Sirianni on Hurts: ‘When he’s healthy, and he’s back, he’ll be our starter’

“Minshew Mania” was in full effect at MetLife Stadium on Sunday as Eagles backup quarterback Gardner Minshew III made his first start of the season for the injured Jalen Hurts(ankle) against the New York Jets(3-9).

At times, Minshew was magical, especially in the first half. In the Eagles’ first three possessions, which all ended in touchdowns, Minshew completed 11-of-11 attempts for 165 passing yards and two touchdowns, both to tight end Dallas Goedert. He completed 93% of his passes in the first half (14-of-15 for 188 yards). Ultimately, Philly would take a 24-18 halftime lead and would defeat the Jets 33-18.

The Eagles(6-7) scored on their first seven possessions of the game, marking the first time they have done so since at least 2001.

The third-year quarterback ended the game 20/25 for 242 yards and two touchdowns, and more importantly, the Eagles are a 1/2 game behind the Washington Football Team and the San Francisco 49ers for the final two Wild Card spots in the NFC.

“It’s the best time I’ve had since we won last year,” Minshew said after the win. “There’s nothing like that feeling. Glad to do it with this group of guys. They made it easy for me.”

Minshew was solid on Sunday, but that should be expected when considering the defense he was facing. The Jets lead the NFL in points allowed, and coming into this game against the Eagles, have allowed 30.4 points per contest. While fans in Philly may want Minshew to keep the job, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said this week when healthy Hurts is the guy, and he reiterated that after the game.

“There’s been times when he’s been one of the best in the league,” Sirianni said about Hurts. “The way he’s moved around, made plays, we look at that quarterback rating and what he’s had there. He’s played really good football when he’s in, so when he’s healthy, and he’s back, he’ll be our starter.”

Philadelphia continued to run the ball successfully as they had 185 yards on the ground, and Miles Sanders(left game in fourth with a leg injury) had his first 100-yard game of the season with 120 yards on 24 carries.

The final four games will determine if the Eagles can make the playoffs, and after the bye, they host the Washington Football Team for the first of two games in three weeks against WFT. Those games will have playoff implications.

Going forward, if he is healthy, Hurts will have an opportunity to play meaningful football in December.

Notes:

-Philadelphia increases their all-time series lead against the New York Jets to 12-0. The Eagles’ 12-0 mark against the Jets is currently the most wins without a loss by any NFL franchise in a head-to-head series. Philadelphia (12-0 vs. New York; 5-0 vs. Houston) and Minnesota (5-0 vs. Houston) are the only NFL teams with undefeated records against active opponents.

-Goedert’s 36-yard touchdown is tied for Philadelphia’s longest passing score of the season (also Jalen Hurts to DeVonta Smith in Week 10 at Denver). It is the longest TD by an Eagles TE since Brent Celek’s 65-yard catch on 12/19/10 at N.Y. Giants (thrown by Vick). Goedert finished the game with six catches for 105 yards and two touchdowns.

Philadelphia’s defense struggled in the first half. They allowed the Jets to score three touchdowns. However, they blanked the Jets in the second half.

 

 

 

Eagles acquire Minshew from Jacksonville

The Jacksonville Jaguars have traded QB Gardner Minshew II to the Philadelphia Eagles, the club announced today.

According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Jacksonville gets a conditional sixth round draft pick, which can become a fifth rounder for the Jaguars if Minshew plays 50% in three games.

Minshew, who battled rookie Trevor Lawrence for the starting quarterback position in Jacksonville, started eight games for the Jaguars last season and now has an opportunity to be the backup quarterback to Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia.

It’s no surprise that the 25-year-old Minshew was dealt. It seemed like it was just a matter of time. Additionally, it’s no surprise that Philadelphia was in the market for another quarterback.

Nick Mullens, who the Eagles released after the Minshew trade, was not very good in the preseason, and Joe Flacco has been just okay, so it should be interesting to see what the Eagles do next with Flacco.

At this point, outside of Lawrence, the Jaguars have two other quarterbacks in Jake Luton and C.J. Beathard, who will battle it out for the backup job. 

In other moves, the Jaguars signed WR Devin Smith and OL Jermaine Eluemunor.

