JACKSONVILLE – Trevor Lawrence likes a lot about what he sees.
The Jaguars quarterback likes what he sees on the field as 2023 Training Camp begins at the Miller Electric Center – and he very much likes what he feels and senses off it.
"The energy and confidence are already there," he said.
Lawrence, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, spoke Wednesday after practice on Day One of his third NFL training camp. He's in a dramatically different place than he was entering his first two professional camps, and the same is true of his team.
Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson said he saw that focus in Lawrence beginning shortly after last season, when the Jaguars won their last five regular-season games to win their first AFC South title since 2017.
"I saw it when he arrived for the offseason program and the way he's led this football team and continues to lead this football team," Pederson said. "His motivation hasn't changed. It's probably enhanced a little bit more. The guys understand they can be a good football team. He understands that this can be a good football team.
"We just have to focus on us, continue the process and continue the hard work. He's the leader of this team and we're excited that he is. He's in a really good place."
A reason Lawrence feels that way: The players around him offensively. Wide receiver Calvin Ridley, acquired in a late-season trade with the Atlanta Falcons, was suspended last season and therefore hasn't played with the Jaguars. But he shined in practice Wednesday and appears to be a major addition to an offense that already includes wide receivers Christian Kirk and Zay Jones, tight end Evan Engram and running back Travis Etienne Jr.
"We just have so many weapons," Lawrence said. "It's going to be tough for defenses to know what to expect because we can also do so many different things. We're not one-dimensional. Those guys can do a lot of different things. They can run every route, so it's going to help us a lot."
Lawrence was asked if he would put the Jaguars' skill position players up against any group in the NFL.
"I would," he said. "Obviously we have a lot of work to do and through training camp, we'll keep finding out how good we are, but as far as just talent goes – the guys that were here last year, we have that chemistry and connection – I feel really confident in our group up against anyone.
"We don't play against the other skill groups, so it doesn't really matter as much, but I do think we're evenly matched – if not above – so I feel really confident."
- Left tackle Cam Robinson practiced Wednesday. He will continue to so throughout training camp and preseason, then will serve a four-game NFL suspension at the start of the regular season for a violation of the performance-enhancing drugs policy. Pederson said Wednesday Walker Little – who started the last three 2022 regular-season games and two postseason games at left tackle when Robinson sustained a season-ending knee injury – likely will work extensively at left tackle during training camp.
- "We understand the situation," Pederson said. "We have to prepare both guys, but if Walker's the guy there, we have to make sure he's ready to go and get him all the reps. At the same time, Cam is going to practice and be a part of the football team. Both guys understand their roles and what we're trying to get accomplished. As a staff, we just have to make sure both of those guys are ready – and probably particularly Walker getting the majority of the snaps to have him ready to go possibly for Week 1. Pederson said Little also could work at left guard during camp. "Early in camp you want to see your offensive linemen play some multiple spots," Pederson said. "He'll get some work in there."
- Pederson on the Jaguars signing his son, tight end Josh Pederson, shortly before camp: "It's like any other young player coming in – competing, and when he gets opportunities trying to make the most of them. That's with any young player. Obviously part of me is the coach, part of me is the dad side of it. We'll do everything we can with all our players to make sure they're ready to go and give them opportunities to compete. He's been around our team. You've seen him out at training camp practices. He knows all of the guys already. There's familiarity with the team. It's just a matter of him coming in, embracing the role and doing good on the field."
- Lawrence on working with Kirk, Ridley, Jones and Engram: "It's easier when you don't have to deal with egos, and we don't really have any guys that have egos. That especially makes it easier as a quarterback. You just try to do your job and put yourself in position to win. Everybody knows that and is on the same page with that. That's what makes us work and gel really well together."