Jags’ OC on Minshew: ‘I think that you see an organization believe that he’s going to go out there and perform’

When Jaguars QB Nick Foles went out with a collarbone injury in Week 1 against the Chiefs, many thought Jacksonville’s chances of making a playoff run were over. No way anyone thought a sixth-round pick could save the season. Well, after five weeks, that sixth-round pick, Gardner Minshew, is doing just that.

Minshew has done his best to keep the Jaguars’ season alive. He is 2-2 as a starter, and the Jaguars(2-3) are only one game out of first place in the AFC South, and at this point, if Minshew continues to play well, he might continue as the starter when Foles returns.

According to Jaguars offensive coordinator John Defilippo, Minshew is playing well because of what he is doing away from the field.

“I think it’s as much off the field as it is on the field,” Defilippo said on Thursday. “I think he trusts his preparation. I think anytime you go through game week after game week after game week; I think you get into a routine. I see him much more comfortable in his routine throughout the week.

“On the field, I just think it has more to do with the ten guys that are around him than it does him. I just think you see the other 10 guys believe. It was kind of an unknown for all of us when he went in there against Kansas City when Nick went down on play [No. 11]. I think you see an organization, not only players and coaches, but I think that you see an organization believe that he’s going to go out there and perform. That is a credit to him.”

It’s very evident that the Jaguars do believe in Minshew, and while Jacksonville has invested a lot of money into Foles, Minshew may have shown enough for the team to think about moving on from Foles. However, that decision won’t be made anytime soon, but for now, the team continues to get behind Minshew.


Marrone on Minshew: ‘You feel like you always have a chance when he’s in there’

On Sunday, the Jacksonville Jaguars were fighting from behind for most of the game against the Panthers, and after tying the score at seven in the first quarter, the Jaguars would fall behind 21-7 in the second quarter. Jacksonville was able to cut the lead to one in the fourth quarter, and late in the game, the Jaguars had a chance to tie the score, but Panthers LB Luke Kuechly knocked down Jaguars rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew’s Hail Mary pass as Jacksonville(2-3) would lose on the road to Carolina(3-2) 34-27.

Coming into Sunday’s action, Minshew was 2-1 as a starter, and going into that final drive, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone was confident about his team’s chances to tie the game because of Minshew.

“You feel like you always have a chance when he’s in there,” Marrone said about Minshew after the game. “You feel like he’s going to go ahead and he’s going to make a play. I think sometimes you see him running around and moving around and ducking and going and eventually, that stuff – in this league – is going to catch up to you where they’re going to knock the ball out.

“Sometimes you’re going to make plays; sometimes you’re not. We just appreciate that the guy’s out there giving us everything he has, and that’s all you can ask for from a player.”

Jacksonville got another solid game out of Minshew, who threw for a career-high 374 yards and two touchdowns. But, the sixth-round pick in this year’s draft did lose three fumbles(two which led to points) on Sunday, which he knows can’t happen moving forward.

“Played well for the most part, but had three turnovers,” Minshew said. “Those are all on me, that can’t happen. When stuff like that happens, sometimes you don’t give yourself a chance to win. That’s what I feel like we did, what I did.”

Minshew is a rookie, and with rookie quarterbacks, you are going to have games like this. Hopefully for the Jaguars, Minshew learns from his mistakes and comes back strong next week against the Saints.

Minshew named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month

Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew II has been named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for his performance in September, the league announced today.

Minshew took over for injured QB Nick Foles in the first quarter of Week 1 against Kansas City and, during the month of September, completed 84 of 121 passes (69.4 completion pct.) for 905 yards, seven TDs and one INT for a passer rating of 106.9. His 69.4 completion percentage and 106.9 passer rating are both the fifth-highest in the NFL this season among players with at least 100 pass attempts, and he leads all rookies in both categories. Minshew threw for more than 200 yards and posted a passer rating of at least 95.0 in each of his first four contests of his career during the month of September, becoming the first player in the NFL since 1990 to register 200-plus passing yards and a passer rating of at least 95.0 in each of his first four career games. He is also the only QB in the NFL to achieve the feat in all four games to open the 2019 season. The Washington State product was especially productive in the red zone in September, where his 123.9 passer rating (8 of 11 passing for 57 yards, 5 TDs and zero INTs) is the highest in the NFL with at least 10 passing attempts in the red zone.

