Bill Belichick‘s resume against rookie quarterbacks is well-known.
He’s been an expert at befuddling, bewildering and vanquishing youthful sign guests and, on Sunday, Belichick and his New England Patriots will have the chance to do precisely that against Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jaguars’ tribulations have been abundant, and Lawrence‘s struggles have, as well.
Belichick, however, believes he’s seen progress in the 2021 NFL Draft’s No. 1 overall selection — or at least that’s the message he’s delivering days before he looks for his defense to take down Lawrence.
“I believe he’s settled in as the season’s continued and become familiar with the offense,” Belichick said Friday, by means of group record. “I’d say the offense has become familiar with the things that he does best. Without a doubt, a decent degree of execution there. They worked really hard last week against the Jets, blending in various assortments of passes: speedy tosses, moving pocket tosses, profound balls, third down transformations, red region plays. He’s very great by any means of them and keeps on improving. I believe he’s had a decent year and I think he’ll be a strong NFL player, perhaps incredible. I don’t have the foggiest idea, however he’s surely gained a great deal of headway this year.”
Solid NFL player? Maybe even great.
While the Jaguars franchise is no doubt looking for Lawrence to be great, he’s struggled throughout Jacksonville’s 2-13 campaign. He has just nine touchdowns to 13 interceptions and his 70.6 passer rating is 31st among qualified NFL quarterbacks.
Lawrence, who as Belichick implied is falling off a strong appearance in Week 16 against the Jets with 280 yards and no captures, will have a burdensome assignment on Sunday confronting the NFL’s third-positioned safeguard.
Then, at that point, there’s Belichick’s set of experiences against new confronted QBs.
Rookie quarterbacks are 8-24 all time against Belichick-coached teams, per NFL Research. This season, they’re 0-3 (the Jets’ Zach Wilson went 0-2 and the Texans’ Davis Mills also lost to the Patriots). Against first-year QBs selected No. 1 overall, Belichick is 1-2, having bested Jared Goff (Rams) and Andrew Luck (Colts) and lost to the Patriots’ Drew Bledsoe when he was coaching the Browns.
While Lawrence will confront Belichick‘s ballyhooed safeguard he’ll likewise wind up engaging it out with another first-round newbie QB in quite a while’s Mac Jones.
Jones, similar to his Patriots, has fallen upon tough situations lately. In the midst of New England’s flow two-game pallet, Jones has set up consecutive two-interference games and in a Week 16 misfortune to the Buffalo Bills delivered a season-most noticeably terrible 31.4 QB rating.
“I believe Mac’s been really steady,” Belichick said. “He’s predictable everyday and week to week. Truly, I believe he’s one of our most predictable players. He buckles down. He keeps on improving. There are new things consistently from a blueprint conspire, matchups point of view, however he keeps on acquiring experience handling those and doesn’t rehash numerous mistakes. There’s a great deal of new things for him, part of new things that he hasn’t seen, things that surface, yet once more, he handles those before long, beautiful well, and pretty reliably. I believe he’s one of our most steady players.”
His consistency and play overall has obviously taken a hit over the past two losses.
Whether dealing with that adversity will be a plus remains to be seen.
“We as a whole gain for a fact and we as a whole increase insight, even those of us that have been around for some time,” Belichick said. “You’re continually learning things consistently and positively things about the group that you’re with and circumstances that are explicit to that current year. I’m certain all that will help everyone and I believe he’s worked effectively of jumping on the chances that he’s had: practice, gatherings, film, games, postgame investigation, etc. Keep on improving as a player, further develop his planning, further develop his handling.”
As Jones looks to improve from his recent adversity, Belichick‘s Patriots will no doubt look to provide plenty of adversity for Lawrence come Sunday.