Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

Transcript - Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer: April 29, 2021

(Opening Statement) "With the offense of Jacksonville last year, just the lack of big play. I've just always had a very strong belief in speed and we've tried to address that with free agency with Phillip Dorsett and Marvin Jones. We have a good, young group of receivers that can run well, and we have two good backs. This is a multi-dimensional back that we've kind of, from day one, I know Coach [Darrell] Bevell and [Coach] Schotty [Brian Schottenheimer] and I all feel that the idea of offense is to create match-up nightmares. And I've had some good fortune over the years to have a guy that can do both, flex out. He's as good outside as a receiver as he is as a running back. So, [he's a] high-end character guy that has elite speed, that—really, really excited. It got a little tense there near the end, so I'll take some questions."

(On how much of watching QB Trevor Lawrence allowed him to see more of RB Travis Etienne) "That's a good point, Andy. I think just watching. You know, the first thing we do when we got hired in January, is just watch quarterbacks over and over again. And I know Travis, just from my time at Ohio State and even the last two years, the fact that the Buckeyes have played them—hours upon hours upon hours. And the way we've always looked at offensive football is that, just over the years, any time you can find that dual threat guy that can carry the ball and catch the ball, obviously the name that comes up is Percy [Harvin] so often. I'm not saying he's a Percy, we'll find out. But he's a guy that's a piece of the puzzle that is kind of hard to cover, hard to defend."

(On whether it helps to draft a guy [Travis Etienne] that QB Trevor Lawrence is familiar with as a teammate) "Yeah, we had the conversation. And I'd say, once a week for the last three weeks, 'How do you get a guy successful?' Have a very strong run game. Okay, we took [Chris] Manhertz to help extend the offensive line, which is basically what he is. He's one of the best blocking tight ends in the National Football League. That's one way to help a young quarterback. How about you add Carlos Hyde to an already 1,000-yard rusher, James [Robinson]? And so, you have fresh legs pounding on people. And then, you try to create a little more depth at wide receiver, we did that, attacked that in free agency. And then, we had a chance to go with this—Travis. The issue is going to be, 'Oh, offensive line has got to play better,' that's the next. But we've also sunk a tag on Cam Robinson, and he's got to play really well. Our offensive line has got to play really well. We're confident that we have good players here."

(On how he envisions RB James Robinson and RB Travis Etienne complementing each other) "Well, we've got Carlos [Hyde], too. And so, I see Carlos and James the 1-2, downhill, powerful running backs. And I see Travis—there's times where we could be in two-backs and Travis is a guy that goes out. Or we're still playing with it, but he's certainly a third-down back and he's a guy that's a match-up issue for the defense."

(On conversations with RB James Robinson and RB Carlos Hyde about possibly adding a guy like Travis) "No, they're different backs. I've not had that conversation with either yet. They're off tomorrow and I might give them a call, it's a good thought. But I didn't know how this was going to break. And it's the confidentiality—that you start talking too much, which I found out, it's best to zip your lip and let it get through the draft. And so, at some point I'll talk to them. Those two are doing great though. I'm very—our goal is to be at the top fourth of every position and I think we solidified that with James, Carlos and Travis. So, we're good at running back."

(On whether the goal was to draft Travis Etienne today rather than waiting a little bit) That's a good question, this is all, the board—really, it was an education for me. Because, just think about this, for 30 years, you've stacked your players vertically. That means the best running back to the 15th best running back, and you start recruiting them. And as this guy is out, this guy is out and you just keep going. Now, you do it horizontally and that's the whole value place. Okay you're looking at a guy like Travis [Etienne] then maybe a safety, maybe a corner. And then we just, as a staff decided— or Trent and I made a decision, 'Let's go with this one.'"

(On whether he had any conversations with QB Trevor Lawrence about RB Travis Etienne or vice versa) "We have a good relationship, but we used up all of the Zoom calls with those guys. The Zoom bill is awfully high around here. We went with more with Trevor asking him about Travis."

(On when he really knew QB Trevor Lawrence was the guy) "Probably at the end of the month in January, I mean, early February. We spent a good, probably a month—we kind of had ideas, but it got—there were some good Zoom calls with those other two quarterbacks. Very good players, I'm glad to see. High, high-end character guys, very good leaders, tough competitors, but we feel good about our quarterback."

(On how the two first-round picks having played a lot of college football affected their decisions) "Yeah, they're winners. I have a great relationship with their coach, so I know about as much as you possibly can about Travis and Trevor. And the fact [that] they're winners, elite competitors and I still think there's a lot of wear-and-tear left on them. Obviously, Trevor only played the three years, but then Travis has played a lot of football, but he's still got a lot left. [He's] a fast guy, real great speed."

(On his first draft day as an NFL head coach) "Well, it broke at the end. I mean, that's the first time and I'm sitting there, and I mean, it's like fourth-and-1. Watching to see who the Steelers were going to take, and they took a great player, but a guy that we kind of had penciled in. We had him."

(On if QB Trevor Lawrence's experience and ability to handle the pressure impacted him being the No. 1 overall pick) "It played a significant role, you know. I mean, and we're going to be cautious. I've talked to Shad [Khan] and Jim agrees. The most important thing for Trevor is to learn the offense, it's not to sell billboards around the state of Florida. And we're going to be very cautious about that. The good thing is that's very important to him. He's not a guy, as you can see, he's not even at the draft. His focus is he wants to live here, he wants to move here, he wants to train here, he wants to win. Obviously, that's very appealing to our staff."

(On his biggest priority going into tomorrow) "I've been warned [lips sealed]. So, I can take the—you guys have heard me do it before. I'm really happy that we took Travis and change the subject on you. We do have some needs to fill, but that's in-house for right now."