Trevor Lawrence among 7 Jaguars captains named for 2021

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Big Cat Country 08 September, 2021 - 03:05pm 25 views

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The Jaguars have officially named its captains for the 2021 season, including rookie QB Trevor Lawrence.

For Lawrence, this is just yet another achievement under his belt after being named the team’s starting quarterback shortly before the team’s third preseason game along with being selected No. 1 overall by the team in April’s draft.

Now, Lawrence will join linebacker Myles Jack, safety Rayshawn Jenkins, center Brandon Linder, receiver Marvin Jones Jr., defensive end Josh Allen and cornerback Shaquill Griffin as the seven captains for the team.

No special teams players made the list, and Jack received the most votes out of everyone, while Lawrence was third in vote-gets, according to head coach Urban Meyer. “That’s a credit to him,” Meyer said of Lawrence.

As for Jack, being the top vote-getter for the team came at no surprise to Meyer, it’s how the veteran linebacker has been the entire time.

“He’s been that way since we got here, you know, he’s always had a very good reputation but he exceeded that with us so far,” said Meyer.

“[Inside linebackers] Coach [Charlie] Strong and him are extremely close. We’re seeing the side of him that we pulled out of him I hope. And that’s you know we all say you have to lead yourself before you leave others, he’s stronger than he’s ever been, his body’s right, so he’s in a good place.”

Jack will be one of the centerpieces for the Jaguars’ defense this year, looking to build on his strong 2020 season while achieving success on the team as a whole as well.

As for Lawrence, he will be the first rookie QB to start Week 1 in Jaguars history and is the first rookie QB to be named a captain in team history as well. It’s an honor that Lawrence doesn’t take lightly.

“It’s a really cool feeling, especially as a younger guy,” Lawrence told members of the Jaguars media shortly after practice when asked how it felt to be named a captain.

“Just, having that support from my teammates and really, like I said, being named a starter then now a captain, nothing changes, same expectations. Now, it’s time to go out there and win some games.

“But, I’m really excited it’s definitely an honor, it’s a cool moment for me to be named a captain with those other guys, just a bunch of great guys in the locker room. So, we had a ton of guys that got votes, but definitely really cool.”

The Jaguars will start its 2021 campaign on Sunday against the Texans in Houston, and Lawrence will lead the way as one of the captains on offense, the team’s hopeful long-term franchise QB.

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NFL Picks and Predictions | Jaguars vs Texans Betting Preview | Big Game Breakdown for September 7

WagerTalk TV: Sports Picks and Betting Tips 08 September, 2021 - 11:14pm

Week 1 Fantasy Picks: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Jaguars vs Texans

The Duel 08 September, 2021 - 03:26pm

If you need some help with your fantasy football lineups, here's some start 'em, sit 'em advice for this Week 1 clash.

Start James Robinson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars: This is James Robinson's backfield for the taking following the injury to rookie Travis Etienne. He should be a workhorse after racking up 1,414 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns in 14 games played during his rookie season. The 23-year-old draws an ideal matchup in Week 1 going up against a Texans' defense that posted the fourth-worst rush defense DVOA rating in 2020. Houston also allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing RBs (27.22 average) last season. Fantasy managers can feel confident about sliding Robinson into a starting slot this week.

Start Tyrod Taylor, QB, Houston Texans: There isn't much to like about the Houston Texans' offense in fantasy football this year. Starting anyone outside of Brandin Cooks is a major risk. However, quarterback Tyrod Taylor is an intriguing streaming option this week. The veteran signal-caller faces a Jaguars defense that gave up average of 417.7 yards per game in 2020, which ranked as the second-highest mark in the NFL. Overall, Jacksonville posted a total DVOA rating that beat only the Detroit Lions. There aren't going to be many times that Taylor is worth starting, but Week 1 is one of them.

