Browns get the win 23-13. Trevor Lawrence makes his debut and looks decent enough. Tim Tebow has his shining moment undercut by his own teammate. Shad Khan sets unrealistic expectations for Jaguars season.
Trevor Lawrence Debut
#1 overall pick, quarterback Trevor Lawrence made his preseason debut with the Jacksonville Jaguars as he completed 6 of 9 passes for 71 yards. Lawrence looked the part as he lead the offense, and seemed comfortable in the pocket even when facing pressure. Not that he completed passes against pressure or anything, just never seemed overwhelmed when things broke down and he was sacked.
Trevor Lawrence 🆙🔝 to Marvin Jones Jr.! @Jaguars— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) August 14, 2021
📺: #CLEvsJAX on NFL Network (or check local listings) pic.twitter.com/8Ld1oGXhPg
Mr. Refusing-to-Poo Minshew Looks Like #2
In an odd and hilarious story, Garner Minshew was quoted stating that he has not taken a number two recently because number two is not an option for him as he battles #1 pick Trevor Lawrence for the starting job in Jacksonville. I’m a fan of the Minshew mindset and joke that goes along with it, but he’s kidding himself if he thinks he has any shot of surpassing Lawrence on the depth chart. The Jags are Trevor’s team, regardless of how good Minshew might look in moments.
Unfortunately for Minshew, there were not a lot of positive moments in the preseason opener against the Browns as he finished 4 of 8 for 47 yards and an interception. By the end of the night, C.J. Beathard looked like a better potential backup for Lawrence over the former fan-favorite. Minshew-Mania faded as fast as it appeared, and it does not seem set for a comeback in Jax anytime soon.
“So the hopes, the aspiration and the optimism is just… RIDICULOUS!”
Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan said this during the broadcast as he explained his excitement for the Urban Meyer era. Khan even went as far as to say that based on what he has witnessed around the facility the “level” this years team is on far exceeds that of the Jaguars team that reached the AFC Championship game just a few years ago. Which I must admit seems like a bold, and borderline idiotic comment to make given the rebuild process the team is in with a new coach and a new quarterback.
In addition to over hyping the current status of his team, Khan continued to ramble on as he discussed his development plans that include a new stadium. This interview seemed like a stroke job by the local broadcast team, as they gleamed with excitement to merely be in Khan’s presence. They repeatedly set him up with lay up questions designed to safely steer the conversation and make Khan come out looking as best as possible. I found it to be quite annoying as multiple plays were happening in the game with zero recognition or acknowledgement from the announcers in the booth, because they couldn’t get their lips off Khan’s butt long enough to do any play-by-play.
Tim Tebow Has His Moment Stolen
The simple fact that Tim Tebow was even offered a try out by the Jaguars was enough to send local and national media into a frenzy this offseason. Some stated it was unfair, and a form of favoritism being shown by Urban Meyer. Others felt it is ridiculous to think Tebow could suddenly be successful at the Tight End position. Regardless, here we are one week into the NFL preaseason and Tebow is still on the team. Plus he was able to get open, and would’ve had a nice catch and gain if not for his own teammate Tavon Austin undercutting the route and stealing Tim Tebow’s chance to shine:
Tavon Austin said NOPE. 😂 Tim Tebow gets his 1st catch snatched by his teammate— Rookie Highlights (@RookieHigh) August 15, 2021
Week 1 of the #NFLPreseason #Jags vs #Browns pic.twitter.com/KEczlwC0cp
Kyle Lauletta Perfect Placement for Touchdown!
Browns 3rd-string quarterback Kyle Lauletta had a solid showing in the preseason opener, as he fired off multiple throws that were impressive. Especially this pass he dropped in the perfect spot for a score:
Davion Davis went 🆙🆙🆙#CLEvsJAX | #Browns— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) August 15, 2021
📺: @nflnetwork | @WEWS pic.twitter.com/y79qFPVUcm
Donovan Peoples Jones Beautiful One Arm Catch
While neither of the Browns top receiving threats took the field, it was nice to see DPJ putting on a show with this one-arm snag on the sideline.
DPJ with one arm 😳— NFL (@NFL) August 14, 2021
📺: #CLEvsJAX on @NFLNetwork (or check local listings)
📱: https://t.co/bqQXNtJ0KD pic.twitter.com/BVJevEvJmJ
Cody Parkey Hits Another Upright
Browns kicker Cody Parkey is well-known for how often his kicks have hit the uprights over the years, with some going in and others ending in misses at some of the worst times. Like when Parkey sent one off the upright that missed and cost the Chicago Bears a playoff game. Perhaps its purely coincidence that it keeps happening, or it could be tied to the fact that he used to practice this very thing, making YouTube videos of him kicking and hitting various poles and uprights. Now it’s as if he cannot turn that training off and aim for the middle.
The Browns have a long history of kicking woes, and now that the team is a legitimate playoff contender the last thing they need is uncertainty within the special teams unit. Parkey is a good overall kicker, but I’m not sure how confident I will be in our kicking game if he is the starter throughout the season.
Trevor Lawrence will be solid as a starter, and I base that more so on what I did not see versus what I did. In other words, he never appeared to be frantic or overwhelmed by the moment. He seemed in control and executed the offense well while on the field. Tim Tebow appears to be more of a sideshow than a serious threat at tight end. I’m honestly rooting for the guy to make the team, but not sure how impactful his on-field presence will ultimately be.
For the Browns, all positive signs. Both the backup and 3rd-string QBs played well and moved the ball. The defense looked solid and was able to apply pressure early in the game. It’s still super early, but the Browns seem to be poised for a solid season and hopefully a deep playoff run.
IMG CREDIT: Tom – stock.adobe.com