The Art of Timing: Zay Jones and Trevor Lawrence's NFL Journey

A large part of the development of a young quarterback is the connection and chemistry between players. And while Trevor Lawrence is mature beyond his years on the field, there is obviously still room for development and things that help all good quarterbacks succeed. Looking at the greats, they all have one thing in common, and that’s a wide receiver who may not be the best on the team, but the duo has some sort of special connection that makes him such a reliable target. Brady to Edelman, Rodgers to Cobb, and one that we see this week, Mahomes to Kelce Zay Jones and Trevor Lawrence’s special connection will be the focus of this article, as we will look at the 2nd-year wide receiver’s ability to grow into that special target for Lawrence.

Zay Jones is an eighth-year receiver out of East Carolina Universtiy who has found a home here in Jacksonville. He spent time in Buffalo and Las Vegas until 2022, when he signed a 3-year, 24 million-dollar contract with the team. Zay was part of a duo of free agent wide receivers that included Christian Kirk. Despite his success, Jones is often overlooked in the eyes of the public. This is a Jaguars offense that includes two 1,000-yard receivers (Christian Kirk and Calvin Ridley) and a 1,000-yard rusher in Etienne. Despite this public reception, Jones, Trevor, and the coaching staff might have something different to say.

In Monday's press conference, coach Pederson elaborated a little about the trust there is between Lawrence and Jones: "He (Lawrence) knows where he's going to be. They spent two years together. Zay is a tremendously hard worker; he's smart; he's an intellectual guy who just understands basketball. He and Trevor have logged a lot of hours throwing and catching off to the side and working on different things." This trust is something that is almost uncoachable in a football team and has to be developed through time, hard work, and dedication.

The best part about this connection is that it shows its advantages in clutch and stressful moments. The greatest example of this are two key plays in Sunday's win against the Colts. The first one came with the game tied at 7-7 in the 2nd quarter, and Lawrence found Zay Jones in the back of the endzone running along the sideline to make an unbelievable catch. The acrobatics to catch that and the precision throwing are things that were not drawn up in the play. Lawrence seemed to know where Jones was going to be and put it where only he could catch it. This is the kind of chemistry I’m talking about.

The second and probably most important of the two came later in the game, with 8 minutes left in the 4th quarter. The Jags trailed the colts 21–17 and were driving in colt territory. After a solid run by Etienne, the team was left with a 4th and 2 and decided to go for it. All eyes were on Ridley as Jones ran a great hitch route, and Lawrence first looked him off and delivered a great ball to get the first down. With the game on the line, Lawrence knew who to look for, and that is something that will prove to be a solid connection throughout the season and something I am definitely looking forward to watching on Sunday against the Chiefs.

In conclusion, while the headline of the Colts game might be Ridley’s amazing return and the great plays by the defense, My takeaway was the chemistry and connection between Jones and Lawrence, something that all elite quarterbacks need and something that Trevor Lawrence and Zay Jones definitely have.

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