4 Reasons the Jaguars can win with Gardner Minshew
Will a bigger, stronger, and faster Gardner Minshew help the Jaguars win more games in 2020?
The first impression I had after seeing Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew this offseason is the second-year pro looks bigger, stronger, and faster than he did his rookie season.
That may come in handy as the jury is still out on the offensive line and whether or not Minshew will be flushed from the pocket like he was the majority of the 2019 campaign. The former Washington State signal-caller was quick to move in and out of the pocket because of poor blocking in the passing game.
The front office believes those issues will be vastly improved this time around, which would allow Minshew, who was 6-6 as a starter last season, to exhale ever so slightly.
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"“I’ve been trying to [improve] really every asset – bigger, faster, stronger. Really putting an emphasis on trying to figure out the best weight for me to have as much arm strength as possible while maintaining as much speed,” Minshew said in a May 28 Zoom conference with the local media.“So just figuring that out, it’s been a fun process. I’ve had a lot of help from Coach Anthony Tumbarello. I’ve been training with him a lot down in South Florida. Also, I have been using Coach Milo’s [Tom Myslinski] stuff with the Jags, kind of a joint effort there, we’ve been able to get me moving in the right direction.”"
There is no denying how tough Gardner Minshew is on the field, in the huddle or when trying to evade 300-pound linemen. The Jaguars coaching staff hopes it is not a repeat of last season, or 17 weeks in the NFL may seem more like 17 years.
Minshew and his teammates have been working with the Jaguars coaching staff, preparing for the day they can take the practice field and put what has been implemented in the new offensive game plan to use. Only then will we know if the hard work this offseason has paid off.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, amid all the changes to the roster this offseason, aren’t expected to be a very good football team. That might work well in a locker room of new faces.
This is a team that could thrive in the “underdog” role this year. It can also win football games with Minshew under center.
Here are four reasons why.
Another Year of Development
Minshew threw for 3,271 yards last season and 21 touchdowns. Both totals, given the lack of flexibility with the offense, are solid by any rookie standard.
He must do better.
Minshew had a propensity to fumble the football last season, which must be corrected. If he is able to stay in the pocket with the ball in his hand, plays will develop. He quickly picked up the Jaguars offense last season and figures to do the same this summer.
More Weapons to Play With
The more, the merrier. The front office made it known this was a team in need of more playmakers prior to the NFL Draft. The Jaguars used free agency to sign tight end Tyler Eifert and then added Laviska Shenault in the second round in April.
The players in the wide receiver room from last season were decent, but not enough to scare secondaries out of their shoes. Now that changes things a bit.
Look for new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden to shake things up a bit, move players around and build a game plan to their strengths This could be a really fun passing game to watch in 2020.
Natural Born Leader
The one thing everyone I spoke to last season in the Jaguars locker room said when asked about Gardner Minshew, was he was a natural leader and that players gravitated toward him.
That’s half the battle. He has a charisma about him that screams “Winner”. That was evident on the field as well as he cheered his teammates on during a rough 6-10 season. The same is expected of him again in 2020.
Minshew should be voted one of the team’s captains for the season, an honor he rightfully deserves.
It’s Gardner “Freaking” Minshew
Are you going to bet against him? Minshew has faced adversity throughout his time in college and the beginning of his NFL career. There is no doubt he takes it and thrives on it. It’s a personal challenge each time he steps on the practice field or stands under center in the regular season.
NFL players are a different breed. Those that succeed have an “It” factor. Gardner Minshew is one of them. And if that rubs off on players and builds a tight bond inside TIAA Bank Field, it could mean the difference in being an afterthought in the NFL and a team that sneaks up on teams this season.
Don’t bet against him getting the job done.