Gardner Minshew is firmly entrenched as the Jacksonville Jaguars starting quarterback for the 2020 season.
Wait a minute. Wasn’t he the starter last year? He was, but in a role that he had to earn. Now, the second-year quarterback is the undisputed starter. No need to compete for a starring role. No need to worry if he will be released in training camp.
Gardner Minshew is the starting quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars. No one is taking that title away from him.
"“I actually haven’t had a camp like this, going into it, since I guess my senior of high school; it’s awesome,” Minshew said when he met with the media through a virtual press conference on Wednesday."
The Jaguars coaching staff are hitching their wagon to Minshew and offensive coordinator Jay Gruden with the hope of progress and more than six wins in 2020. New weapons to work with combined with a new offensive game plan has Minshew pretty excited about the team’s prospects this season.
Gruden has been pleased with what he has seen from his starter. As the team gets used to the new offensive plan and Gruden continues to see progress with Minshew and his other starters, then the coaching staff will have a better feel for how good the passing game will be in 2020.
"“It starts with being able to call the play in the huddle and he’s been great,” Gruden said. “You’ve got to be able to spit the play out in the huddle. There are a lot of words, formations, motions, shifts – and then the concept of protection. He’s done a great job of spitting that out.”"
If this is what head coach Doug Marrone had in mind when he hired Gruden to replace John DeFilippo than this could be the most exciting offense the Jacksonville Jaguars have had in some time. It also means the fans can get excited about some new, something different.
Minshew’s numbers were solid last season, but the inconsistency with the football is a concern. Making plays in the pocket as well are things he must work on. The offensive line must also do its part to keep his jersey clean. He was sacked 33 times last season in 14 games.
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The connection between player and coach has been nothing but positive.
"“We’re starting the meat and potatoes of our offense,” Gruden said. “I like where his mind’s at, number one. We’re trying to challenge him with these challenges and protections. So far, it’s been great.”"
Minshew did his “homework” this offseason, working on fundamentals, getting in great shape, while working with his performance coach Anthony Tumbarello, in Naples, Fla. Working on getting better physically and studying the new playbook is going to help Minshew take that next step in his maturity as an NFL starter.
"“He focused on speed and strength, he said, and also focused on pocket presence and footwork,” John Oehser writes."
All these things look to be focused on Minshew alone, but he must make the transition from his first season to his second with the understanding he also will make his teammates better. That is more than enough to believe the Jaguars offense will be better than 18.8 points per game in 2020.
"“He’s got a skillset that’s really unlike a lot of players at that quarterback position. He’s not real tall. He doesn’t have a cannon, but he’s just a highly competitive guy,” Gruden said. “He’s got great anticipation and accuracy. He can make plays happen when the plays break down.“It’s going to be fun to work with him.”"