Jaguars' first-year head coach Urban Meyer has yet to name an opening day starting quarterback. He preaches competition.
But it's clear who the better QB is — now and long term — for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Trevor Lawrence offers limitless upside, while Minshew can't hit a WR wide-open 40 yards down the field.
It's (past) time for Trevor Lawrence to be named the starter and get all the reps with the ones. He's going to be the one taking snaps on Sunday, September 12th, in Houston, and he needs to be the one under center with the ones in practice.
He's a rookie. He needs more time to build rapport and chemistry with the starting receivers. Instead of giving him all the reps with the starters, Meyer and company have been switching between Lawrence and Minshew each day as the number one QB, which doesn't allow Trevor (or Gardner) to build rhythm and timing with his guys.
If Urban Meyer is serious about winning in year one — he most certainly is — he needs to get Trevor ready to win. Meyer hasn't done that yet.
It obviously doesn't help that DJ Chark has yet to appear in a preseason game after undergoing surgery on his right middle finger. Or that the Jaguars' were missing three starting offensive linemen against the Saints. Or that Lawrence's teammate at Clemson, running back Travis Etienne, is now out indefinitely (per ESPN) with a foot injury. Or that the Jaguars' play caller Darrell Bevell has been hiding his oh-so precious playbook in the preseason.
Still, working more with the Jaguars' "real" offense — what that looks like remains to be seen — and the actual weapons he'll be throwing to this fall seems like a no-brainer. For some reason, Meyer and the coaching staff have yet to figure that one out.
I'd also sit the first overall pick in the final preseason game. There's no need to risk injury for the prized QB. And there's no reason to try to rush your starting offensive line back. Let Lawrence take every rep with the ones in practice for the next two-plus weeks, and let your offensive linemen recover so that they can be ready for week one. Putting Lawrence out there with a half-cocked game plan and an injury-riddled offensive line against Micah Parsons and company would be a massive mistake.
It's time to get ready for the regular season, for week one at Houston. The Jaguars' coaching staff needs to put an offensive plan in place and hammer it home in practice. Hopefully, that plan will feature more passing on first down instead of the archaic run, run, pass philosophy we've seen in Duval for far too long.
And if you really want to maximize Trevor Lawrence's first year as a pro, acquiring a talented pass protector on the right side of the line of scrimmage would be wise. Jawaan Taylor regressed during his second year as a pro in 2020 and doesn't appear to have made any progress this offseason.
It's time to cut the crap. Trevor is the starter. The whole world knows it. Urban Meyer knows it. The Jaguars don't have much time to get ready for the regular season. But make no mistake about it, naming Trevor the starter and giving him more time with the people he'll actually play with on Sundays is the only path forward.
As for Gardner Minshew, it looks like CJ Beathard, who has completed 22/30 attempts with 3 TDs and no INTs in the preseason, should have a legitimate shot at the number two spot. Beathard has far outperformed Minshew during the two preseason games.
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