Minshew Looks to Exceed Expectations in Year Two

Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew takes the field again as the Jaguars starting quarterback in 2020 after the departure of Nick Foles. Photo by James Crichlow of the Jacksonville Business Journal

By Dustin Fletcher gargoyle@flagler.edu

America’s quarterback, Gardner Minshew II is looking at his first training camp as the starting quarterback of a football team since high school back in Brandon, MS. While Minshew is no slouch on the field, he gets most of his credit for being the quarterback that everyone in Jacksonville would love to have a beer with, rather than his on the field performance. What other NFL quarterback would bark back at a dog on a zoom call with local media?

Minshew is a lovable guy, no doubt, but also vastly underrated by national media despite his success in his first year. 

Minshew is no stranger to being an underdog. The mustached quarterback was overlooked by most teams and fell to the sixth round despite winning 11 games as the starter in his senior year at Washington State. However, due to his lack of “prototypical size and arm strength”, Minshew was overlooked, just as he was in his first three years of college.

While he thrives on being the underdog, Mishew certainly feels he has proven himself time and time again, against all odds. It was even reported that in his draft interview with Jaguars front office members he said “I won 11 f***ing games.” 

In a call with local media this month, Minshew touched on being overlooked and underrated by many people around the league.

“Yeah, I think you hear all those things and you hear what people are saying against you, but at the end of the day you know what you can do and you know what the guys around you can do. We are going to focus on the things we can do and not what we can’t do. I think if we do that, if we focus on ourselves, we’ll have a chance to be pretty damn good,” Minshew said.

Clearly, he seems to be comfortable and confident in his ownities, despite what others might say. Additionally, he has continued to keep his head on straight while being in the national spotlight, given his off the field persona. Minshew has stayed prepared for season number two, despite the concerns with the novel Coronavirus putting the season at risk.

“I think it’s like any other season in some ways, but obviously way different in others. I think in the same way it’s where your feet are. If I am here in the building, it’s all I can do, until they tell me I have to leave, and I’m going to give it all I have here. And if I can’t be in here, then I am going to figure out how I can get better at home and how I can participate from home, but hopefully we get everybody healthy and everybody in the building this whole year,” Minshew said. 

His work ethic has gotten him here, and he will continue to deliver results as he always has, whilst flying under the radar. While number one pick Kyler Murray went on to win offensive rookie of the year in 2019, Minshew performed equal to the young star, if not even better. He looked great leading the team to late game drives, with Denver coming to mind first. Minshew’s signature moment came when he dodged sacks from multiple defenders which included future hall of famer Von Miller and his edge counterpart Bradley Chubb en route to scrambling outside of the pocket to find fellow rookie Ryquell Armstrong for his first career touchdown.

Minshew led all rookie quarterbacks in yards per game, and won rookie of the week more than any other offensive rookie in 2019. He also only threw six interceptions in 14 appearances last season (which was also best among rookie QB’s), so keeping the ball safe was another strength of Minshew. 

Another knock on Minshew was his inability to throw the deep ball coming into the league, as he “lacked prototypical arm strength”. However, he was the third most accurate passer of the deep ball, trailing only Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson who are both franchise quarterbacks and look to be perennial MVP candidates. 

So not only does Gardner Minshew have the ability to evade pass rushers, protect the football, and lead rookie QB’s in yards per game, but he can also throw the deep ball accurately. 

It seems Minshew has the whole package, regardless of what national media say. Maybe we should stop discounting Minshew and look at everything he can do, and what he can be… A franchise quarterback. 

In other words, Minshew’s popularity isn’t just due to his off the field charisma, but he backs it up with an incredibly strong game. He should surprise the league again in season two. Your move, NFL.

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