Sit DJ Chark, Wr, Jacksonville Jaguars: DJ Chark dealt with a number of injuries that seemed to linger throughout the 2020 season. He ended the year with just 706 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns in 13 games played (No. 49 WR in PPR scoring). The Jaguars signed veteran Marvin Jones in free agency and Laviska Shenault has emerged into a playmaker in the open field. Week 1 will go a long way in deciding what the pecking order is at WR for this team. Keep Chark on the bench for now until his role is more clearly defined. The risk just isn't worth it.

Sit David Johnson, RB, Houston Texans: Fantasy managers should be doing anything they can to avoid this Texans' backfield. Houston is likely to use the hot hand approach at running back with David Johnson, Philip Lindsay and Mark Ingram all in the mix for carries. They all split the work during the preseason. Johnson was an underrated player in fantasy football last season posting over 1,000 yards from scrimmage. Without the safety of volume, he should stay on the bench in Week 1, though. This is matchup Johnson could thrive in, but his floor this week is much lower than his ceiling is high.

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Trevor Lawrence among 7 Jaguars captains named for 2021

NFL.com 08 September, 2021 - 03:05pm

The Jaguars have officially named its captains for the 2021 season, including rookie QB Trevor Lawrence.

For Lawrence, this is just yet another achievement under his belt after being named the team’s starting quarterback shortly before the team’s third preseason game along with being selected No. 1 overall by the team in April’s draft.

Now, Lawrence will join linebacker Myles Jack, safety Rayshawn Jenkins, center Brandon Linder, receiver Marvin Jones Jr., defensive end Josh Allen and cornerback Shaquill Griffin as the seven captains for the team.

No special teams players made the list, and Jack received the most votes out of everyone, while Lawrence was third in vote-gets, according to head coach Urban Meyer. “That’s a credit to him,” Meyer said of Lawrence.

As for Jack, being the top vote-getter for the team came at no surprise to Meyer, it’s how the veteran linebacker has been the entire time.

“He’s been that way since we got here, you know, he’s always had a very good reputation but he exceeded that with us so far,” said Meyer.

“[Inside linebackers] Coach [Charlie] Strong and him are extremely close. We’re seeing the side of him that we pulled out of him I hope. And that’s you know we all say you have to lead yourself before you leave others, he’s stronger than he’s ever been, his body’s right, so he’s in a good place.”

Jack will be one of the centerpieces for the Jaguars’ defense this year, looking to build on his strong 2020 season while achieving success on the team as a whole as well.

As for Lawrence, he will be the first rookie QB to start Week 1 in Jaguars history and is the first rookie QB to be named a captain in team history as well. It’s an honor that Lawrence doesn’t take lightly.

“It’s a really cool feeling, especially as a younger guy,” Lawrence told members of the Jaguars media shortly after practice when asked how it felt to be named a captain.

“Just, having that support from my teammates and really, like I said, being named a starter then now a captain, nothing changes, same expectations. Now, it’s time to go out there and win some games.

“But, I’m really excited it’s definitely an honor, it’s a cool moment for me to be named a captain with those other guys, just a bunch of great guys in the locker room. So, we had a ton of guys that got votes, but definitely really cool.”

The Jaguars will start its 2021 campaign on Sunday against the Texans in Houston, and Lawrence will lead the way as one of the captains on offense, the team’s hopeful long-term franchise QB.

Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence: ‘Really cool feeling’ to be named captain

Black and Teal 08 September, 2021 - 01:32pm

Jacksonville Jaguars No. 1 draft pick Trevor Lawrence (Imagn Images photo pool)

The Jacksonville Jaguars are just a few days away from making their season debut against the Houston Texans. On Wednesday, head coach Urban Meyer spoke to the local media and announced the team captains for the 2021 NFL season. Among the names on the list was that of quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

Despite the fact that this is Lawrence’s first year in the NFL, his teammates believed he was worthy of the honor. Just like Meyer, he had a sitdown with local media and talked about earning the honor. The former Clemson Tiger says it’s a “really cool feeling” to be first named the starting quarterback and a team captain. He went on to say that it’s now time to win some games.

Just having that support from my teammates. Being named starter than our captain, nothing changes, same expectation. And now, it’s time to go out there and win some games. But I’m really excited it’s definitely an honor. It’s a cool, cool moment for me to be named a captain with those other guys, just a bunch of great guys in the locker room.

