The Jacksonville Jaguars are ready to move forward with Gardner Minshew as the team’s starting quarterback this season.
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone, when speaking to the local media via Zoom on Tuesday said that he wants to see quarterback Gardner Minshew improve this coming season. Now that the trade that sent Nick Foles to the Chicago Bears has officially gone through, it is Minshew who is being charged with leading this team’s offense, which was one of the worst in the NFL last season.
“Obviously, we want to see a big jump,” Marrone said of Minshew. “We’re excited for him. It’s a great opportunity. He’s not going to change the way he is. He’s a hard-working kid who has a lot of potential. We’ve got to make sure everyone around him is doing their job and doing it at a high level.”
The Jaguars have added a few components to their offense through free agency and are preparing for the NFL draft which happens in a little over three weeks. Minshew, who threw for over 3,200 yards and 21 touchdowns with only six interceptions last year, will rely on a core of wide receivers who return to the team this coming season and running back Leonard Fournette, who ran for 1,152 yards and scored three touchdowns.
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Marrone did say he wanted to see all areas of the team’s offense make a leap from what he saw during the 2019 campaign. This also means the offensive line will have to take a step forward, and play with more continuity than it did just a few months ago.
Currently, Minshew and Joshua Dobbs are the only two quarterbacks on the team’s roster. That’s not to say the Jaguars won’t try to acquire a veteran through free agency or a trade. It also doesn’t rule out the ideas of the team may select a signal caller in the upcoming draft.
The Jaguars traded falls to the Bears for a fourth round draft pick. In return, Jacksonville will cover the veterans $18.75 million contract in 2020. There has been plenty of discussion that veterans such as Cam Newton, Jameis Winston, and Andy Dalton, could all be in play as veterans who may either compete with men shoe or five for a back up roll behind him.
“Gardner works at a very high level, so I’m not concerned about that. He’s working extremely hard. He’s doing everything he can safety-wise,” Marrone added.
“I think we’ve just got to get him in here and start practicing at some point and see what he can do as far as with him and Jay and the system – and what he likes, what we’ve got to get him better at, improve at, then really work him on the things he did well – and really fine tune a lot of those things.”
Marrone also reiterated that the coaching staff must determine if the roster has enough playmakers to help Minshew in his development this coming season.