‘Just don’t make a bad play worse’: Trevor Lawrence says he’s learning from struggles

After 2 bad weeks, Jaguars QB says he’s learned a big lesson

Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars attempts a pass during the second half against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on September 25, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) (Sean M. Haffey, 2022 Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Trevor Lawrence is putting two bad weeks of football in the rearview and taking something valuable from it.

“Just don’t make a bad play worse,” he said on Wednesday.

Lawrence has had two of the worst games of his career in back-to-back weeks. He had five turnovers in a Week 4 loss to the Eagles. Last Sunday against the Texans, Lawrence managed to lead just two drives that ended in field goals in a 13-6 loss.

Lawrence’s mindset after those performances was to study what went wrong and then quickly move on. But Wednesday, he reiterated something that he’s had to keep telling himself.

Stop trying to force something when it’s not there. The great quarterbacks not only deliver in the clutch moments, but they limit mistakes in the routine ones. That’s something Lawrence said that he’s still trying to perfect.

“As a quarterback, you’re going to make some mistakes, but it’s what we talked about, especially yesterday, and it’s kind of my goal moving forward, and I’ve always thought about it, especially now after the last couple games, just don’t make a bad play worse,” Lawrence said.

“If we didn’t get the look that we necessarily thought we were going to have or first couple guys aren’t open, don’t make a bad play worse. Throw the ball away, scramble for no gain, a yard or two, whatever it is and move onto the next play. That’s the lesson to learn.”

Lawrence has struggled significantly in the past two weeks, although the Jaguars have had chances to win each. His four fumbles and an interception against the Eagles came during a 29-21 loss. And the Jaguars moved the ball well against the Texans, but they just couldn’t punch it in the end zone.

Coach Doug Pederson has preached patience with Lawrence and said that he and the Jacksonville coaching staff believe he can be the guy here. This is Lawrence’s third straight season of having a different offensive coordinator (final season at Clemson, Darrell Bevell last year and Press Taylor this year) and Pederson said that he’s tasked with a lot of information.

“There’s got to be patience with that. We can’t wait too long, but at the same time, it’s our job as coaches to make sure that he’s improving every week. Pointing out the good and the bad. That’s just how you grow and how you learn. … We always said three years, that’s the benchmark,” Pederson said. “But I don’t think you have three years. You got to get your players ready to go now, but there has to be some improvement. You can’t just put it all on one player, we know that. It takes all three phases to win games.”

Take away the desperation interception on the final play of the game and Lawrence’s one throw that made a bad situation worse was his decision facing a second-and-1 inside the 10. He tried to force a pass into coverage in the end zone, a ball that was picked off by Derek Stingley Jr.

Lawrence could have easily run for the first down or thrown it out of the end zone. That play was an example of trying to do too much out of a play that wasn’t going anywhere.

“You relearn these things all the time playing this sport because you think you’ve got something, then you make that mistake again, and you just have to keep going back to the little things,” Lawrence said.

“I think for me, it’s just being a great player is, yes, making all the routine plays, even the great plays, but it’s also, how do I minimize the bad plays. Maybe I misread something, but it doesn’t turn into an interception, it’s just an incompletion. You throw it away. Stuff like that. I think that’s where the great ones, that’s what they do really well. They don’t make bad plays worse, and they really minimize them.”

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.