Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

Quick Thoughts: On Lawrence, youth and more


JACKSONVILLE – Jaguars analyst Bucky Brooks, senior writer John Oehser, senior correspondent Brian Sexton and team reporter Ashlyn Sullivan offer quick thoughts on the Jaguars as 2021 Training Camp continues …

Brooks …

1.Trevor Lawrence is a franchise quarterback. The term "franchise" quarterback is loosely affixed to most starters in the NFL, but Lawrence already flashes the traits associated with the elites at the position. The rookie put on a dazzling performance throughout the simulated game Sunday in TIAA Bank Field that showcased all his talents as a premier playmaker at the position. From his exceptional arm talent and unflappable poise to his command of the offense, Lawrence plays like a veteran. He showcased his maturity on a 99-yard drive that featured a few check-downs mixed in with some jaw-dropping "dimes," including a Pro Day-like toss to wide receiver Laquon Treadwell that reminded observers why the Clemson product was the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. Lawrence added a laser to James O'Shaughnessy on a touchdown pass down the seam that highlighted his pinpoint accuracy and ball placement. The tight-window throw capped a performance that should make Jaguars coaches, scouts and players firm believers in No. 16's talent and potential as a franchise quarterback.

2.Joe Cullen's defense is organized chaos. It is only an intrasquad scrimmage in helmets and shorts, but you can already tell there's something different about the Jaguars' defense. The multiplicity of scheme stands out at first glance, with the Jaguars showing a variety of fronts and coverage throughout the game. The different alignments were creative and effective, particularly when paired with aggressive blitzes and simulated pressures that prevented quarterbacks from settling into the comfort zone. In addition, the Jaguars' multiple schemes enabled the defensive backfield to showcase their versatility on the perimeter. Cornerback Shaq Griffin and safety Rayshawn Jenkins, in particular, are prime for key roles as chameleons in the defensive backfield. Their versatility will enable defensive coordinator Joe Cullen to dig deep into his bag of tricks to create chaos and confusion all over the field. With a handful of ultra-athletic defenders like linebackers Myles Jack, Josh Allen, and K'Lavon Chaisson also capable of making splash plays from a variety of spots, the Jaguars' defense could create problems for opponents.

3.Knocking off the rust. The fans might've been disappointed in the Jaguars' scrimmage format, but the chaotic structure of the game was designed to help the players and coaches – particularly Meyer –acclimate to the NFL game. The team moved swiftly through a variety of situations that required substitutions and quick thinking on the fly. Remember: this coaching staff has never worked together and some of the coaches moving up from college needed to understand the subtle differences between the college and pro game (see halftime length). In addition, the Jaguars' youthful roster also needed a refresher on the game-day experience. Less than a week from the team's preseason debut, Meyer and Co. wanted the team to get a feel for the game while working through the details of situational execution. For a team that repeatedly came up short in one-score games last season, the dress rehearsal could be the difference between a fast or slow start in 2021.

Oehser …

1.The wide receiver position is starting to look really deep. It was vogue throughout the offseason to say the Jaguars' 2021 wide-receiver position could be good. Maybe even really good. But that was largely because of the potential of DJ Chark Jr. and Laviska Shenault Jr. – and the free-agent acquisition of Marvin Jones Jr. And the Jaguars could indeed have a really good front-line threesome if Chark and Shenault develop and Jones plays as he did the past three or four seasons with the Detroit Lions. But something intriguing happened over the first 10 days of Jaguars 2021 Training Camp: the receiver group started looking deep. Laquon Treadwell, a first-round selection by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2016 NFL Draft, has played as well as any receiver throughout camp – and second-year veteran Collin Johnson in the last two days started to show the same potential he showed at times as rookie. Receiver/punt returner Jamal Agnew has looked fast as a receiver and in returns, and Phillip Dorsett II was consistently making plays before missing the last four practices with an injury. This may be the most intriguing position as cutdown day approaches, because it appears the Jaguars may have to release a good receiver.

2.K'Lavon Chaisson is becoming an intriguing story in '21 camp. It has been tricky trying to get a feel for Chaisson in a year-plus since joining the Jaguars. He has shown flashes of ability but had just one sack as a rookie. He then missed the Jaguars' 2021 Minicamp because of COVID-19. But Chaisson in recent days has begun to flash in practice, drawing praise on Sunday from Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer. Chasson had a standout practice Saturday in a full-contact scrimmage, defensing a pass downfield and registering a pressure on a pass rush. He then registered a sack in Sunday's mock game. And after losing multiple repetitions to rookie left tackle Walker Little early this past week, he showed up in one-on-one pass rush more consistently. "I'm getting to know him," Meyer said. "I'm getting to respect him because he's – as we say around here – a 4-to-6, A-to-B guy and he goes hard. He made a couple mistakes yesterday, but that's our job. His job is to go hard and he's doing it." If caisson indeed is developing, and if he can fulfill the potential that him the No. 20 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, that's a huge step forward for a Jaguars pass rush that struggled much of last season.

Sexton …

1.Last week was an important one for a lot of young players. Offensive tackle Walker Little dominated pass protection drills, running back Travis Etienne Jr. showed his impressive arsenal of physical attributes and incredible instincts for finding the hole and cornerback Tyson Campbell showed up and showcased his skill set making receivers work for every inch and defending the ball with his long arms. We thought the Jaguars had a really good draft for the long haul but weren't quite sure if these guys would translate from college to the NFL in Season One. Meyer wanted guys who had performed on the big stage and all these guys – plus Lawrence and safety Andre Cisco – have done that and all are flashing on the field on a daily basis. This rookie class looks like it will be impactful this season, which is a big-time bonus for Meyer and his staff.

2.The Browns are the perfect preseason opener for this team. The NFL loves to manufacture story lines with its schedule, but in this case they brought the right team to town – the Cleveland Browns in Saturday's preseason opener – for Meyer's debut. The league had to love Meyer against his hometown team – and from the state where he won a national championship – in Jacksonville to kick off his professional career. What I'm more interested in is a powerful team that has overcome a long history of losing and is positioned to compete for the AFC Championship. It's a great opportunity to test your front-line players against theirs and to put individual players in specific matchups and situations against guys who among the best at their positions in the game – such as wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, defensive end Myles Garrett and running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. It's just the preseason opener, but there will be plenty of chances to make better evaluations because of who you're playing.


1.This will be the most unconventional preseason – and not just because there are three preseason games this year. Meyer told the media on Sunday coaches will sit down this week and discuss how much the starters will play in the first preseason game against the Browns. He hinted toward wanting to see more from the presumed starters. All subjectivity is off the table, and I would not be surprised if we see star players play more than they ever had in the preseason.

Related Content