The Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Trevor Lawrence at No. 1 overall to be the quarterback of the present and the future.
So why is Urban Meyer so hesitant to name him the starter?
Jacksonville is in action again Monday night against the New Orleans Saints in what will be the second chance so far to see Lawrence in action.
He got pulverized against the Cleveland Browns a week ago, which is honestly to be expected given the fact the Jaguars are not very good and that is why they owned the No. 1 pick in the first place.
But this is not a situation where Meyer is necessarily protecting Lawrence.
He is genuinely hosting a competition between the top pick and Gardner Minshew.
And according to reports, the competition may continue on through the end of the preseason.
Asked Urban Meyer what more he wants to see from Lawrence to give him all of the starters reps, he said consistency is the main thing
— John Shipley (@_John_Shipley) August 17, 2021
An Open Battle
Meyer is even going as far to have the quarterbacks alternate days working with the first-team offense in practice.
That is a fair way to run a competition, but is not the best way to prepare the eventual starter for the season.
That will leave whoever wins the competition with about two weeks of full-time work with the starters before the regular season begins.
If the winner is Lawrence, which it should be, that is only going to hold him back for potential success at the start of the year.
And at this point it would be a shock to see Minshew on the field to start the year.
That would signal to the team that the goal isn’t exactly winning in 2021.
Because if he falters at all, Lawrence is going to come in and everyone will just be wondering why that wasn’t the case in the first place.
Ignoring The Obvious
Meyer seems to be treating this like a college program where he doesn’t want to hype up Lawrence too much.
Yet we are talking about a No. 1 overall pick.
Jaguars coach Urban Meyer says “there’s a decent chance” Trevor Lawrence starts preseason Game 2 at Saints
— Mark Long (@APMarkLong) August 16, 2021
Even if he doesn’t exactly look ready, the front office wants him on the field.
It is also unfair to the entire offense to have Minshew getting so many reps if he has no future as the Jaguars starter.
While he could show flashes of success, everyone in the world knows this is Lawrence’s team.
This drama should resolve itself rather soon and is the type of story that frequently comes up in the preseason.
Every single snap in practice is analyzed and fans pick apart everything a coach like Meyer has to say.
That is just the way of the NFL and Meyer will have to learn that if he wants to avoid criticism for treating this sham competition like a real one.