The decision by Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone to name Gardner Minshew the starter for the game against the Los Angeles Chargers is the right one.
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone called an audible on Sunday afternoon by inserting Gardner Minshew back into the team’s lineup during the 28-11 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and then followed it up with another one by naming the rookie the starter for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
It was the right move for the organization and Marrone, who’s time in Jacksonville may have been reduced to four games after the loss. The Jaguars, who are now 4-8 on the season, dropped their fourth straight game after starting the season 4-4.
The decision to make yet another change at the most important position on the field shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone – including Nick Foles, who has not won a game as a starter here in North Florida.
"“It’s not easy. This is not an easy game and it’s a tough situation, but I’ll continue to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving,” Foles said after the game when he talked to the media.“It’s a trial and the trials keep coming. Again, it’s not easy but I know where my heart and faith is and where I’m going to lean on in this time like I always do during the good and bad. You never want to go through it. It’s difficult, but I will look at the bright things and continue to keep my head held high. Continue to keep moving forward.”"
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The Jaguars coaching staff needs to stick with Minshew the remainder of the season, unless there is an injury, to give them the best chance to win. With the playoffs, not even a consideration, it’s time to start thinking about next season and the brewing dilemma the front office faces with a rising star in this league and a veteran quarterback who still could pan out as a good addition to this team.
Having Foles start now but does not resonate with the fan base as much as the 23-year-old mustached gun-slinger.
The fact is the Foles injury created a situation the Jaguars capitalized on. Minshew played solid football many times over the course of an eight-week period. He also created a buzz with his persona and his ability to scramble and make plays out of the pocket. Six-round draft picks aren’t supposed to take the league and a city by storm.
Now, with an offseason looming that should see many changes believed to be taking place, the question of whether the organization made a mistake by signing Foles continues to gain steam in the national media and on social media with fans.
"“It’s so obvious now the Jaguars wasted money on Nick Foles,” Pete Prisco of CBS Sports wrote on his Twitter account. “He’s just a guy — despite his Super Bowl run.”"
While Minshew runs the show for the next month, hoping to give this offense a spark, the questions persist about what to do with Foles next season. It’s not an easily answered decision.
"Per Spotrac.com, “Nick Foles signed a 4 year, $88,000,000 contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, including a $25,000,000 signing bonus, $50,125,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $22,000,000.”"
It is not cost-effective to release him after this season as he has a $22.1 million cap hit and dead cap hit of $33,875,000.