As Tony Elliott sits in the press box and looks down on the field as he calls plays, he just sits in amazement watching some of the plays he sees from freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Everyone knows about Lawrence’s arm strength and his accuracy down field. However, what gets lost when people talk about or break down the former 5-star from Cartersville, Ga., is his ability to make plays when the pocket breaks down and he is forced to improvise.
“Because of who we go against on defense, the thing that has impressed me is his ability to extend plays,” Elliott said following Thursday’s scrimmage at Death Valley. “Obviously, he is athletic and he can run. But, he just has a knack for the ability to extend the play and keep his eyes down field.”
Elliott says Lawrence knows when it is time to run, but he extends a play as long as he can and usually it turns into a big play.
“Even though it is a broken play, he can turn it into a big play with his arm and his ability to extend plays,” the offensive coordinator said. “He is getting to the point now where the blitz recognition is starting to slow down for him.”
With the game starting to slow down even more for Lawrence, Elliott can tell he is becoming more commanding of the offense. So instead of trying to manage the game, he is now letting the freshman dictate the game.
Lawrence’s arm strength, pocket presence, his ability to scramble and extend plays make him even more dangerous to defensive coordinators, especially now that he can dictate what he wants to do.
“He can step up, slide in the pocket, break the pocket and throw the ball down field and throw the ball back across his body, which I know Coach (Brandon) Streeter does not like, but he finds ways to make those kinds of plays,” Elliott said. “He has the ability on the run to deliver the ball where it needs to be.”
What has made Lawrence’s play in camp even more impressive his is ability to do it no matter who is covering the wide receivers. He is putting the ball where guys like Tee Higgins, Justyn Ross, Diondre Overton and others can make a play on the football.
In most cases, he has been right on target.
“You are going against A.J. Terrell and Trayvon Mullen. You have (Tanner) Muse, who can run on the back end, so those windows are tight and he is finding those windows on the run.”
And Elliott just sits and watches in amazement.