JACKSONVILLE – Trevor Lawrence led with a look back.
On Thursday that meant discussing Urban Meyer, who was dismissed early Thursday morning as the Jaguars' head coach.
"I respect Coach Meyer and I appreciate everything he's done for me," Lawrence said as the Jaguars (2-11) prepared to play the Houston Texans (2-11) at TIAA Bank Field Sunday at 1 p.m.
"I wish him nothing but the best."
But Lawrence – like most around the Jaguars – made one thing clear Thursday when meeting with the media for the first time since Meyer's departure: His focus was on the future.
Lawrence said he absolutely sees the Jaguars as his future.
And he said he believes that future will be bright.
"Me and (wife) Marissa have come to love Jacksonville," said Lawrence, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft and the Jaguars' franchise quarterback of the future. "That's our plan: 'Let's go turn this thing around. Let's go become a winner. Let's go win some games.'
"I have full faith in that still. Obviously, there are a lot of steps to be made in the future to go in that direction. I still believe that. I plan on being here for a long time – hopefully, my whole career. Whatever the future holds, I know I'm just going to be the best I can every day wherever my feet are."
"That's how I'm approaching it and that's how I always will."
Lawrence said he learned of Meyer's departure when he woke around 6:00 a.m. Thursday morning.
"I had some texts," Lawrence said. "I just naturally kind of googled it to see what was going on. I saw that and rolled over and told Marissa, 'Hey, this just happened. It will be an interesting day at work. I'm going to go in and see.' Obviously, it's not ideal. This is not where you imagined you would be at this point."
"You have to make the most of it. The positivity today despite everything going on was awesome. We had a great day."
Lawrence, who on Thursday called recent weeks and days around the Jaguars "weird" and "something I've never experienced," on Wednesday had discussed the need to end the drama surrounding the franchise in recent weeks. He said on Thursday that Meyer's departure brings "clarity."
"I wouldn't say 'relief,' but it brings some clarity and some direction moving forward," he said. "We really want to go and finish this season strong. To be honest, it's been hard the last week with everything going on. There are a lot of things being stirred up – on the outside, too. It didn't help. It made things a lot of work.
"It's hard to be focused and have all your attention and effort going toward winning the game when there are so many things going on. I'm happy for the team that we have clarity and a sense of direction, and we can go be our best for the next four weeks.
"We'll go from there and see what the next step is."
Lawrence was asked where he expected the "drama scale" to be during the final four weeks of the season.
"Somewhere a lot lower," he said, laughing.
Lawrence also lauded teammates for how they handled the recent weeks, saying: "The last thing I wanted for this whole situation is everyone to kind of go crazy and start saying all these different things. I think we've done a good job as a team of really keeping everything internal and showing respect for everyone involved in this situation.
"I've just been proud to be a part of a team that's handled it this way. Obviously, there have been some challenges, but it's cool to see how everyone's handled it."
Lawrence said the team is approaching the final four games "like they're playoff games."
"Momentum's everything," he said. "The NFL season is so long. A lot of ups and downs. As you get to the home stretch, especially after not having a good year, you need that momentum going into the offseason. That's big for the morale of the team. You always want to feel you ended on a good note.
"For us, if we can go finish strong, that would be great going into the offseason. That's going to be our approach the last four games of the season."
Lawrence on Jaguars Owner Shad Khan: "Mr. Khan always has a great feel for what's going on. He always has had a lot of conversations with me, and we've talked a lot about a lot of different things – obviously, of course about what's been going on and the things that have come up. Naturally, that comes up and we had talks about it. He's done a great job of having a pulse in the team and feeling out what's going on – and also communicating with players and whoever else. I know he does a great job, so we've had a lot of conversations about this and a lot of things. He's great and I have a lot of respect for him."