Jaguars safety happy for Trevor Lawrence after breakout game: 'He had to deal with Urban Meyer last year'

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence is having a much better season than he did last year, and Lawrence's teammate, safety Andrew Wingard, thinks he knows why: no Urban Meyer.

Following Sunday's miraculous 28-27 comeback win over the Baltimore Ravens, a game that was won in the final minutes thanks to Lawrence's electric 75-yard touchdown drive followed by a clutch two-point conversion, Wingard told reporters how thrilled he was to see Lawrence do so well after spending almost an entire season under the dysfunctional Meyer regime.

“I'm just, like, so happy for Trevor, because he had to deal with Urban Meyer last year as a rookie, and I don’t even know if he had a rookie year. And to see the growth he’s made, not just on the field, but his preparation, his demeanor, all that,” Wingard said. "I’m so happy for him.”

Meyer was fired nearly a year ago after going 2-11, making Lawrence, the 2021 No. 1 overall pick in the draft, look like a bust, reportedly being abusive toward his players and staff, and generally being really, really, really bad at his job on every conceivable level. The Jags started the 2022 season fresh with new head coach Doug Pederson, the former Philadelphia Eagles HC who led that franchise to their first-ever Super Bowl victory.

Not being Urban Meyer would be enough to make Pederson's players love him, but he's done a lot more than that. Wingard said Sunday that he loves how the team has been working under Pederson.

“I would die for Doug Pederson, I swear. I would run into battle for Doug Pederson, 100 percent. I love the guy,” Wingard said. “We come into work, we keep working, we keep chipping away, and eventually it’s going to pay off and it did today. The feeling in the locker room was awesome. I love this team.”

Liberating the team from Meyer was just one step toward getting better. Hiring Pederson, who has made a clear impact on the Jaguars' play and culture in less than one season, may have been several steps in one.

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