Smith was originally drafted by the New York Jets in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He has appeared in 18 games – 14 with the Jets and four with the Cowboys. His career totals include 15 receptions for 248 yards and two touchdowns. The fourth-year receiver has also had stops with the Texans and, most recently, with the Patriots. The Akron, Ohio native attended Ohio State and played with Head Coach Urban Meyer from 2012-2014. Smith registered 121 receptions for 2,503 yards and 30 touchdowns in 53 games played with the Buckeyes.

Eluemunor was originally drafted in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft by Baltimore after playing collegiately at Texas A&M. The Chalk Farm, England native has played in 39 career games during his four-year career, including a career-high 12 contests last season with the Patriots.

Jags’ Lawrence on being named the starter: ‘I am really excited for the opportunity’

In a shocker(sarcasm), Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer named Trevor Lawrence the team’s starting quarterback for Week 1 against the Houston Texans on Wednesday.

Meyer started today’s press conference with the following:

“Trevor [Lawrence] ‘s going to be the starter in Week 1,” Meyer said. “He will start this week as well.”

Meyer waited the first few weeks of training camp and two preseason games to do the inevitable, which was name Lawrence the starter, and he explained why.

“We wanted him to earn it, as we do with every position,” Meyer said. We felt he has, after the last [game], nice performance. It was good, obviously not great, but we didn’t run the ball very well. I kind of, in my mind, had that as of after the second preseason [game] that we kind of have to get somebody ready to play in three weeks.”

The number one overall pick is excited to be the starter for Jacksonville.

 “It was good, man; we talked about it in our QB room,” Lawrence said. “We have a great group, so I am really excited for the opportunity, but it doesn’t really change anything. We still have the same task in front of us — got to get a lot better individually, as a team, and an offense, so just looking forward to going to work this week. You know it brings some clarity which is nice going forward, but it really doesn’t change much. But, yes, I am really excited for the opportunity and grateful or it.”

According to Lawrence, he got plenty of support from Gardner Minshew and the other quarterbacks on the roster.

 “We more so talked about it in our QB room, and really like I said, we have a great group,” Lawrence said. “You know Minsh [Gardner Minshew] has been awesome and treating me really well. We have had a lot of conversations, and he has been a guy that I have been able to learn from, and CJ [Beathard] and Jake [Luton] and all those guys. We are all in it together; we are all on the same team, and at the end of the day, that is the most important thing. It has been good — moving forward, we are not making it bigger than it is. I am going to be the starter and just have to play well, so that does not change.”

Obviously, this was always Lawrence’s job, and now if Jacksonville is fortunate, this will be Lawerence’s job for many years.

Jags’ Lawrence is ‘pumped’ to make his NFL debut on Saturday night

On Saturday night, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the NFL will finally get to see the number one overall pick in this year’s draft, QB Trevor Lawrence, who will make his NFL debut in Jacksonville against the Cleveland Browns.

“Yeah, I’m pumped. First game, obviously,” Lawrence said on Thursday. “It’s nice we’re playing at home, in front of the home crowd. So, we’re really excited; we’ve been working the past three or four weeks, but really even since the spring. Just trying to get ready for these moments, and this will be good. A lot of people are going to play, but in our minds, it’s a real game; we’re still trying to win the game. A lot of people look at preseason differently, but I think this is where it starts for the Jags this year, is game one, preseason.”

However, at this point, Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer has not decided who will be the starter. Will it be Lawrence or Gardner Minshew?

“We’ll finalize that tonight,” Meyer said about who will be the starter against Cleveland. “I asked [Passing Game Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer] Schotty and [Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell] Bev, but they’ll both play. A lot of it’s who’s going to be behind. We just want to make sure we have protected both those quarterbacks, but both will play.”

Before he took the job with Jacksonville, Meyer did not know much about Minshew, but Meyer has a lot of respect for Minshew after spending time with the third-year quarterback.

“I didn’t know [Gardner] Minshew [III]. I knew his coach very well, [Gardner Minshew III’s head coach at Washington State] Mike Leach,” Meyer said. “I don’t say we got off to a bad start, but I just didn’t see very much of him. But he’s earned my respect. I love that guy. He’s a warrior competitor; he’s a fighter. I told him that. I just have great respect for Minshew. He brings it every day now, every day.”

