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Super Bowl LVI: Pederson will help Lawrence, Baldinger says


LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Brian Baldinger believes in Trevor Lawrence.

He believes in Doug Pederson, too.

Mostly, the veteran NFL Network analyst absolutely believes that the Jaguars' recent hiring of Pederson as head coach will help the young quarterback's development.

"I think he can take a giant leap with Doug this year," Baldinger said of Lawrence.

Baldinger spoke with this week at Super Bowl LVI, covering multiple topics – including the Jaguars' recent hiring of Pederson as the team's seventh head coach. Baldinger said Pederson's experience and capability with quarterbacks should benefit Lawrence, who the Jaguars selected No. 1 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.

"There will be a very strong approach to fundamentals – feet, shoulders," Baldinger said. "I think Trevor will have a great deal of input into the offense. Even stuff he might have done at Cartersville (Ga.) High School, or at Clemson … that stuff will be welcomed. Whether it's formations, or route combinations, or three-step drops … stuff that he likes will be welcomed."

Baldinger also praised Pederson as a head coach and leader.

"Doug is a great collaborator," Baldinger said. "He'll have a good staff. If you listen to Doug during a game, he has the ability to take in a lot of information – offensive line coach, quarterback, guys upstairs and all the important ingredients for the next series – to make good decisions.

"He's also going to go pretty deep in analytics. It's not just fourth down. It could be two-point [conversions] and all those kinds of things. He knows how to factor those things."

Lawrence threw 12 touchdown passes and 17 interceptions last season, and Baldinger said a focus on fundamentals – and Pederson creating a better situation around Lawrence – should help improve Lawrence individually and the offense overall.

"He has to become more accurate with the football, putting the ball in spots where his guy can get it and somebody else can't," Baldinger said. "That's a function of mechanics. [Buffalo Bills quarterback] Josh Allen didn't have a good rookie year and here is he one of the elite players in the league right now; he really worked at it.

"I think it was a disappointing year, and I think Trevor would say it was a disappointing year. That being said, he got the first year under his belt and he was healthy. That's a good thing."

And Baldinger said Lawrence has the mental makeup to move forward – and upward – from that season.

"Trevor has a lot of strengths, but every quarterback has to get comfortable," Baldinger said. "They can't play frazzled. It's not just offensive line. It's everything – how plays come in, the design, the talent around him … you can't go it in a vacuum. It's a learning experience.

"A lot of guys have taken their lumps. It's just how you're wired. He's been a winner everywhere he's been. I'm sure losing isn't something he's accustomed to and that's hard. You feel like you're responsible if you have a bad game. But ultimately, he's wired for greatness and has all the tools."

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