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Preseason Week 1: Trevor Lawrence thinks Jaguars are ‘deepest we have been’

Trevor Lawrence thinks the 2023 Jacksonville Jaguars might be the best team he has been on yet.

Jacksonville Jaguars v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

With the team’s first preseason game won and over with, the Jaguars’ focus now turns to camp and its second game with the Lions.

The team will be taking arguably the “deepest” team up to Detroit next week, with much of the Jaguars’ depth on display in Dallas.

Trevor Lawrence spoke to the media after the 28-23 win over the Dallas Cowboys, and was visibly excited when it came to discussing how talented the team’s roster is top to bottom.

“We have a lot of depth,” Lawrence said. “Since I have been here, this is the deepest we have been. I would argue at every position, but definitely at receiver. It is going to be tough when it comes down to the end. That is why preseason is so big. It is cool to see guys making plays.”

Arguably, the one player Jaguars fans wanted to see more than Lawrence was receiver Calvin Ridley.

Ridley had not played in an NFL game for two whole years and got his first action on Saturday.

He finished his day with two catches for 21 yards, with his longest catch going for 13 yards.

The stats were not lighting up the sheet given Lawrence only targeted Ridley twice on three possessions, but the third-year quarterback is excited to see his connection with his new target starting to grow.

“It is great,” Lawrence said of playing with Ridley. “Obviously it is a small sample size, it is different when you play a full game. I thought he did a great job, had some nice catches. We are going to keep getting better and he is going to keep getting better.”

Growing pains with a new receiver-quarterback connection were shown during the game, as Lawrence threw an interception on the starters’ second snap.

Lawrence was frustrated postgame, and lamented putting his defense in a bad spot after the turnover.

“Obviously, I’m still a little frustrated from having a turnover early,” Lawrence said. “But I think (the starters) finished well and as a team. But yeah, besides that one throw I thought it was pretty clean from an offensive perspective. There are some things we can work on. We had a 3-and-out on our second drive as well that wasn’t great. We’ve got to start faster. We can’t turn the ball over and put our defense it that situation. It was just a bad throw by me. We’ll watch the tape and get better. That’s the good thing. I think we’re getting better every day.”

The best quarterback performance of the afternoon, by either team, came from rookie third-stringer Nate Rourke.

Rourke, who played the last two seasons in Canada, finished his day with 153 yards passing and a rushing and passing score.

While the entire Jaguars’ team was excited for Rourke, Lawrence may have been the most hyped.

“Nate (Rourke) had some unbelievable plays,” Lawrence said. “That was really cool to see him play well. That’s what it takes in these preseason games… end of the game, you get a lot of different guys in there. You’ve got to have some plays like that. Nate, he played great and took care of the ball. He won the game for us. That was cool to see. It was cool to see our depth play and play well.”

Depth on defense showed too, as corner Gregory Junior forced a fumble and recovered one. Jeremiah Ledbetter and Yasir Abdullah each recorded sacks, and David Wilson snagged a pick, but the play was called back for a penalty.

All things considered, Lawrence was extremely impressed by his defense.

“Our defense had some big takeaways, that was great to see us get the ball back, get our hands on the ball and give us some extra possessions,” Lawrence said.

Preseason games are not meaningless to Lawrence, though they easily could be.

Everyone knows that Lawrence (almost) never loses on Saturday, and this game was another one of those Saturday victories.

The focus now shifts to Detroit, a team coming off a 21-16 win over the Giants.

According to Lawrence, the win puts the team right where they want to be heading into the second week of preseason.

“Whenever there is points on the board, you want to win these games,” Lawrence said. “From a morale standpoint for the team, it is good. The last couple years I think we have only won one preseason game. It is nice when you can win these games, especially when your depth plays well like today. It gives everybody confidence.”