Jaguars’ Trevor Lawrence on Matt Ryan: ‘He’s a great player’

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) looks for a receiver against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Matt Stamey)
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) looks for a receiver against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Matt Stamey)

Credit: Matt Stamey

Credit: Matt Stamey

Here’s what Jacksonville quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who starred at Cartersville High and Clemson, had to say to the Jacksonville media Wednesday:

(On making the offense more creative): “I don’t think it’s all about creativity. I think it’s mostly about execution. That’s something we’ve talked about a lot and that’s something we’ve met about, we’ve met as an offense and talked about. We just have to get better. We have to execute. It’s the details and the stuff that is in, whatever the install is or whatever our game plan is, we have to know it like the back of our hand and execute that. I think that’s the starting point. I think going from there and then you can add wrinkles, you can do whatever, but I just think that’s where we have to start out. I don’t think it’s always about creativity, just my honest opinion. Sometimes it is, but I don’t necessarily think that’s the sole reason. I think it’s on all of us. We have to be better. We just have to execute more.”

(On looking at the last few weeks as progress as far as not throwing any interceptions): “Yeah, I mean yes and no. I don’t think I played my best football, so I’m not pleased with that. But I mean yeah, it’s nice. I did have a turnover in the Colts game, but to not have thrown an interception the past few weeks. I mean it’s a positive, but the last two games we lost, didn’t play well at all last game. That’s definitely not a positive, so we want to get better, we want to have more explosive plays, move the ball more consistently. But yeah, I think for me to take that next step, that is obviously important to take care of the ball. I think I’ve grown a lot in that area this season.”

(On building chemistry with new teammates during the season): “It’s different, takes a little bit of extra work. Then in practice, you just have to get used to seeing a bunch of different guys in there at different times and really just have to communicate well. If you want something a certain way or if you need to correct something, you just talk about it right after. The guys have been great. The new guys that have come in have been awesome. They picked it up quick, (have been) very receptive to all that. (It was my) first time seeing Jaydon (Mickens) today, so that was good. He looks really good, so we’ll have to get him up to speed. (He’s) definitely another weapon for us, so I’m always all for that.”

(On the resilience of RB James Robinson despite an injury): “That’s just a guy you want on your team. Obviously, he’s a great player, but just the way he carries himself. (He’s a) really hard worker, always on his stuff, very mature. Like you said, we all have some things going on, but especially him, you can see. Obviously, he got banged up against Seattle and since then just fighting to get back. He’s done a great job of just kind of toughing it out and that’s what you would expect from a guy like that just knowing his character. He’s been awesome. (He’s) just a guy (who), as a quarterback, you want to play besides, so it’s nice having him.”

(On watching the Falcons and QB Matt Ryan growing up in Georgia): “I watched him a lot growing up. I didn’t watch a ton of NFL. I was more of like a college football fan as kid, but obviously that was the home team in Atlanta there. We were really close, so we’d go to games, we’d watch the games. (I) always liked Matt Ryan. I think he’s a great player and really the way he’s carried himself throughout his career has been impressive. You watch him every game, I feel like he plays well. So, it’s cool to see and he’s a great player.”

(On his impressions of Falcons TE Kyle Pitts): “He’s awesome. There’s not many guys like that. I don’t know if there’s any. He’s probably the only one really like that, so he’s a special, special player obviously. I remember even in college watching him like before our games, be watching TV, seeing Florida play and (he’d) just have like three touchdowns every week and just crazy stuff like that. He’s a great player. Obviously, that’s a big weapon for them, a guy that’s a tight end but really is like an extra receiver out there with long arms. He’s like (6-foot-5) or whatever he is, so that’s a big weapon obviously.”

(On former Clemson teammate and current Falcons CB A.J. Terrell): “A.J.’s awesome. I played with him for two years and (he’s) a great player. I mean he was one of the hardest workers on our team, carried himself like a pro even in college. It’s not surprising to see the success he’s had and to see when the Falcons picked him a couple years ago, it wasn’t surprising to me at all. I know to some people it was, but just being around him for two years, he’s impressive and watching him on tape, I think he’s one of the best corners in the league. It’s cool to watch him be successful. He’s a great guy, so I’m happy for him. It’ll be good to see him.”

