Jaguars’ Trevor Lawrence has high hopes for 2022 under Doug Pederson: ‘Hopefully (we’ll) make a playoff run’

Trevor Lawrence is looking to lead a turnaround on and off the field for the Jaguars in 2022. A year after struggling through a 3-14 rookie season under polarizing coach Urban Meyer, the former Clemson quarterback has been proactive in building and in the community hoping to grow as an NFL leader.

This includes his work with Gatorade as an ambassador for two different initiatives: Beat the Heat, which emphasizes summer hydration; and Fuel Tomorrow, a five-year pledge to deliver better, equal opportunities in youth sports and education. As part of the partnership, Lawrence on Monday surprised FUEL Youth, a Jacksonville nonprofit that offers K-8 care in everything from sports clinics to school tutoring, with a community-building donation to his own team.

The QB then spoke to CBS Sports about his mission, his new Jaguars coaches and the 2022 season:

Note: The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.

What specifically motivated you to donate to TRUE Youth in Jacksonville?

Lawrence: First, giving back to the community is really important to me and my wife, and then combining that with sports — you know, we both played sports growing up and obviously that’s what I do now, professionally — and I can join forces with Gatorade to really try to inspire the next generation to continue playing sports and make sports as accessible as possible, that’s what TRUE Youth really does.

How exactly does your donation support their cause in Jacksonville?

Lawrence: Me, along with Gatorade, we were able to pay for all the equipment and entry fees, all that stuff, for their kids for the next two seasons. We’re just trying to get as many kids out there as possible and make it as easy as possible. They don’t have to worry about paying for anything, they can just go out and have fun and play soccer and other sports. Just being able to help with that access was really cool.

How much of your community involvement stems from your faith that you have shared publicly?

Lawrence: Yeah, I think that’s where it stems from. A lot of the motivation definitely comes from that, along with just wanting to help people in general. But it is both. I’m really just trying to do my part to give back as much as I can and just bless other people. When you’ve been given a lot, I think it’s a responsibility we all have.

Is that return liability even more apparent after entering the NFL?

Lawrence: Yes, definitely. You clearly have more to give. You have a lot more resources and not only money, but partners like Gatorade and others — that’s also such a priority for them, so it’s a lot easier for me to team up with a partner like that and we can do great things together . I tried to partner with people who also have a passion for it. We were quite strategic in this area and I think it paid off. And I hope to be able to do more and more as my career builds.

And how much Gatorade do you drink as their partner? Do they require a certain amount?

Lawrence: (Laughs) No amount needed. I drink a little. We talked about the new “G Fit” Gatorades earlier today, so that’s what I’m drinking right now.

What made Doug Pederson stand out from your other coaches, not only compared to last year, but all of your previous coaches?

Lawrence: All the coaches I’ve had, especially from high school on, they’ve all been different. Everyone has their own personalities, they do things differently. I would say personality wise we are very similar just in our demeanor, the way we approach things, deal with things. And his leadership qualities are similar to mine in the way he treats people. So it was great to have a front row seat to watch that. And the respect guys have for him, not just because of what he’s done — you know, he won a Super Bowl as a coach and a player — but the way he carries himself, the way he treats people. I think it’s a mutual thing, that respect there. So it’s been great to see that develop, that trust built between him and the team. And I really think we’re in a great place coming out of OTAs and heading into camp.

And how much did Doug’s affinity for ice cream manifest itself during your time together?

Lawrence: Yes, we did get some ice cream for him at one of his first press conferences, we had some ice cream waiting for him. And then, I mean, I think I saw him four or five times eating ice cream walking down the hall. So the guy likes ice cream. True.

Besides Pederson, what has new offensive coordinator Pres Taylor brought to you and the team?

Lawrence: Everyone in our staff, in attack and defense, is just calm, cool, collected on the field. No one is high. Presa is a really smart, relatable young guy who knows how to handle different situations. Obviously just seeing the way he thinks and that interaction with coach Pederson and coach (Mike) McCoy, our whole staff, it’s all coming together really well. Coach McCoy, Press and Coach Pederson have all been coordinators and two of them have been head coaches, so that helps a lot, especially in my position, being only a second-year player, just trying to soak up everything I can.

There has been a lot of hype surrounding Travis Etienne this offseason. How early should he be drafted in fantasy?

Lawrence: (Laughs) Honestly, I don’t even know how this all works. I think he’s going to have a great year. I played with him for three years at Clemson, so I already know what he can do. Seeing how hard he’s worked to come back and be healthy for this season, he had a great spring and I know he’ll be ready for camp. I’m excited to be together in the background. He’s going to add an explosive element to our offense which will really help, so I’m excited.

If you could achieve one thing in 2022, what would it be?

Lawrence: Just to make some big improvements from last year, individually and as a team. Obviously, when you’re a quarterback, the better you play, the more games you have a chance to win. They try to put us in a position to win every game we play. And as a team, we just come together, unite. Obviously we went through a lot last year, but I can see us building this thing. … We’re just trying to win as many games as possible, hopefully make the playoffs. Who knows? First we have to win the first game. We’ll start there and build each week.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.