Lawrence thinks that being named captain “brings clarity to everything”. Nevertheless, he believes there are a ton of players who are as much a leader and equally deserving as him. The rookie quarterback acknowledged that it does mean something but “there’s a lot of other guys that help lead this thing”. The other players that were named captains were center Brandon Linder, safety Rayshawn Jenkins, linebacker Myles Jack, cornerback Shaquill Griffin, safety Rayshawn Jenkins, and wide receiver Marvin Jones jr.

Urban Meyer pointed out that players, not the coaching staff, were responsible for choosing the team captains. It’s not uncommon for rookies to earn the honor and nobody would have raised an eyebrow if Lawrence hadn’t gotten the honor. However, his selection speaks volumes about how ready he is to lead the team in his first year in the NFL.

Even though the expectation surrounding the Jaguars are relatively low ahead of the 2021 season, Lawrence has gotten plenty of scrutiny due to being the first overall pick in this year’s draft. Every mistake he makes will be amplified sevenfold. Also, he will often be compared to fellow rookie signal-callers Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, and Mac Jones. Don’t be surprised if talking heads start talking about how the Jags dropped the ball with Lawrence if he goes through a rough stretch in 2021.

On the bright side, the 2020 ACC Player of The Year won’t have to carry the team on his shoulders from the outset. The Jaguars have spent the last few months adding reinforcements to a well-rounded wide receiver corps throughout. Also, the team’s brass fortified the defense to make sure Lawrence doesn’t have to score more than 30 points every game.

Jaguars fans have been exposed to a subpar brand of football and more than a fair share of losing for many years. Moving forward, Lawrence gives them a big reason to be optimistic not only in 2021 but for the foreseeable future.

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Urban Meyer aims to keep perfect season-opening streak alive against Houston

Jaguars Wire 08 September, 2021 - 01:00pm

Urban Meyer has been a head coach for a long time. Since 2001, he’s only spent three seasons not in that role when he was taking gaps between jobs. And in that span, he’s done something fairly unbelievable.

He has never lost a season opener. Ever. Not at Bowling Green State, not at Utah, not at Florida, and not at Ohio State. Of course, that’s an easier streak to pull off in college football, where Week 1 contests are often buy-games against much weaker competition.

But that couldn’t be further from the case in the NFL, where every game presents a matchup with relative parity. And if Meyer’s going to continue that streak into his career as a professional coach, it won’t be easy.

“I don’t remember ever coming out of the chute where the talent is equated across the board and you have a young quarterback,” Meyer said, according to Yahoo Sports. “So, yeah, it is a lot going on. But I like where we are at.”

Luckily, he has about as good a first draw as he could ask for. The Jags open the 2021 season on the road against a Houston Texans team who many believe to have the worst roster in football. The quarterback situation is murky, to say the least, and the Texans have hemorrhaged both talent and draft picks over the last couple of seasons.

Still, Meyer said the unexpected nature of openers still makes him nervous, despite the heavy preparation he is undertaking this time around.

“All coaches get there, and if they tell you they are not, then they are probably not being truthful with you,” Meyer said. “I am one of those people, if you remember. It’s every T crossed, every I dotted and every tip sheet, ‘Why didn’t we dot the I on this tip sheet?’

“So instead of players, I drive coaches crazy. I just want to make sure those players have a shot.”

Given the unpredictable nature of the NFL, it’s unlikely the streak will survive if Meyer plans to stay in Jacksonville for the long haul. But he has a very good chance to extend it at least one more year on Sunday when Jags fans get their first glimpse of the new-look team in real competition.

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3 things Jaguars must do to beat Texans

Big Cat Country 08 September, 2021 - 12:28pm

We are mere days away from real, live, Jacksonville Jaguars football.

Feels good, man. Feels real good.

Even though they’re starting away from home, Trevor Lawrence & Co. are 3-point favorites in Houston. It’s not a very wide gap, considering the Texans are starting Tyrod Taylor and their offense was left bare thanks to Bill O’Brien. But it’s a game the Jaguars should win, and that I expect them to win.

