Will Gardner Minshew exceed the expectations of the local and national media and prove he is the elite quarterback the Jacksonville Jaguars hope he is?
It’s hard for some NFL analysts to separate the Jacksonville Jaguars as a football team and still praise the potential of the individual success of its players for the 2020 season. Some must be able to do that with Gardner Minshew as well.
Luckily, that is not the case for Russell Baxter of FanSided.com.
In Baxter’s piece outlining a breakout out player for every NFL team, Gardner Minshew is the guy who got the nod to take the next step in becoming a star in this league. Jacksonville Jaguars fans would be thrilled if the second-year rising star works his magic once again, only this time it’s a better second act than it was in his initiation into the NFL.
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Apparently the organization and head coach Doug Marrone saw enough of the 2019 sixth-round draft choice to deal veteran Nick Foles to Chicago. He finished the year with 21 TD passes and only six interceptions but needs to cut back on those 13 fumbles – seven of those lost. Promising Gardner Minshew will be one year wiser in 2020.
Even if the Jacksonville Jaguars prove to be a better team than many give them credit for, they still have a long tunnel to travel through in a tight AFC South division this coming season. Change at quarterback in Indianapolis with Phillip Rivers, along with the success of both Deshaun Watson in Houston and Ryan Tannehill in Houston could lead to plenty of fireworks over 17 weeks.
If Minshew has anything to do with it, he will be there in the middle of all the chaos, leading this team down the field.
"Per Gus Logue of SI.com, “Minshew ranked second in games played, completions, attempts, passing yards and passing touchdowns. He ranked first in yards per attempt and passer rating but fourth in completion percentage.”"
And there is still plenty of run for improvement in the second chapter of his career.
The Jacksonville Jaguars figure to be a more pass-happy team this season, which means Minshew and his teammates to spread the field more and the vertical game will be the leading part of the offense. Where the coaching staff relied more on Leonard Fournette in rushing and passing situations in 2019, the running back will become a more complementary piece in 2020.
That also means there is more pressure on Minshew to produce early and often as the Jaguars march down the field.
The Jaguars averaged just 18.8 points per game last season. They must improve their scoring in the red zone and utilize the tight end more in passing situations. Each component could lead to helping Minshew having a season in Jacksonville fans will talk about for years.