Entering the offseason: Lawrence likes the direction

JACKSONVILLE – Trevor Lawrence stood behind a podium and smiled.

With a tough rookie year behind him and a key first full NFL offseason at hand, the second-year veteran talked about how he feels personally — and how he feels about what’s around him.

New season. New regime. New start.

“I really like the direction we’re going,” he said.

Lawrence, the Jaguars’ starting quarterback and very much the face of the franchise, spoke to the media early Tuesday afternoon — the second day of the 2022 offseason program. He covered several topics, including a 3-14 rookie season and his thoughts on a new regime under new head coach Doug Pederson.

“The staff was great,” he said. “It’s been really good.”

Lawrence, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, also discussed moving forward from a difficult rookie season.

“I feel great,” he said. “My body feels good, and I’ve had some time to recover from last year — physically, mentally, just everything. It’s nice to be back in the building and see all the guys.”

Lawrence, after never losing a regular season game in high school or college, started 17 games in one of the toughest NFL seasons in recent memory. The Jaguars finished 3-14 to earn the No. 1 overall pick in a second straight draft with then-head coach Urban Meyer fired after just 13 regular-season games at the position — and after a tenure defined by off-field Themes.

Lawrence smiled when asked how long it took to clear the events of last season.

“A little,” he said. “I didn’t really dwell on it. Until I was pumped up to attack this thing again? A few weeks.”

Lawrence, who threw for 12 touchdowns with 17 interceptions as a starter, said he started three weeks completely after a season-ending victory over the Indianapolis Colts on January 9. No film study. No weight lifting. No running. He said he slowly worked his way back up after that.

This was in sharp contrast to his ’21 offseason, when Lawrence underwent surgery on his non-throwing shoulder in February along with transitioning from Clemson University to the NFL.

“I didn’t have much of [an offseason] last year, so it was kind of two years straight from college and adjusting,” he said. “Then you’re just trying to figure it all out. Even in the OTA (on-field offseason) phase, when you come in as a rookie, you don’t know what’s going on, so you’re trying to figure it out. Schedule. It’s kind of crazy.

“Now, having done it before — as we’re starting to learn this playbook — it’s nice to have that experience from last year.”

Lawrence said he spent a week and a half early in the offseason working with 3DQB in Huntington Beach, Calif., focusing on mechanics. He has been working in Jacksonville since with a personal strength/nutrition-based trainer, focusing on strength and flexibility.

“I just wanted to feel better with my arm, not use as much arm, and get everything in sync,” he said. “I think that helped a lot, just drilling those things. I feel great, so I’m excited.”

Lawrence, after a strong midseason stretch of three games with a passer rating of at least 92, struggled for much of the next two months before finishing with ratings of more than 87 in his final two games. The best game of his rookie season was the season finale against the Colts with two touchdowns and no interceptions, momentum he said was important going into the offseason.

“After the challenges we had, being able to finish on a high note was great,” he said. “It’s a good feeling when you go out with a win. For the guys that are back, that confidence going forward is important. Obviously, there were a lot of distractions and a lot of things going on that made it difficult.”

Lawrence added, “I don’t like to dwell on the past. Of course, I like to learn from it. I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason. You just have to figure out what that is and build on it and look at the positive. We are in a good place.

“Guys know we can do it. We just have to put it all together. We’re off to a good start.”

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