We have now reached the crazy portion of NFL Draft season.
After a Sports Illustrated article on Trevor Lawrence ran on Wednesday, the former Clemson quarterback is now having his dedication questioned.
At the center of the discussion are basically three quotes. One from Lawrence, then another from his father, and one from his high school coach Joey King.
“I want people to know that I’m passionate about what I do and it’s really important to me, but . . . I don’t have this huge chip on my shoulder, that everyone’s out to get me and I’m trying to prove everybody wrong. I just don’t have that. I can’t manufacture that. I don’t want to.”Trevor Lawrence
“He’s not award-driven. He’s not, ‘I want to win a Super Bowl at all costs.'”Lawrence’s Father
“There is no doubt about it: With who he is as a person, he could walk away from it tomorrow and be fine.”Lawrence’s High School Coach Joey King
On the ESPN morning show Get Up on Thursday, Louis Riddick said he was taken aback by the comments.
“I’ll be honest, I don’t know Trevor Lawrence,” Riddick said. “We’ve been told that he is ‘can’t miss’ and that this is why Urban Meyer came out of retirement. I know this about the NFL, there are quarterbacks that are just maniacal in terms of their preparation and their commitment to the game and they do want to win at all costs.”
Riddick went on to talk about how hard winning at the NFL level actually is and the commitment it takes.
“Winning at the NFL level, playing quarterback at the NFL level is hard,” Riddick said. “It’s about the details, it’s about the preparation and it’s about the commitment. You’ve got to be committed on that level.”
Booger McFarland also chimed in, and while he said he was initially taken aback by the comments as well, after thinking about it further, he doesn’t see it as that big of a deal.
“I think the reason it took a lot of us aback is because it goes against conventional wisdom, right,” McFarland said. “We want our quarterback to be the first in, last out, willing to die for it all and I truly understand. But I also have to make myself think that this is a new way to deal with this. This young crew, these millennials, they talk differently, they do different things.”
McFarland has actually watched Lawrence play over the past three seasons. He has listened when Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney raved about Lawrence’s work ethic and dedication to perfecting his craft. And until he sees proof otherwise, those are the things he’s putting stock into.
“I know two things,” McFarland said. “I’ve listened to Dabo Swinney talk about it, I’ve listened to Dabo talk about his commitment, and I turned the tape on and watch what he does on the field… He’s lost two games as the starter. He came in as a freshman, and he played against some of the best competition alive. So until I know for sure, and I’ve met him and I’ve seen him… That he’s a guy who cuts corners, I’m gonna give him the benefit of the doubt.”
The analysts out today questioning what was said by Lawrence in the Sports Illustrated piece have also conveniently left out this nugget that the quarterback also said.
“I want to do it because I want to be the best I can be. I want to maximize my potential. Who wouldn’t want to? You kind of waste it if you don’t.”Trevor Lawrence
During that segment on ESPN, Mike Greenburg was the only one who seemed to grasp what Lawrence was saying.
“Trevor Lawrence is talking about not having a chip on his shoulder,” Greenberg said. “Tom Brady was the 199th pick in the draft. That’s how you get a chip on your shoulder. Trevor Lawrence has been the anointed one since he was a sophomore in high school. So, the entire narrative on him has been he’s the best ever from the time he was 15 years old. There’s no way to get a chip on your shoulder when all anyone has been doing is telling you how great you are.”
People that have followed Lawrence’s career closely know exactly what kind of quarterback he is. There is no question about his dedication. There is no question about his commitment.
Lawrence absolutely does not like to lose. Listen to his comments after the LSU and Ohio State losses if you need convincing. At the same time, he isn’t the type to dwell on any one loss, nor will he allow a loss to define him. He chooses to learn from them, then move on.
Not caring about individual awards the way some other players might doesn’t make him any less committed. As he’s said many times during his college career, he’s much more interested in team goals.
In an era in which we see so much selfishness, Lawrence’s outlook is actually kind of refreshing.