No matter who is the starter against the Browns, Lawrence hopes two things happen on Saturday night.

“First of all, to win the game, that’s the main goal,” Lawrence said. “I know, like I said, some people look at it differently. Here it’s just the first game for us. Whoever is in there is trying to win that game. And I guess individually, for me, it’s just to do my job, nothing more than that. If I do my job, it’ll put us in a position to win. So, that’s all I’m looking to doing is every play doing the best I can, putting us in a good spot, getting it to our playmakers. That’s all it is; being a quarterback is getting it to our best players. So, that’s all I’m going to do.”

The wise thing to do is have Lawrence start against the Browns, which will probably be likely, but hey, we’ll find out soon enough.

Minshew on Tebow: ‘I mean, every time I throw to him, I just smile’

This time last year, Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew was preparing to be the team’s starter. While it appears he will not be the starter this season after the team selected QB Trevor Lawrence with the number one overall pick in this year’s draft, the third-year quarterback is keeping the same preparation.

“Yeah, absolutely,” Minshew said on Friday when asked if he’s competing to be the starter this season. “I think any time you go into anything thinking that losing or second best is an option, most of the time that’s what you’re going to get. That’s like when [Hernán] Cortés landed up at Veracruz with 600 dudes, trying to take the Aztec Empire, you know what he said? He said, ‘Burn the boats; we’re going back on their boats.’ So, that’s kind of a mindset that stuck with me, pretty much, since I heard that story.”

According to Minshew, while he’s competing with Lawrence for the starting job, he and Lawrence have a solid relationship.

“Oh, it’s great,” he said. “Trevor(Lawrence) is an awesome dude, super humble, coming in here ready to work, ready to learn. It’s been a lot of fun working with him, and I’m excited to continue to build that relationship.”

There’s another quarterback in camp with the Jaguars, but he’s a tight end. Tim Tebow, who won the Heisman Trophy at Florida, and many consider one of the greatest college quarterbacks of all time, is trying to get back into the league after last playing in a regular-season game almost nine years ago. 

Minshew has always been a big fan of Tebow, and now he’s throwing to him.

“It’s still so cool,” he said. “I mean, every time I throw to him, I just smile. That’s like my favorite thing. But it’s like, it’s unbelievable. You hear bigger-than-life stories about the dude, and it’s all real. It’s unbelievable. I’ve never—truly bigger-than-life type person. So, it’s been really awesome to be around him.”

Barring a trade or catastrophic injury, Minshew will probably be the backup this season for Jacksonville, but he’s a competitor, so expect him to do everything in his power to be the starting quarterback for Jacksonville in 2021.

 

 

Jags QB Trevor Lawrence on first week of training camp: ‘I definitely made a lot of strides’

Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence has completed his first week of training camp, and as a rookie in the NFL, every day is a learning experience. 

On Saturday, the number overall pick in this year’s draft reflected on his first week of training camp.

 “It was a good week — yeah, I felt like I definitely made a lot of strides, individually, but as an offense and a team since the spring, you can kind of see everyone getting comfortable and learning the system,” Lawrence said. “It was a really good week. I didn’t have the best day today, but that’s what training camp is about — working out the kinks and really just owning our offense in the situations that were going in and against.”

According to Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer, the real work starts next week for Lawrence.

“He’s good. His skill set is there,” Meyer said. “The thing is that everybody has to remember [is] that defense is not allowed to make a play on the ball right now. That’s what happened in spring, and we almost got fined because we had two defensive backs go after the ball. I told them today it’s over now. Now go make a play, next week we can start that. So, all you can evaluate now is retention and skill set, plus plus. The real stuff starts next week.”

Last season, quarterback Gardner Minshew was the starter for the Jaguars. Coming into this season, Minshew will probably be the backup and Lawrence the starter, but at this point, there’s a “quarterback competition,” and Lawrence enjoys the competition.

“It’s always a competition — I mean, I’d say when I was at Clemson when I first came in, it was a similar situation, and that’s how it has to be. It has to be a competition — nothing can be given,” he said. “When you start giving things to people, you set the wrong precedent for the team. I have a lot of respect for the coaches, the way they’ve handled everything, and my job is to just come in every day, go to work and try to make this team better, and that’s hopefully getting close to the season, we can all gel and get some more work together, but right now, I’m just doing my job.”