 During his professional debut against the Chiefs in Week 1, Minshew completed 22 of 25 passes (88.0 completion pct.) for 275 yards, two TDs and one INT for a passer rating of 122.5. Minshew completed his first 13 passes of the game, becoming the first player in the last 40 years to complete his first 13 passes in his first NFL action. Minshew’s 88.0 completion percentage in Week 1 was the highest for any player in NFL history with at least 15 pass attempts in their league debut and remains the highest in a single game in the NFL this season with a minimum of 20 attempts. In addition, he became the only rookie in NFL history to post at least 275 passing yards with a completion percentage greater than 75.0 in their NFL debut as a rookie in Week 1.

 In his first career start in Week 2 at Houston, Minshew threw for 213 yards on 23 of 33 passing with one TD and zero INTs, in addition to a team-high 56 yards rushing. He is the second player in NFL history to post at least 200 passing yards, 50 rushing yards and zero INTs in his first career start, and the first-ever rookie to accomplish the feat among players with at least 10 passing attempts. The Brandon, Miss. native picked up his first professional win in Week 3 against Tennessee, when he completed 20 of 30 passes for 204 yards and two TDs for a passer rating of 108.2 and followed with a 213-yard and two TD performance (97.2 passer rating) in the Jaguars’ second consecutive win at Denver in Week 4. 

Minshew is the first Jaguars player to win NFL Rookie of the Month honors since LB Clint Ingram in November 2006, and the first offensive rookie since Byron Leftwich in December 2003. Overall, he is the seventh different Jaguars player to win Rookie of the Month honors (Fred Taylor is the only rookie in franchise history to win Rookie of the Month honors multiple times – September 1998 and December 1998). Minshew has also won the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week award twice this season, in Week 1 and in Week 3, and is once again a finalist for this week’s award.


Marrone on Minshew: ‘You just see him getting better and better each week’

Coming into Thursday’s game with the Titans, many were down on the Jaguars. The team was 0-2, and one of their best players had just requested a trade, but by the end of the game, there was a lot of optimism. Minshew was impressive yet again, and the defense shut down the Titans as the Jaguars beat Tennessee 20-7 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville.

The rookie signal-caller, who was a sixth-round pick in this year’s draft, completed 20 of 30 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns, and more importantly, no turnovers.

“Every week I come to think, ‘OK, what’s going to be the hurdle? What’s going to be the stopper of the progress?’ And I think you’re correct in your statement; you just see him getting better and better each week,” Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said on Friday. “And I really was going into this game; I’m thinking, ‘How many times has this guy played a game and then had a short week to prepare to play another one?’ That doesn’t happen in college. In college you have some time, you don’t have a lot of short week’s against NFL defenses, and no disrespect to college. You know how I always say it’s hard to put my finger on it, but nothing rattles this kid, and he’s such a hard worker, and he prepares so well. And he has a lot of support around him. [Quarterbacks Coach] Scott Milanovich has done a great job, obviously [Offensive Coordinator] Flip [John DeFilippo], Nick Foles is involved. Even Chase [Litton] and Joshua [Dobbs]. But the kid has a lot of self-confidence.

“He has a lot of great demeanor, meaning he shows real good energy. If he does something well, you’ll see him pump his fists on the field, but by the time he comes over to the sideline, he’s moved on, he’s ready to go. ‘Hey, I have to do this better. Hey, this happened on the fourth play of that series. Hey, did you guys see this the way I saw it?’ He’s really good at communicating, and I think he’s really good at preparing himself and I think that he’s really good at making sure that there are no surprises out there for him. And that’s just a guy that has a maniacal work ethic.”

The Jaguars are now 1-2, and if Minshew can just hold the fort down until Foles returns or if Minshew plays well enough where he keeps the job when Foles returns, Jacksonville could possibly sneak into the playoffs, especially if the defense continues to play well. The AFC South does not seem very formidable this season, which means the Jaguars have a shot. No matter what happens, Minshew has shown that he has some ability.

Also, based on the report that Jaguars owner Shad Khan is willing to make Ramsey the highest-paid corner in football, maybe things can be worked out with the two-time Pro Bowl corner.

Thursday went from tears to cheers in Duval County, and if the Jaguars keep winning, things will get even better!

Marrone, Jaguars’ players react to two-point try late in game

The Jacksonville Jaguars had a hard time getting into the end zone against the Texans on Sunday, but late in the game with the Jaguars down 13-6, they were able to put together a scoring drive, which ended with Gardner Minshew hitting D.J. Chark in the back of the end zone to cut the lead to one.

However, instead of going for the tie, the Jaguars decided to go for two, which ended up being unsuccessful as Leonard Fournette was denied the end zone on the two-point try, and the Jaguars would lose to Houston on the road 13-12. With the loss, the Jaguars fall to 0-2.

After the game, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone and players gave their thoughts on the decision to go for two.

