Jags’ Minshew on being named captain: ‘That’s one of the highest honors you can have’

Year two of “Minshew Mania” starts on Sunday for Gardner Minshew and the Jacksonville Jaguars against the Indianapolis Colts. The second-year quarterback, who was 6-6 as a starter for the team in 2019, comes into 2020 as one of Jacksonville’s leaders, and on Monday, Minshew was named one of the team’s eight captains.

According to Minshew, being named captain is a tremendous honor. 

“It means everything,” Minshew said on Wednesday. “That’s one of the highest honors you can have is being voted on by your peers to represent them and to be their captain. Of all of the awards you can win, that’s one that really, to me, means a lot. It means the most because that’s really how you are with the guys around you and their opinion of you, and I think that’s the best judge of somebody.”

Wide receiver D.J. Chark added this about Minshew: “[It’s been] just from confidence of filling in, to just being his team—being the captain. I think that’s a big jump because you know that the guys in the locker room support you and they want you to succeed. [As] opposed to wishing that somebody else was quarterback and things like that. So, I think that’s the biggest thing that transfers on the field—translates to the field because when you’re dropping back, everybody on the team wants you to succeed. So, I think that’s the biggest thing and the confidence that he has.”

Minshew came out of nowhere for the Jaguars last season. The former 2019 sixth-round pick was not expected to play much at all last season, but injuries happened, and after getting his chance in 2019, Minshew threw for 3271 yards and 21 touchdowns, and while some were surprised by his play, Minshew said he prepared for that moment his whole football life. 

“It was something that I’ve been working for and preparing for really as long as I’ve played football,” he said. “It’s on a bigger stage now with higher competition, but the game’s still the same, the relationships you have are still the same, the preparation’s still the same. So, I think it’s something I’ve been preparing for a long time.”

While the Jaguars’ expectations are low in 2020, the pressure is on for Minshew to perform at a high level. If Jacksonville is tanking, as some think, this team will probably go in a different direction at the quarterback, especially if Minshew struggles. Therefore, he must be just as good, if not better, in 2020, but for now, it’s time to focus on the Colts.