What do they need to do to get there?

Tyrod Taylor is not going to bring an explosive element to the Texans offense. Houston’s skill players just aren’t good enough on their own to make up for his deficiencies. Deshaun Watson is good enough to make up for the rest of his roster though, but I doubt he even plays this season.

A good measure of any quarterback is his Adjusted Yards Per Attempt and the average last year was right at 7.6—about what you’d see out of Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson, or Ryan Fitzgerald. Taylor hasn’t been that good over a season since 2015, which was coincidentally his only season finishing that high.

Houston went all in on the passing game last year, limiting their running backs to the fewest carries in franchise history. Deshaun Watson excelled because... well... he’s Deshaun Watson. He’s a very good quarterback. But now they’ll undoubtedly be a running back-by-committee offense with Mark Ingram, Phillip Lindsay and David Johnson vying for touches.

Lindsay is fast enough to break outside, but Ingram and Johnson aren’t... which means the Jaguars’ interior defensive linemen have their work cut out for them. Stop them up the middle and the Texans offense moves squarely to the shoulders of Taylor, which is a recipe of success for Jacksonville.

Houston was very bad on defense in terms of takeaways last year, forcing turnovers just nine times.

In this year’s preseason, they’ve collected 10.

It’s marked improvement and isn’t just due to the fact that this is preseason and the team is playing the backups of backups. They’re better, more physical, and more focused. Limit mistakes, especially in the passing game, and this should be an easy ride.

At the risk of sounding cliche, I want to see a win. How they do that is anyone’s guess—this team really went full preseason with its approach on offense and how that side of the ball will actually start off and evolve through the year is a bit of a mystery.

But this is a Texans team that, frankly, just isn’t any good. And with Tyrod Taylor shuffling in at quarterback, it’s gone from “meh” to “yuck”. Brandin Cooks is Houston’s only real threat from a skill position standpoint.

The offense will be key to any victories the team has and with Trevor Lawrence finally getting a full game worth of snaps, DJ Chark, Jr. back in action, and James Robinson cemented as this team’s RB1, this offense should start to build some consistency.

Jags' Meyer trying to extend impressive streak

Fox News 08 September, 2021 - 04:35am

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Urban Meyer is unbeaten in season openers, and most of them weren’t even close.

He never lost the first game of any season as head coach at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida or Ohio State. He built a 17-0 mark in openers between 2001 and 2018 — he didn’t coach in 2011 — and had several impressive victories along the way.

His next one could be a bigger challenge.

History says Meyer is a safe bet. At least he was in college. But the three-time national championship-winning coach acknowledges that playing the Texans on the road will be considerably different than any of his other openers over the past two decades.

"I don’t remember ever coming out of the chute where the talent is equated across the board and you have a young quarterback," said Meyer, whose college record was 187-32. "So, yeah, it is a lot going on. But I like where we are at."

Meyer admits he still gets nervous before games, especially amid the unknowns that typically surround openers. Since the Jaguars are in preparation mode, he’s "not there yet," but it’s coming.

"All coaches get there, and if they tell you they are not, then they are probably not being truthful with you," Meyer said. "I am one of those people, if you remember. It’s every T crossed, every I dotted and every tip sheet, ‘Why didn’t we dot the I on this tip sheet?’

"So instead of players, I drive coaches crazy. I just want to make sure those players have a shot."

Meyer is the 12th head coach since 2000 to make the leap directly from college to the NFL. The others: Butch Davis (2001, Cleveland), Steve Spurrier (2002, Washington), Nick Saban (2005, Miami), Bobby Petrino (2007, Atlanta), Jim Harbaugh (2011, San Francisco), Greg Schiano (2012, Tampa Bay), Doug Marrone (2013, Buffalo), Chip Kelly (2013, Philadelphia), Bill O’Brien (2014, Houston), Kliff Kingsbury (2019, Arizona) and Matt Rhule (2020, Carolina).

