Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) throws a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

Jaguars Moving Forward with Minshew

The Jacksonville Jaguars are moving forward with quarterback Gardner Minshew in the wake of Nick Foles’ injury.

Foles, who was Jacksonville’s prized free agent acquisition this off-season, lasted just 10 minutes under center before suffering a broken left clavicle. The Jaguars’ four-year, $88 million investment will be sidelined for at least two months.

Enter rookie signal caller Gardner Minshew.

The Washington State product played well in three quarters of play against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Minshew finished 22-25 for 275 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Confidence in Minshew

Jacksonville has increased confidence in its new starter after his NFL debut. His performance against Kansas City, albeit against the 31st ranked passing defense from 2018, turned some heads in the Jaguars locker room.

Head coach Doug Marrone was one of those individuals.

“I feel better about (Gardner) now, today, after week 1 than I did in the preseason,” he said.

Marrone also made it a point to express confidence in all of his quarterbacks.

“I believe in them,” he said.

Minshew’s Journey

Coach Marrone cited Minshew’s trying journey to the NFL as a reason why he is confident in the young quarterback. It’s why he has the Jaguars moving forward with the rookie, Minshew.

“I think there’s a confidence about him,” Marrone said. “When he walks into a room or steps on the field, I think there’s an unbelievable work ethic about him. He’s been through a hell of a lot more as an athlete than a lot of people have at this stage.”

Minshew split his collegiate career between four schools from 2014-2018. A quietly recruited prospect out of high school, Minshew began his college career at Troy University on an academic scholarship. Minshew then transferred to Northwest Mississippi Community College to play football, where he led his team to the NJCAA championship.

He spent his junior and senior years splitting time at starting quarterback for East Carolina University. During his time at the program, Minshew went 3-14 in the games he played.

Finally, Minshew landed on the west coast and played as a graduate transfer for Washington State. He enjoyed his most successful season as a college signal-caller, racking up an 11-2 record with 4,776 yards, 38 touchdowns and just nine interceptions in 2018.

For his efforts, Minshew earned the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and the PAC-12 Offensive Player of the Year Award. He also finished 5th in the Heisman balloting.

Minshew’s journey led the Jaguars to be impressed enough to draft the journeyman student-athlete 178th overall in the 6th round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Marrone also added some drama to the press conference when previewing Minshew’s upcoming challenges.

“He’s probably gonna have to go through a lot more now that he’s playing.”



Minshew’s Next Challenge

Minshew and the Jaguars will play the Houston Texans this Sunday. It will be Jacksonville’s first road game of 2019, and the first start of Minshew’s career.

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