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NFL Annual Meeting 2024: QB Trevor Lawrence Health Is One of the Jaguars Keys to Success 

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JACKSONVILLE – His is the most important position, and he's the priority.

Doug Pederson this week made that clear about quarterback Trevor Lawrence, and the Jaguars' head coach made something specific about the fourth-year veteran particularly clear:

His availability – and therefore his health – matters above all.

"That's the most important thing," Pederson said.

Pederson, entering his third season as the Jaguars' head coach, discussed Lawrence extensively this past Monday when speaking with the media during the AFC Coaches Breakfast at the 2024 NFL Annual Meeting at the Ritz Carlton Grand Lakes. He expressed confidence in Lawrence's development and approach and emphasized that he must avoid long stretches of injuries such as he faced late last season.

The injuries and final stretch helped define a season in which the Jaguars started 8-3 before missing the postseason with a loss in the final game of the regular season.

"We've got to make sure he's taking every snap every day out there at practice," Pederson said of Lawrence. "If he does that, then more good things are going to happen."

That wasn't the case for Lawrence late last season, when he left three of the Jaguars' final six games with injuries. Lawrence played through a concussion, a shoulder injury and a high-ankle sprain during that time. He missed just one game – a Week 17 victory over Carolina – but he practiced full just one of the last five weeks of the season.

The Jaguars went 1-5 during the last month and a half of the season, with Lawrence throwing seven touchdowns with seven interceptions. They went 13-3 in 16 games before that with Lawrence throwing 29 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

"At the quarterback position, when you miss a Wednesday practice, a Thursday practice, and maybe you kind of go through some individual work early and then you don't take any team reps, that's going to affect you on game day – it does," Pederson said.

Pederson, who called Lawrence "disappointed" and "frustrated" with the Jaguars' late-season slide. said Lawrence "knows he has to play better."

Pederson, like Lawrence, said after the season that turnovers are perhaps the area Lawrence must most improve. Lawrence has 33 career fumbles, with 21 lost, and also has thrown 39 interceptions in three NFL seasons.

"You can fix it," Pederson said. "Obviously, interceptions are going to happen but it's the pocket stuff. It's the fumbling in the pocket, out of the pocket. That's the part that we can help him with, the ball security stuff. It's hard for young players because they feel like they can make every play. It's okay to throw the ball away. We just have to keep educating him in these situations. You can coach it. You are the guy that's touching the ball every snap. We have to make smart decisions too."

Pederson this week also emphasized that Lawrence is "light years" ahead of where he was mentally when Pederson arrived as head coach for Lawrence's second season in 2022 – adding that he likes Lawrence's mentality and approach to the game.

"We've got to get better as a football player, but mentally he's in a good place," Pederson said. "He's playing meaningful games. He's taken, the last two years, our team right there and now we've got to push through that. Now it bothers him. That part bothers him. Football bothers him and that's a good thing.

"That's where we've got to get him pushing us through that envelope, that wall. The way we ended our season, that's his motivation, too."

And Pederson said one of the keys to doing so is being healthy throughout the season.

"Nobody wants to get hurt and everybody is trying to make plays on the field," Pederson said. "We just have to make sure he is throwing the ball away or protecting himself, whatever he can do. We can help him with that, just throwing the ball away and different things.

"He can do it himself, but at the same time, we need as a staff to make sure we are helping him do that."


  • Pederson on whether the Jaguars perhaps became "comfortable" at 8-3 last season before losing five of their final six games: "I believe so. I believe you can definitely get comfortable. You can kind of believe and read into the hype that's surrounding your football team. That's the one thing that can't happen. You've got to guard against that, obviously, and that's something that I think our team is going to realize moving forward."

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