Meyer’s predecessors went 6-4-1 in their NFL debuts, and four of those 11 — Saban, Harbaugh, Kelly, and O’Brien — notched winning records in Year 1.

Nine of those 11 coaches, however, eventually ended up back in the college ranks. Only the previous two hired, Kingsbury and Rhule, remain in the league.

Meyer insists he knows what he’s getting into. He studied the NFL for a year while contemplating the move and then hired several experienced veteran assistants to help him navigate the transition.

And they’ve already made a difference: Meyer wanted to show more in the preseason; they convinced him to be vanilla and save it for the regular season.

Meyer wanted to use rookie Trevor Lawrence on designed quarterback runs; they pointed out how dangerous that is at this level. Meyer wanted to practice hard and in full pads for much of training camp; they talked him into easing up and taking it relatively easy at times.

Nonetheless, Meyer believes the toughest part of coaching in the NFL, at least for him, is handling losses and stress. It’s not something he’s done well in the past. He stepped down at Florida following a health scare in December 2009.

Doctors diagnosed Meyer with a brain cyst that caused severe headaches. He had surgery in 2014 to remove fluid and relieve increased intracranial pressure. It helped tremendously, but once the cyst started growing again, the headaches returned. Fearing for his long-term health, Meyer resigned from Ohio State at the end of the 2018 season.

"It’s something I’m going to be very conscientious of," he said earlier this year. "It’s something I’m going to watch very closely. ... I’m not going to be running around like a nut on the practice field. Those days are gone."

So, too, probably are the days of Meyer enjoying lopsided openers.

He won 17 straight in college by an average of 32 points, including games against Texas A&M (2004) and at Virginia Tech (2015). His Bowling Green debut (2001) ended with a victory at Missouri. His Utah (2003) debut ended with a win over rival Utah State. He also won debuts at Florida (2005) and Ohio State (2012).

His most recent season-opening loss came in 1993, when he was receivers coach at Colorado State. So he's actually won 24 in a row (1994-2018) as an assistant coach or the head man.

Meyer will try to extend the streak against the Texans.

"It is different," he said. "Obviously, you look out there and see a much smaller roster. We are still deciding who is going to be inactive the day of the game, those type of things. That is the little bit of anxiety I have. That is all new to me.

"As far as game management, I feel very good about it. I feel very good about our coaching staff and most importantly I feel good about the locker room, which may be the most important thing in any organization."

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Houston Texans name Tyrod Taylor Week 1 starting quarterback as Deshaun Watson sits

USA TODAY 06 September, 2021 - 11:25am

As Deshaun Watson has been largely absent from the practice field, the Houston Texans have named Tyrod Taylor their Week 1 starting quarterback.

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Mackenzie Salmon connected with Deion Sanders to get his perspective on the NFL's trend to protect QBs and offenses more so than defenses in today's game. USA TODAY

The Houston Texans will have a new quarterback under center.

Head coach David Culley announced Monday that Tyrod Taylor will start the season opener Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

"Well, Tyrod Taylor is going to start for us at quarterback, for sure," Culley said Monday during a press conference. "I know that’s the one everyone’s wondering. It has come up before, but he will start for us on Sunday."

This comes as incumbent starter and three-time Pro Bowler Deshaun Watson continues to face 22 civil lawsuits from women alleging sexual misconduct or assault. Watson also demanded a trade in the offseason and was mostly held out of the team's training camp practices.

Watson is still on Houston's active roster, but the NFL is still investigating the allegations against him.

Taylor, 32, has played in the NFL 10 seasons, most recently with the Los Angeles Chargers. He completed 16 of 30 passes for 208 yards as the Week 1 starter, but he was sidelined the following week when a doctor accidentally punctured his lung with a pain-killing injection. The mishap forced Taylor to miss several games, and rookie first-round selection Justin Herbert taken control of the starting job by the time the veteran was healthy.

Taylor has also played for the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens in his career. He was the starter in Buffalo during his time there from 2015-17.

In his career, Taylor has completed 61.4% of his passes for 9,770 yards with 54 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.

Taylor signed with the Texans in March

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