Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Jaguars’ Trevor Lawrence already seeing the benefits in having Doug Pederson as a former NFL quarterback

One of the biggest assets toward the Jacksonville Jaguars hiring Doug Pederson as head coach was the immediate development of Trevor Lawrence. Pederson has already declared the 2022 season is Lawrence’s rookie year, having the young quarterback throw everything he learned from his real 2021 rookie season under exiled former coach Urban Meyer out the window. 

Lawrence gets a full offseason to develop under Pederson, who has played 100 games at quarterback in the NFL over 14 seasons (10 accrued). Pederson already developed one young quarterback into a MVP candidate by his second season (Carson Wentz) and was part of the brain trust that developed Nick Foles into a Super Bowl MVP. 

Through the OTA sessions, Lawrence is already using Pederson’s NFL experience to his benefit. 

“I think you can always tell the way a coach communicates with a quarterback because he’s been in my shoes,” Lawrence said during OTAs. “Quarterback’s an interesting position. It’s not a big rah-rah, chew somebody out. I mean you have some coaches that are like that but for me, that’s just not what I need. 

“I can have a conversation and Coach Pederson’s great about that. At every play, he gives you a piece of feedback that another coach might not give you just because he knows what it’s like and it’s something little that he might see that someone else doesn’t see. Having the head coach be able to step in, even today a couple times, three or four times, after a play, he’ll come over and give me a little tip or whatever. Just having a head coach that can do that and really, really knows what he’s talking about is cool.”

Pederson spent a decade learning the position as an understudy for Dan Marino and Brett Favre before getting his own chance to start for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1999. Pederson was brought in by then-Eagles head coach Andy Reid to mentor Donovan McNabb, holding the fort until McNabb was ready to take over as the franchise quarterback. 

Reid gave Pederson another opportunity a decade later, hiring him as the offensive quality control coach — and later quarterbacks coach — of the Eagles from 2009 to 2012. Pederson later followed Reid to Kansas City Chiefs as his offensive coordinator before landing the Eagles head-coaching job in 2016. Pederson has been instrumental in turning around Michael Vick and Alex Smith’s career, while transforming Wentz into one of the best quarterbacks in football prior to his ACL and LCL injury. 

Lawrence trusts Pederson to turn his career around, which has been the most important thing for the Jaguars this offseason to date. 

“That’s the biggest thing in a team is just trusting each other, trusting the guys in the locker room but also the staff,” Lawrence said. “That’s something, clearly, we didn’t have a lot of last year, so I mean I think our locker room did a great job last year of staying together. 

“But it’s cool to see him (Pederson) make that a priority and he knows and understands that that is definitely something that we have to make sure that we have in this building. I do think we’re building that, and I mean from everything I’ve seen, everyone’s trusting one another, really just going to work, and preparing ourselves.”

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