Lawrence is going to have good days at camp, and he will have bad days. He also will have struggles during the season, but the Jaguars invested a lot in him, so he will have any and every opportunity to be the guy in Jacksonville. Week one of training camp is done, and Lawrence has to continue to put the work in as training camp continues next week.

Watch highlights of Jaguars training camp:

Jags’ Marrone talks decision to go with Glennon over Minshew against Colts

An NFL season can be very long and can be even longer when you’re not very good, which is the position the Jacksonville Jaguars are in right now. Jacksonville won their first game of the season against the team they conclude the season with, the Indianapolis Colts. 

In that game against the Colts, Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew played his best game of the season. The second-year quarterback was 19-20 for 173 yards and three touchdowns. After defeating the Colts in Week 1, it’s been all downhill. Jacksonville(1-14) has lost 14 straight games, including last week’s 41-17 loss to the visiting Chicago Bears. 

Last week, Jacksonville did not name a starting quarterback against the Bears until Saturday afternoon, which was Mike Glennon. This week, Marrone decided a little sooner and will go with Glennon over Minshew against Indianapolis. Against the Bears, Glennon threw for 211 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions.

On Wednesday, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone explained why he choose Glennon over Minshew.

“We just feel like it gives us a good chance [to win], and we can operate and see where it goes,” Marrone said. “Honestly, I don’t think any one decision on the quarterback, or any other position, is really going to move the needle one way or the other. If it did, then obviously we would make it, but we don’t feel that way. Let’s go in there, and let’s try to take advantage of some things.”

Marrone is right. When you are the Jaguars, it doesn’t matter what you do at this point of the season. You are what you are, and the Jaguars are not a good football team. A change will come in Jacksonville at season’s end, and hopefully, for the franchise, better days are ahead. 

 

Jaguars’ Minshew: ‘I don’t think anybody really expects much of a 1-12 team’

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew is a starter again for the team as they prepare to travel to Baltimore to battle the Ravens(8-5) on Sunday. Jacksonville(1-12) is looking to snap a 12-game losing streak. 

The second-year quarterback replaced au ineffective Mike Glennon last week in Jacksonville’s loss to the Titans. Minshew saw his first action since he injured his thumb back in October. Before the injury, Minshew started the first seven games for Jacksonville.

“I mean going into the week, I was kind of expecting it, ready to roll,” Minshew said on Wednesday about being named the starter against Baltimore. “[I’m] just glad to be back in the saddle.”

Being 1-12 and on a 12-game losing streak, Minshew believes there is no pressure on this team at this juncture of the season.

 “I wouldn’t say there’s a ton of pressure right now,” Minshew said. “I don’t think anybody really expects much of a 1-12 team, but we expect a lot of ourselves. We’re going to go out there, try not to let what’s going on this season determine what happens these next three games. We’re going to go try to have a lot of fun, make the most of them, put some good stuff on tape.”

There’s a good chance Minshew won’t be in Jacksonville next season. At this point, the team still has an outside chance at getting the number one overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, but for that to happen, they have to keep on losing and hope that the Jets(0-13) find a way to win a game. At this time, due to strength of schedule(Jaguars having an easier strength of schedule), if the Jaguars and Jets end up with the same record, Jacksonville will get the number one pick, which means they probably get Lawrence if he declares for the draft. 

So, Jacksonville has a lot to play for at this point of the season, and if things go their way, maybe they will get that franchise quarterback they have coveted for many years. 

Marrone thinks Glennon gives Jacksonville the best chance to win

Last month, Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew was cleared to return to the field after dealing with a thumb injury. Minshew injured his thumb against the Texans in Week 5 but hid it from the team until after their loss to the Chargers in Week 7. 

The second-year quarterback has not been on the field since.

“It’s so frustrating,” Minshew told ESPN’s Mike DiRocco. “I pretty much went and begged before the Cleveland game to be able to play. It sucks, you know, There’s no way around it.

Rookie quarterback Jake Luton started three games during Minshew’s absence; Mike Glennon would start the next two, including the team’s 27-24 loss to Minnesota on Sunday.

