Trevor Lawrence is the anointed savior, the chosen messiah of the Jacksonville Jaguars, but that doesn't mean he can just waltz into the starting job in Duval County.
Both Lawrence and former starter Gardner Minshew will play in Jacksonville's preseason opener against the Browns, Jaguars coach Urban Meyer told reporters Thursday. Meyer did not reveal which quarterback will start Saturday against Cleveland.
Typically, the Week 1 starter serves as the first indicator of how a competition is playing out, though coaches can (and often do) combat early assumptions by stating the two will split reps, and tack on a disclaimer rendering the identity of the first recipient of snaps irrelevant.
Meyer didn't quite go there, instead complimenting Minshew's work ethic and leaving the door open on the matter.
"He's earned my respect. I love that guy," Meyer said of Minshew. "He's a warrior, competitor. He's a fighter. I told him that. I just got great respect for Minshew. He brings it every day, every day."
In terms of quarterback competitions, Lawrence would have to struggle dramatically to not see starting reps in Week 1 of the regular season. He was a lock to go No. 1 overall as early as last fall, and it's only been a matter of time until the team fortunate enough to select him would send him out to begin his journey as the face of the franchise.
To that point, Meyer was asked whether there's truly a chance Lawrence isn't the Week 1 starter against Houston a month from now.
"Is there really a chance? I think we'll answer that as we get closer," Meyer said.
Often one to keep things close to the chest, Meyer certainly isn't showing his cards in his first NFL season -- even if the hand was dealt to him face up. Meyer told reporters it's still an open competition at the position, which feels more like a ceremonial response more than anything.
The future wears No. 16. We just have 31 days until it truly begins.