Jacksonville’s Quarterback situation hasn’t been great recently. