Trevor Lawrence enters the NFL without a chip on his shoulder or an unhealthy, maniacal obsession with seizing upon (and, if necessary, conjuring out of thin air) disses or slights or whispers or insults that will give him even more motivation. In time, that could come. For now, it’s not there.
On Monday morning, Simms and I unpacked and repacked Lawrence’s initial comments to SI.com and his weekend elaboration on Twitter. At one level, Lawrence doesn’t have a chip on his shoulder because he has yet to have a reason to acquire one. Lawrence have lived a charmed football life, winning a national championship as a freshman and returning to the national championship as a sophomore and getting to the semifinal game as a junior. Unlike Tom Brady, whose Scouting Combine boxer-shorts photo and his performance during the workouts would suggest he didn’t enter the 2000 draft with much of a chip on his shoulder but who immediately acquired one after plunging to pick No. 199, Lawrence has been the presumptive No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 draft since we first witnessed the phenomenon in 2018.
At another level, enough has happened to trigger for Lawrence the kind of torment that would translate to a chip on the shoulder. He never won the Heisman Trophy, and he lost his last two games on the biggest stage in college football — the national title game in 2019 and the national semifinal game in 2020. Some would still be losing sleep over the loss to Ohio State and Justin Fields. Some would be champing at the bit to get back on the field and show that his last college game was an aberration.
None of this should be regarded as passing judgment. Lawrence’s way is healthy. It’s grounded. Life isn’t about only football. Football players and coaches should have other interests.