Jaguars and Gardner Minshew prepare to face Cincinnati
Can Jaguars rookie Gardner Minshew rebound from his worst game as a pro this weekend against the Bengals?
Lost in the news this week that the Jaguars traded cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams is the fact Jacksonville travels to Cincinnati to face the winless Bengals in a must-win game for both teams.
The Jaguars, 2-4, lost to the New Orleans Saints this past weekend in a closely contested defensive struggle, 13-6 at TIAA Bank Field. The Bengals are searching for that magic elixir that will help them find the win column this week. Gardner Minshew met with the media on Wednesday to discuss the upcoming weekend on the road and what the team needs to do to get back to winning football games.
"“We will be working on it at practice, coming out the gate hot, trying to really push it. And I think we’ll have the intensity this week to go do it and it’s something we’re actively pursuing.” Minshew explained.”"
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Minshew had his first “rookie: game of the season, not throwing a touchdown, looking a bit skittish in the pocket and befuddled at times with the New Orleans Saints defensive coverage. This weekend, he will play against an injured Bengals secondary, but there is still a concern for Cincinnati’s front seven.
"“They’re really good upfront. I know they’re kind of banged up a little bit right now. Especially in the front end, they’re really good, they have guys that can play,” he said.“They’re not a bad football team at all, no matter what a record says or what people say about them. They’re a good football team and present a lot of challenges.”"
The Saints were able to continue DJ Chark last week and gave the Jaguars very little in the open field to use the passing game effectively. Minshew will be down another tight end as Geoff Swaim is dealing with a concussion and an ankle sprain. James O’Shaughnessy is out for the season with a knee injury. The good news is rookie Josh Oliver may see his first action of the season.
"“Anytime you have more options out there, more weapons, it always helps. Missing James [O’Shaughnessy] is definitely something that we feel, but we feel very confident in the guys that we do have in that room and we’re going to keep moving forward,” Minshew added."
Oliver has been dealing with a hamstring injury he suffered prior to the preseason. There will be a learning curve as he grows accustomed to the speed of the NFL and the physicality of playing against bigger, stronger and faster players. It’s something Minshew had to adjust to himself.
"“It’s only been six games so far, so each team presents new coverages, new challenges,” Minshew said.“Different ways they’re going to attack us and different ways we’re going to have to attack them, so it’s definitely learning each week and I hope to learn every game I play from here to the end.”"