Jaguars Head coach Doug Marrone:

Q: What went into the decision to go with Leonard Fournette up the middle when Fournette up the middle hadn’t had a lot of success during the game? What was the thinking there on that one?

Marrone: “We had a bunch of different plays called. So in other words, we had a play for Cover 0, we had a play for Red 2. We had a play for single-high man, we had a play for bear man, and really at the end of the day, we were fine with either one. Again, you come up a couple inches short and we lost the game. It was a decision that I made prior to
us getting the last possession. I said that if we returned the punt for touchdown with DD then I was probably going for go for the extra point. They said if we start driving this football and we score with a certain amount of time left, I said I’m going to go for two.”

DE Calais Campbell:

Q: Did every player on the sideline want to go for the two-point conversion?

Campbell: “Yeah, honestly from the angles we saw we were celebrating on the field. We thought that was two points. Obviously, I know it has to be definitive and that’s just the nature of the game. You put it in the referees’ hands, and it could go either way. But we made a lot of mistakes and we didn’t play as good as we could’ve, but we still had a chance to win at the end. So, it’s something we can learn from. We’ll grade the tape, and we’ll try to just keep getting better one game at a time.”

WR D.J. Chark:

Q: Did you like the call to go for two?

Chark: “Yeah. Because that’s the team we want to be. We don’t want to play it safe. We want to go get the win. Even after the call and the way it turned out, I still believe, like Myles (Jack) said, I believe that was a touchdown. I’m going to ride for my team, my coaches and Leonard (Fournette). And I think that we got that.”

RB Leonard Fournette:

Q: Can you talk about the last play, and from your vantage point did you think you got in the end zone?

“Yeah, I thought I got in when I reached the ball. But apparently, they (referees) thought otherwise.”

Q: When you all decided to go for it I assume most of you guys were thinking ‘Let’s go, let’s win it now,’

Fournette: “Yeah, we wanted to win. At the end of the day, that’s all this game is about is winning.”

Q: When you all decided to go for it I assume most of you guys were thinking ‘Let’s go, let’s win it now,’

Fournette: “It’s up to the Coach. He believed we that we could win it. We believed we could win it. It’s not just that play, but a lot of plays before that on both sides that kind of we could have sealed the game. But like I said, it’s football, things happen.”

QB Gardner Minshew:

Q: Did you like the call to go for two?

Minshew: “Yeah. Felt really good about the call. Had the right look. Leonard (Fournette) was close. I thought he got it. That’s how it goes sometimes. I bet ten times out of ten for him right there to get in there.”


Marrone on Minshew: ‘I think he’s going to be defined by how he plays on Sunday’

Jaguars rookie QB Gardner Minshew was not expected to play much or at all in 2019. However, the unexpected happened. Last week against the Chiefs, in his first game as Jacksonville’s starter, QB Nick Foles suffered a broken left clavicle that will keep him out until at least November. Now, it’s Minshew’s show until Foles comes back or until the Jaguars decide otherwise.

The sixth-round pick out Washington State was impressive against Kansas City last Sunday. Minshew completed 22 of 25 passes for 275 yards, 2 TDs, 1 int. However, this week, Minshew will have to go on the road as the Jaguars(0-1) battle the Houston Texans(0-1) on Sunday.

When asked what his comfort level is with Minshew as the starter, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone has this to say.

“I don’t know,” Marrone said on Friday. “I don’t think I said anything earlier in the week; you know what I mean? Like I said, he’s a unique guy, and I think he’s going to be defined by how he plays on Sunday.”

You wonder what the patience level will be for Minshew. The Jaguars did acquire another young QB in Joshua Dobbs from the Steelers last week, and while the third-year player does not have a lot of experience, he does have more experience than Minshew.

It would be nice if Minshew could have another solid performance, but based on his experience and what we have seen in the preseason, don’t be surprised if he struggles against the Texans on Sunday.

Marrone on Minshew: ‘You want to see him do better’

Thursday night marked the end of the NFL preseason, and for the Jacksonville Jaguars, it is time to focus on a season that could be full of promise, and while things are settled at the starting quarterback position, the backup QB position is not.

At this point, rookie QB Gardner Minshew, who was selected in the sixth round in this year’s draft, is the backup to Nick Foles but based on what we saw on Thursday night and throughout the preseason, the Jaguars can’t feel very comfortable.

Minshew, who started the game and played three quarters, completed only 11 of 26 passes for 79 yards, as the Jaguars fell to the Falcons 31-12 at TIAA Bank Field. In four preseason games, Minshew was unable to lead Jacksonville on a touchdown scoring drive.

