JACKSONVILLE – Trevor Lawrence impressed Thursday.
"He looked great," Urban Meyer said.
That was the Jaguars' head coach's impression of the rookie quarterback following a productive Day 6 of 2021 Organized Team Activities presented by Baptist Health Thursday. The No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, Lawrence was accurate throughout team drills Thursday – completing multiple long passes, including touchdowns to wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. and tight end James O'Shaughnessy.
"He had a really good day today," Meyer said of Lawrence following a two-hour practice at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex. "He's just making steady progress."
Chark, speaking via videoconference for the first time in OTAs and for the first time since Lawrence began practicing with the team last month, said while Lawrence is still learning, "The talent is definitely there."
"He don't mind throwing it; he don't mind slinging it," Chark said. "That's something that's going to help this offense for sure."
Lawrence and the Jaguars' offense had struggled at times in the red zone during last Thursday's Day 3 OTA practice, the only previous session of Jaguars 2021 OTAs open to the media. Lawrence and the first-team offense appeared far more efficient Thursday working in a team drill that allowed for more deep passes and work all over the field.
"I think he did well," Chark said of Lawrence. "If I'm not mistaken, he threw me some really good balls today, which is cool. I like catching those. Every day is a step. One thing I've learned during these OTAs is we have a very competitive team. Our defense is not going to make it easy for us at all. We have to go out there and take it.
"Anytime we do complete passes like that today, that's a credit to the work we've been putting in and the work he has been putting in. It's just OTAs right now, so by the time we get to the first game there are going to be way more of those types of plays."
The Jaguars, after ranking sixth in the NFL in total offense in their 2017 AFC South Championship season, have ranked 27th, 20th and 28th the last three seasons.
"We have a long ways to go, but we can definitely see the attention to detail that everyone on the team has," Chark said. "Definitely on offense, we're all speaking the same language. We know where we're supposed to be and everybody's upping their game this year. The competition is great. The camaraderie is good and there's a lot of support going on. That's a credit to the staff as well.
"We still have a long way to go to get to where we want to be, but it's not a bad start at all."
While the Jaguars are in the third week installing the offense that will be coordinated by new coordinator Darrell Bevell, Meyer said coaches began working with Lawrence "a good month" before offseason practices began.
"He's been great," Meyer said. "His retention has been great. Execution has improved. I speak on behalf of [passing-game coordinator Brian] Schottenheimer and Bevell: His seriousness and his approach to this has been fantastic."
Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II and guard Andrew Norwell were absent from Thursday's voluntary practice. Meyer called Thursday "a light day for veterans," with that group on the field from noon to about 1:15 p.m. Meyer said Minshew missed with a personal day and that both players are expected to return Monday.
Meyer said he is exploring the idea of holding joint practices with another NFL team during training camp/preseason this season. "I've done a lot of research on it," he said. "I believe we will. We are going to try to do a joint practice [in 2021]."
Meyer has praised multiple Jaguars veterans and returning players since his January hiring, emphasizing that group on multiple occasions and discussing its importance moving forward. He had particularly high praise in that vein Thursday for second-year veteran running back James Robinson, who started 14 games as undrafted free agent rookie in 2020 while rushing for 1,070 yards and seven touchdowns. "James Robinson's one of my favorite guys," Meyer said. "I can't name a harder worker right now on our team, and that's starting in January all the way through now. I love that guy."