PerspectivesCole Pepper Jacksonville Today Contributor
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OPINION | Trevor Lawrence is growing as a leader and as quarterback

Published on June 5, 2023 at 9:24 pm

After last season’s success, the Jaguars are the prohibitive favorites to win the AFC South. And Trevor Lawrence is being considered as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL.

In the NFL, all starting quarterbacks are expected to be leaders, but you can’t lead if you don’t perform. The expectation is for Lawrence to build on his on-field performance from the 2022 season. But what about his leadership?

“I try to be the same guy every day,” Lawrence said after Monday’s offseason practice. “I think just being able to speak out more, just knowing everybody more, you have those relationships with guys that have been here since my rookie year. And then guys that came in last year. And then now being a third-year guy with the rookies coming in, I think I just had that experience where you feel more comfortable speaking up and being the leader in the room, leader of the offense.”

Lawrence admits that if had not taken a major step forward last year as a player, his voice as a leader would not have been heard as clearly as it is now.

“Having the year we had last year gives you more confidence,” Lawrence said. “But at the end of the day, I try to be the same guy. I don’t change just because we had some success. Last year, I tried to be that same guy and lead by example.”

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That commitment to keeping a consistent approach is one of the reasons Lawrence was able to weather the storm of his rookie year under Urban Meyer. It’s also one of the reasons his teammates respond so well to him. He is respected.

He also makes special efforts to develop trust with his teammates off the field. In each of the two previous offseasons, Lawrence organized getaways for teammates. (Those trips to the islands will be replaced by a domestic getaway this year, Lawrence says.) 

The way his teammates react to his leadership is evident on the practice fields during organized team activities.

He’s also getting more help leading from some of his teammates, which should pay dividends as Jacksonville chases another playoff appearance.

“I think the biggest thing I’ve noticed is we have a lot more voices, we have a lot more guys leading because we have so many more guys that have carried over from last year,” Lawernce said. “The guys that were new last year, maybe they didn’t speak up as much, they just kind of did their job and you know, earned that respect from teammates, but now they’re in their second year on the team. And having those relationships, I think we got more guys that are willing to speak up and lead.”

Lead image: Trevor Lawrence at practice on Monday, June 5, 2023. | Cole Pepper for Jacksonville Today


author image Jacksonville Today Contributor

Cole Pepper has covered sports in Jacksonville since 1996, most recently for News4Jax. He is currently broadcast director for Sporting Club Jacksonville and has called play-by-play for a number of teams, including the Suns, Tomcats, Jacksonville University, Sharks and The Bolles School football. He also served as the studio host for the Jaguars Radio Network.

author image Jacksonville Today Contributor

Cole Pepper has covered sports in Jacksonville since 1996, most recently for News4Jax. He is currently broadcast director for Sporting Club Jacksonville and has called play-by-play for a number of teams, including the Suns, Tomcats, Jacksonville University, Sharks and The Bolles School football. He also served as the studio host for the Jaguars Radio Network.