After the game, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone gave his assessment on Minshew.

“You want to see him do better,” Marrone said. “It’s always in the back of your mind ‘Well, what if he was with this guy or that guy?’ But you want to see that production. It’s tough. There are times where I felt really good and times where I want to see more. It’s not from his lack of work ethic or lack of his effort or practice; he’s been pretty consistent in practices. A lot of the fans and people out there don’t see the practices every day, and the media doesn’t see him every day. All they’re able to look at is what goes out there on the field, and obviously, you’re going to want more, and Gardner wants more from himself, too, and you’re going to see that.

“A lot of times, quarterbacks and a lot of positions, most of the time, offensively, when you get better guys around you, you’re going to do better. It’s easier to evaluate if you had better guys around you and he doesn’t do well, then it’s easy, and you shouldn’t be around. I wish he was better; I don’t want to say more comfortable with it, but I wish there was more evidence to make it easier for him because he’s worked so hard and deserves it, but it’s what you do on the field.”

When asked if he was comfortable with Minshew as the backup, Marrone had this to say.

“If that’s what is elected to do, then I will be fine with it,” he said. “I learned a long time ago that it’s easy to go in there as a coach and demand, ‘I want better here, I want better here, I want better here,’ and you can go down the list and say that but I’ve always taken a lot of responsibility to make sure I develop players. The number one thing I learned when I came into the NFL and when I took over for the New York Jets, they were hounding me, telling me what it takes to coach in this league. I have to develop players. I understand that aspect of it, but at the same time, we as coaches have to realize we’re not going to have the perfect team. Not going to have the best players at each position and I think what makes the difference in coaches is being able to take these players and make them, as a whole, an unbelievable unit.

“It takes a lot of work from assistant coaches and coordinators to do that, but those are the things that you have to do. I don’t think anyone sits up there and is totally happy, there is always going to be better players and you have to love the ones you have and make them great because they want to be great.”

Not a very glowing endorsement for Minshew and you wonder if Jacksonville should and would be in the market for a backup quarterback. Obviously, no team is signing Colin Kaepernick, so you can take his name out of the mix. Would Jacksonville have any interest in Sam Bradford? Brock Osweiler? Matt Cassel? Who knows, but the team may have to do something before the start of the season because Mishew is not the answer right now.

Marrone on Minshew: ‘I think that he showed he got better from the week before’

Last week, Jaguars rookie QB Gardner Minshew, who started in place of Nick Foles against the Ravens, had a lot of struggles, as he completed only 7 of 14 passes for 46 yards in a 29-0 loss to Baltimore.

What a difference a week makes. Against the Eagles on Thursday night, Minshew, who was selected by the Jaguars in the sixth round out of Washington State in this year’s draft, again got the start, and this time, he looked like a different guy.

In three quarters of action, he completed 19 of 29 passes for 202 yards, and while the Jaguars would lose to the visiting Eagles 24-10 at TIAA Stadium, Minshew was a bright spot for the team.

“With Gardner [Minshew] tonight I was happy,” Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said after the game. “He got us out of four things that a lot of young quarterbacks are not going to be able to do. He’s a bright kid, a smart kid. I think that he showed he got better from the week before.

According to Minshew, he felt much more comfortable this week against the Eagles.

“Going back and watching the film, seeing that we weren’t that far off and we’re even closer still,” Minshew said. “We still got a lot of things we can do better. Definitely getting a lot more confident…

“The more reps you get, the more comfortable it is. The less foreign it is to you and hopefully continues to get easier from here.”

Although Minshew only led the Jaguars on one scoring drive, which was a field goal, the team has to be happy with what they saw out of Minshew, especially considering how he looks against the Ravens the week before.

Photo/courtesy: Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars sign rookie QB Gardner Minshew

The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed 2019 sixth-round draft pick QB Gardner Minshew to his NFL rookie contract, the club announced today.

“I think all of the past experiences have prepared me for this moment and this opportunity and I’m just looking forward to it,” Minshew said.

Minshew, 6-1, 225, played at Washington State in 2018 after playing for East Carolina in 2016 and 2017. He had a prolific senior campaign at Washington State, finishing fifth in the 2018 Heisman Trophy voting after being named Pac-12 Conference Offensive Player of the Year and throwing for 4,779 yards and 38 TDs.

Minshew’s 367.6 passing yards per game and 468 completions both led the FBS and he was the only player in the NCAA to record six 400-yard passing games and 11 300-yard passing games. Prior to playing for East Carolina from 2016-17, Minshew was a national champion at Northwest Mississippi Community College in 2015.