once with Ridley, acquired in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons last November. Ridley was reinstated in February after missing the 2022 season under NFL suspension for violating the league's gambling policy.
"I'm super-excited," Lawrence said. "We're just excited to have him. He's going to be another piece for this offense and our team. He's a good guy. We're excited to bring him into the locker room and it's going to be a lot of fun."
The Jaguars in March applied the NFL’s franchise tag on Engram, ensuring he will be with the team in 2023. If Engram plays on the franchise tag, he will play on a one-year contract. He and the team also have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal.
Lawrence called the return of Engram "huge."
"Obviously, that was a big priority for us this offseason," Lawrence said of Engram, who caught 73 passes for 733 yards and four touchdowns in 2022 – his first season with the team after signing as an unrestricted free agent from the New York Giants. "To have him back for this year and hopefully longer moving forward – that's ideal.
"You saw what he did for our offense this last season and how he came on at the end of the year. We really figured out how to use him the right way. He helped us a ton and we're maximizing what he can do. We have to keep building on that."
Lawrence said he believes Engram's production can improve moving forward.
"There's more out there for him," Lawrence said. "That's the exciting part about that. You look at his numbers and they were great. But I feel like he didn't catch on until the back half of the season. To look at having a full season of that, that's exciting. The sky's the limit – and for our offense, too."