On Monday, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone addressed Minshew’s situation, and according to Marrone, whose team host the Titans on Sunday, the 30-year-old Glennon gives Jacksonville the best chance to win.

“We talked today, and just like I told him, I just want to see more at practice,” Marrone said. “I think he’s working on his volume and the amount of throws and all of that. He’s obviously cleared medically, but still, you want to be able to see those things on the practice field. I just think right now, in practice, Mike [Glennon] is throwing better and giving us the best chance to win. I don’t think Gardner [Minshew II] ‘s 100 percent as far as his workload, and that’s always [of] concern to me. I’m trying to understand it, and we’re both trying to work through it.” 

During this time, according to Marrone, he and Minshew have been in constant communication.

 “We’ve been having a lot of conversations, so it’s not a problem at all,” Marrone said. “I mean whatever he feels he can do, what’s best for the team, he’ll do. He’s said that quite a bit, so I don’t see a problem there. The communication’s been fine. I think everything’s been upfront, everything’s been talked about, so I feel comfortable with that. I think he’s trying to do everything he can to get himself back to a point where he feels comfortable, and his workload is right.”

Minshew wants to prove that he can be a starting quarterback in the NFL, so you can understand his desire to want to get back on the field, but with only four games left, there is a chance that he does not play another down this season, especially if Glennon plays well. 

However, the Jaguars(1-11) are on an 11-game losing streak, and they will have a hard time winning another game, so we will probably see Minshew at some point again in the next four games. In seven games, the 24-year-old Minshew threw 1855 yards with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions, so his numbers aren’t bad. 

However, there’s a good chance that Minshew won’t be in Jacksonville next season. At this point, Jacksonville has the second-worst record in football, and if things go their way, maybe the Jaguars will be in line to draft Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence or even Ohio State’s Justin Fields. 

Next season, the Jaguars will have a new GM after firing Dave Caldwell last month, probably a new coach, and probably a new quarterback. 

Changes are coming in Jacksonville.

Jaguars’ Luton on first career start: ‘I’ll be ready’

In 2019, the opportunity came knocking for then Jacksonville Jaguars rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew, who was a sixth-round draft pick in last year’s draft. Minshew stepped in for an injured Nick Foles and ultimately started 12 games for Jacksonville, which helped him become the team’s starter in 2020. 

However, after injuring his thumb, Minshew will miss Sunday’s home game for Jacksonville(1-6) against the Texans(1-6). In his place will be rookie quarterback Jake Luton, who, like Minshew, was a sixth-round pick. On Wednesday, the former Oregon State product discussed the similarities between his and Minshew’s journey. 

“We’ve talked about it a little bit,” Luton said. “We’ve had a couple conversations. I remember one we had at the hotel over dinner, kind of just talking about our paths and the journeys we’ve taken, and it’s really cool. I remember a couple years ago facing off against him and watching him for Washington State and how much success he had. It’s a small world. It’s crazy how our paths have now crossed. I think our different journeys and our roads, all the different steps that we’ve taken has helped us both. Now, being together, I think it’s helped us even more. We push each other pretty well, and I think he has a lot of knowledge to bring to the table.”

Minshew has struggled at times this season, and currently the Jaguars are on a six-game losing streak, so Luton has an opportunity to prove that maybe he could Jacksonville’s quarterback of the future, and according to the rookie, he will be ready.

“I think playing the quarterback position, I think you have to be pretty even-keeled,” Luton said. “It’s what I pride myself in is just being composed at all times. I think that’s something the team really looks to and guys really respect. I just try to approach it day in and day out as a first-year guy coming in and preparing like I’m going to play, and whether I am or not, I’m going to prepare that way so when my time comes, I’ll be ready.”

Obviously, Luton wants to perform at a high level, but no matter what happens, playing in the NFL is a dream come true.

“As a kid, I wanted to do this my whole life,” he said. “I dreamed of playing in the NFL, and getting that opportunity to step out, there will definitely be a dream come true. I don’t know that I could really compare it to anything I’ve experience this far.”

Both Luton and Minshew could be gone after this season. However, if Luton plays well, he could keep the job going forward for Jacksonville. So, again, this is an excellent chance for Luton to show what he brings to the table.