Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence has a history of being accountable for his own performances

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Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence holds onto football November 6 during a run against Las Vegas. He broke his turnover pattern earlier in the season, particularly fumbling, and hasn't given up the ball in his last two games.
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New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson is about to conduct a clinic on how to lose a locker room.
His refusal to take the blame for a poor performance last week, in which the Jets offensively gained 2 yards in the second half of a 10-3 loss to New England — he's averaged 163.4 yards in his last five games , with three games under 150 yards - followed by his bench press on Wednesday and the subsequent reaction, as reported by Jets coach Robert Saleh: "Why me?"
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Compare that to the other three quarterbacks from the first round of the 2021 draft playing (San Francisco's Trey Lance is out for the season):
• Chicago's Justin Fields attempted to play with an injured shoulder in a 27-24 loss to Atlanta late in Sunday's game, then walked through the dressing room to his defensive teammates and apologized for not bringing the team all the way back.
According to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, Fields' teammates stopped him early in the process and told him he had nothing to apologize for.
• New England's Mac Jones, a Bolles graduate, suffered a severe ankle sprain earlier in the season. His teammates noted how he attacked his rehabilitation program and returned to the field in less than a month, and the Patriots have gone 3-1 since his return, their only loss coming to Bears and Fields.
"Mac's a dog, man...he's an ultimate competitor," said New England wide receiver Jakobi Meyers.
"He's a warrior," added running back Rhamondre Stevenson.
Lawrence: "Never About Me"
Then there's Trevor Lawrence of the Jaguars, who has had good games and bad games in a 3-7 season, made great plays and made inexplicable mistakes, but has established a pattern.
The good plays require someone to block and someone to catch the ball, and he's quick to spread the credit.
The bad games are on him.
Soccer is a team game.
"It's never about me," he said Wednesday after the Jaguars practiced for the Baltimore Ravens (7-3), who arrive at TIAA Bank Field on Sunday (1 p.m. CBS). "I think that's the main thing I've tried to keep in mind."
There were some tough moments for Lawrence, who was 96-4 at Cartersville (Ga.) High School and Clemson but is 6-20 as a starter in the NFL.
That season, the Jaguars lost games to Houston and Denver after throwing interceptions inside the 10. He fumbled four times against Philadelphia. And last season was an ordeal from start to finish, as he threw 17 interceptions on just 12 touchdown passes and had eight games with a passer rating less than 70.
But with seven games remaining, the Jaguars and Lawrence coaching staff are far more optimistic that he could be on his way to figuring out the NFL. Lawrence has thrown for 2,334 yards, 13 touchdowns, six interceptions, a .652 completion percentage and an 89.7 passer rating -- every number better than last season at this point.
In his last two games, he has not conceded a turnover, thrown for 494 yards and three touchdowns, completed 760 of his passes, and has a 108.54 passing rating.
Offensive coordinator Press Taylor said Lawrence is pushing the issue less and less.
"He just takes what the defense gives them ... that's really the biggest thing," he said. “Understand the plan really well, understand the situation, put the ball in play and give our guys opportunities. That gives our guys the ability to get the ball in the area and create after that, that gives the line confidence that if we call pass the ball goes out of his hand... than that just overall builds confidence, this chemistry as a unit."
To take responsibility
Chemistry is a goal for every NFL team. The Jaguars play for Lawrence because they know he displays one of the best qualities a leader can have: responsibility.
"It's not just for one game ... it's play-by-play," said wide receiver Christian Kirk. “Something happens during the game and he feels it's his fault. He'll be the first to come up to you and say, "I'll get the ball down, or I'll be better at this game." Having a quarterback like that is very comforting... for everyone on this team to have a leader who Taking responsibility when he's not at his best."
Tight end Evan Engram said Pederson has established a culture of players taking responsibility and Lawrence embodies that.
"The identity of this team is to be responsible for ourselves and our work," he said. "[Quarterback] is definitely one of the most important positions on the team and he's very responsible for himself and that makes him a better player too."
Lawrence said he really didn't know of any other way and credits first to his family, then to coaches like Joey King at Cartersville, Dabo Swinney at Clemson and Doug Pederson of the Jaguars.
"I had really good people on my mind, good voices," Lawrence said. "Obviously my family... my parents did a great job of raising me and teaching me. I think it all comes down to humility.”
Early attention helped
Lawrence said it's fortunate in a way that he was such an announced quarterback in high school and college because he's learned how to handle the limelight and recognize the double-edged sword of a star quarterback: You get the most credit and most blame.
For some young athletes it can be too much, too fast.
But as former Jaguars quarterback, now with the Eagles, Gardner Minshew said earlier this season, Lawrence has never let success and praise go to his head.
"He's been told his whole life how good he is," Minshew said before the Jaguars played the Eagles. "He doesn't carry that around with him."
Instead, Lawrence tries to soften the platitudes with the notion that there's always room for improvement.
"I tried to take everything on myself," he said. "I'd rather take too much blame. There are always things that can be done better.”
And game after game, Lawrence appeared before the media — after working alongside his teammates.
After the game against Denver when he threw an interception from the 1-yard line on first-and-goal, then another late in the game: "Obviously I'm pretty upset and frustrated and disappointed in myself and the way it's done as I finish the game...I need to look in the mirror and play better."
After the Houston game, when he threw an interception on the second goal from the 7: “I just forced it. It was just a bad decision. That's one you just throw away, maybe try to break in, live to downplay another."
And after the Eagles game when he had four fumbles: “I would start by saying that I have to say that I have to play better. Our defense gave us a chance to win it at the end of the game. I'm just p---d I let these guys down and just had too many turnovers. It obviously starts with me. All of them were me today, so it's nobody else's fault. Letting these guys down is disappointing."
Team took a cue
While Lawrence didn't have very many of these games in high school and college, he understood the routine.
"I think that was something I had to learn early in my career," he said. "I just stand up in front of cameras, reporters and media more than most people, even since my senior year of high school. Sometimes I'm probably pretty boring... like a broken record. But I think that's the best way."
Kirk said Lawrence's mentality of accepting the awards with humility and being quick to take the blame for mistakes will serve him well throughout his career -- and that attitude has rubbed off on the rest of the team.
"The standard is set," he said. "That's how we treat each other. If he comes up to us and says, "Hey, gosh... that's all me. I'm going to make this right.” For us as recipients [after a drop or missed block], we're the first to come up to him, “Hey, we're going to make this right.” Communication with him from day one has been amazing. That’s what matters, communication and maturity.”
Contact Garry Smits at gsmits@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter @GSmitter
This article originally appeared in the Florida Times-Union: Jags' Trevor Lawrence credits his upbringing and previous coaches with teaching him responsibility
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