Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence draws Texans in NFL debut
Jacksonville Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence will begin his NFL career immersed in hype befitting a No. 1 overall pick and someone seemingly destined for greatness the moment he took his first snap as a ballyhooed freshman at Clemson.
And now, just in case there wasn’t enough attention heaped upon Lawrence, the Jaguars on Wednesday named their first-year signal-caller one of seven team captains ahead of their season opener against the Texans in Houston on Sunday.
Lawrence earned the distinction by a vote of his peers, further confirming his reputation as both a talent and a leader.
“I guess it brings clarity to everything, but at the same time, there are a ton of guys on our team that won’t have that ‘C’ that are just as much a leader as me or as anyone else,” Lawrence said. “That does mean something, but also there are a lot of other guys that help lead this thing.
“We’re all in it together. No one person has to carry it all; we’re all carrying it. But definitely an honor. Proud for sure.”
Perhaps the first and foremost goal for the Jaguars is to reiterate to Lawrence that he isn’t required to shoulder a disproportionate load. Even though the Texans are talent deficient, Jaguars coach Urban Meyer — also set to make his NFL debut — has watched enough preseason film of the Texans’ assertive defense to remind his offense that ball security is paramount.
The Texans, whose nine forced turnovers ranked last in the NFL in 2020, forced 10 in three games this preseason.
“There has been a call to arms to protect that ball,” Meyer said. “I want to say seven of (the forced turnovers) have been through the quarterback position, so keep our quarterback upright and keep him protected.”
Lawrence, to his credit, appears to have a strong grasp of the situation. The offensive cupboard isn’t bare for Lawrence, who has ample weapons at his fingertips, with 1,000-yard back James Robinson and the receiver tandem of DJ Chark Jr. and Laviska Shenault Jr. more than capable of making for a smooth transition.
According to Lawrence, the Week 1 objectives are simple.
“Just do what I do, don’t try to do too much,” Lawrence said. “I’ve got great players around me. Just trust in those guys. Trust in everybody that put me in a good position, which they have.
“Just go and play.”
The opener should allow the Texans to move one step closer to putting a tumultuous offseason behind them. Three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Deshaun Watson expressed disenchantment with the franchise that drafted him 12th overall in 2017 and then made an uncomfortable situation untenable by becoming the focal point of nearly two dozen sexual assault accusations.
The Texans revamped their front office and coaching staff and are bracing for a rebuild. Their roster is regarded as one of the worst in the NFL, and with Watson having likely played his last game for them, the Texans are hoping to win against increasingly sizable odds.
“We only think the one way, and the one way is that every time we go out to play, we’re going out to win,” Texans first-year coach David Culley said. “We feel like the guys that we’re going out there to play with are good enough to win with, and we approach it that way.
“(Rebuilding) is never brought up. It’s never even an issue.”
–Field Level Media