Former Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew still waiting for a chance

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Gardner Minshew (10) (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Gardner Minshew (10) (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports) /

Back when he was still a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars, quarterback Gardner Minshew II said he wanted an opportunity to compete for a starting job. The Washington product is still waiting for that chance, and looking back, he should have gotten it in Duval.

Minshew was traded with the Philadelphia Eagles after losing the Jaguars’ quarterback competition to rookie Trevor Lawrence. In Philly, he became the primary backup behind incumbent Jalen Hurts. So far, the former Cougar hasn’t seen the field but that may change soon. Philly lost to the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football.

Hurts wasn’t the sole reason the Eagles lost to their archnemesis but he wasn’t the solution either. The 2020 second-round pick threw two interceptions, one that was picked off and returned for a touchdown late in the game. Hurts’ less-than-stellar performance could prompt head coach Nick Sirianni to at least consider a quarterback switch if he struggles once again.

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence is experiencing a learning curve.

The current management in Jacksonville has shown a penchant for moving on from players the previous regime acquired. The team’s brass just traded cornerback C.J. Henderson and before that, they traded Minshew, linebacker Joe Schobert, cornerback Sidney Jones and tight end Josh Oliver. Looking back, they might have been better off keeping Minshew.

There’s no doubt Lawrence is better than the mustachioed quarterback but he could have benefited from sitting out his rookie campaign. The former Clemson product has made several highlight throws but he’s also committed several head-scratching mistakes.

More recently, he attempted a flea-flicker that became an interception returned for a touchdown. While the first overall pick in the 2021 draft will have to learn on the job, the case could be made the Jags would be in better shape with Minshew at the helm.

The Jacksonville Jaguars could use Gardner Minshew right now.

The 2019 sixth-round selection has a limited ceiling but he’s got starting experience. He could have been the number one quarterback in Jacksonville while Lawrence sat and learned from the bench. This might in turn have taken some pressure off the rookie passer’s shoulders. At times, it looks like he tries to do too much to give the Jags a chance to compete. Without the burden of having to carry the team, he could work on his fundamentals, and the coaching staff could focus on his development.

Don’t get it twisted though. The Jaguars wouldn’t be a playoff squad with Minshew at the helm. They have plenty of things to fix, and not enough talent to compete week in and week out. However, they wouldn’t be in worse shape than they currently are. In fact, it could be argued that Minshew may have helped them win one of the first three games of the season.

In the end, the Jaguars traded Minshew because they believed Lawrence become the franchise quarterback they have been looking for. Also, Minshew still has plenty of years ahead of him, so he shouldn’t get fidgety after three games in Philadelphia. His chance will come sooner or later. For the time being, he needs to be ready.

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