(On seeing Terrell on tape instead of in practice): “It’s a little bit different just because I know him personally. Then just seeing some of the stuff he did even in college and some of the, whatever you want to call it, tendencies, the way he likes to play, you see the same things that you saw on the practice field every day, the things he’s good at, what he wants to do as a defender, what his go to things are. Seeing all that, it really carries over because you see things and you’re like it’s exactly how he did it in practice and it was obviously hard going against him in practice every day. That’s cool to have that experience and look back on it. He has the same thing with me.”

(On the Falcons’ loss in Super Bowl LI): “Like I said, I wasn’t like a huge fan of the Falcons necessarily. Like I said, I just didn’t watch NFL a ton, but it was definitely … Now that the Braves won the World Series, that was big for our state, but it had been a while since we’ve won a championship. I don’t know. I don’t want to say too much because we’re playing that team, but it’s definitely heartbreaking for those guys. I can’t imagine getting to that stage and to end like that, that’s tough. Not for me necessarily, like I wasn’t (a die-hard fan). Like I said, I watched them. I was cheering for them because that’s kind of the team I rooted for if I did root for one, but not super emotional for me.”

(On being a bigger Braves fan than Falcons fan): “Little bit. I definitely went to more Braves games as a kid when it was at Turner Field. Now they have the new stadium and all that, but yeah, I went to a lot of Braves games.”

(On adjusting expectations for new players coming in mid-season): “I mean it just depends. It depends how new the player is. Obviously if it’s someone like John (Brown) last week who had just gotten here, that’s something where when you’re game planning, you have certain personnel (groupings) and certain plays where he’s in the game so you can plan for what he’s going to do and talk about it the day before, a couple days before, throughout the week. Usually towards the end of the week, you have a good idea like, ‘This is the play you’re going to be in. ‘There’s a few of them and you work on those, make sure you get a few reps, make sure you are on the same page. That is about all you can do when someone is new. You can’t teach them the whole offense in a week. You try to give them a few plays and mix it up. That is what you have to do. It is not the easiest thing, but any weapons that can help, you want to have them on the field so if they can help us and put them in a position to be successful, we are going to do that. I think the guys have done a good job of picking it up, but (we] got another new one today (WR Jaydon Mickens) so we have a little bit more work to do.”

(On the Falcons defense): “They do a good job. (It’s) pretty simple on base down like the last few teams we’ve played. (Indianapolis) and (San Francisco) were very simple (on) first and second down, but then on third down got more exotic like most people. But (defensive coordinator Dean Pees) does a really good job mixing it up the looks. They like to play man coverage, but then he does a really good job of mixing in the two high, zones with pressure so you don’t know where guys are coming from. People are coming from the left side of the line to go play their zone spot on the other hash, just stuff like that, guys are flying everywhere. We just have to communicate really well and make sure we’re just on point with all of that. For me, my eyes are super important post-snap just seeing the rotation and where guys are going and finding soft spots. That’ll be big.”

(On timing being more important when playing the Falcons defense): “Definitely. Timing’s huge in this league. Windows are small and when there is some voyage, you have to take advantage of them because you’re not going to get them all the time, so for sure.”

(On a defense taking away a certain player like the 49ers did with TE Dan Arnold): “It can be tough. Obviously, that’s when you have to find your other guys and make plays. That’s something that we’re still continuing to figure out, what we’re really good at, and the next step to this offense. But yeah, there’s always ways to get him the ball and (we) didn’t really do that for last week for whatever reason. (It was) just how the game went. They did a good job of trying to take him away, so that’s something you always have to have a plan for. They played a lot of man coverage last week. We have to beat man and you have to be really accurate when you’re playing man coverage, so those are the two things.”

(On his Thanksgiving spread): “We’re having our family in town Friday, so we’re not eating until Friday, but everything. I don’t even know. I’d have to look at the menu, turkey, ham, all that, so we’re having it all.” (On his favorite Thanksgiving dish) “Sweet potato casserole’s probably like my go to Thanksgiving food that’s not necessarily the common ones like ham or whatever. I’d say sweet potato casserole.”

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Atlanta Falcons schedule and scores

Eagles 32, Falcons 6

Buccaneers 48, Falcons 25

Falcons 17, Giants 14

Washington 34, Falcons 30

Falcons 27, Jets 20

Bye Week

Falcons 30, Dolphins 28

Panthers 19, Falcons 13

Falcons 27, Saints 25

Cowboys 43, Falcons 3

Patriots 25, Falcons 0

Next four games

Falcons at Jacksonville, 1 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 28

Tampa Bay at Falcons, 1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 5

Falcons at Carolina, 1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 12

Falcons at San Francisco, 1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 19

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