Gardner Minshew’s presence for the Jacksonville Jaguars is more than just his play on the field.
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew has done something that none of us here in North Florida thought would happen. The sixth-round draft pick out of Washington State has become one of the most polarizing figures in the NFL in a short amount of time and in the process has given this team and organization another platform of relevancy in the league.
Just by being “Gardner Minshew,” he has swept the ongoing issues that surround Jalen Ramsey and the franchise to the side. Regardless of the Jaguars 2-3 record, this is a football team that is exciting to watch. The offense is steadily becoming one of the better units in the NFL while the defense attempts to find its way after struggling last week at Carolina.
And with the growing sentiment here in our city that Minshew is the next big thing, I think it’s fair to ask the question that has been on many minds the past few weeks.
What happens when the Jaguars announce that Nick Foles is ready to play football again?
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I for one do not want to be Tom Coughlin, David Caldwell or Doug Marrone when it comes time to make that decision. It almost seems appropriate given the Jaguars track record that something like this would happen. Not to make light of the situation, because having two good quarterbacks on your roster is a wonderful thing. But, it’s the law of averages here in Duuuval.
Would the Jaguars actually place their marketing dynamo on the sidelines in favor of a veteran who has had 10 plays in the system in the regular season? And moving forward, what happens to the quarterback position in 2020?
I’m sure the national media is chomping at the bit to be able to write this kind of story. We here locally are just basking in the phenomenon that we never expected from him that has hit the city like a category five hurricane.
My colleague John Buhler wrote a solid piece for Black and Teal, asking whether Minshew should be the frontrunner for the NFL Rookie of the Year award. Right now, I’d agree with him that the answer is a resounding, “Yes!”
“Right now, yes, it’s safe to say that Minshew is the front-runner for NFL Rookie of the Year. He has played tremendously well in the first five weeks and that level of play is sustainable.
Buhler writes. “However, he might get competition from guys like Oakland Raiders running back Josh Jacobs or New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones in the coming weeks.”
Maybe the most compelling argument as to why the Jaguars should ride out the wave of Minshew Mania is simple – he has earned that right. If the Jaguars are able to remain in the playoff hunt in the AFC and are within striking distance of the AFC South division title, you don’t change a thing. Continuity is critical in this league. Making such a move might jeopardize that.
And would stop the best thing to happen to this franchise in some time. Minshew’s cult-like following is what the Jaguars have needed for at least a decade. There is no need to stop the hype train now.