Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II (15) throws a pass during an NFL football workout, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Gardner Minshew Prepares for his Sophomore Season as the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Starting Quarterback

Early Career

The Jacksonville Jaguars prepare for their season opener against the division-rival Indianapolis Colts in two weeks. Meanwhile, Gardner Minshew looks to build upon his rookie season.

The 2019 sixth-round draft pick out of Washington State has been an underdog his entire career. After going a combined 3-14 in two seasons at ECU, Minshew transferred to Washington State in 2018. There, he led the Cougars to an 11-2 record while passing for nearly 5,000 yards. Minshew won the 2018 Pac-12 offensive player of the year award and placed fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting. Still, his breakout season was just enough to be drafted 178th overall by Jacksonville in 2019. As a rookie, Minshew threw for over 3,000 yards with a promising 21:6 TD/INT ratio.

2020 Season

Ahead of the Jaguars’ week-one matchup versus the Colts, Minshew feels that most of the team’s “heavy lifting is done.” Instead, much of the focus is now on “fine-tuned game planning.”

Minshew Interview

When asked about his progress during training camp, Minshew mentioned his dissatisfaction and continuous need for improvement. He explained his approach as one in which he identifies and addresses a new weakness each day. After “that’s no longer an issue…you can move on to whatever you do wrong next.” In particular, Minshew noted his improvement in terms of “chemistry with the receivers” as well as “learning the timing within the offense.”

Depth at Wide Receiver

Jacksonville’s receiving core looks similar to last season. The same trio of wideouts will likely lead the receiving corps again this season: DJ Chark, Chris Conley, and Dede Westbrook. That being said, the Jaguars added two more wide receivers to their depth chart in the 2020 draft.

Jacksonville drafted Laviska Shenault Jr. out of Colorado in the second round and then took a chance on Collin Johnson out of Texas just three rounds later. Add Keelan Cole to that list of names and there is no shortage of weapons for Minshew. Considering the cluster of receivers on Jacksonville’s depth chart, it makes sense that Minshew is focusing on his chemistry with not only the starters but more importantly, the rookies.

AFC South

After finishing in last place in their division in three of the past four seasons, the Jaguars will rely heavily on Gardner Minshew’s productivity to have any chance at the playoffs this year. The AFC South has seen three-straight seasons with at least one double-digit winning team; therefore, Jacksonville will certainly need to improve upon its lackluster 6-10 record from last season.

Sound courtesy of the Jacksonville Jaguars

About Griffin Foll

Hello! I am a sophomore at UF studying journalism sports & media. I help contribute radio and website content for ESPN Gainesville. Additionally, I am a sports writer for The Independent Florida Alligator and help cover the UF women's basketball team. I am also the UF softball beat reporter for ChompTalk.com.

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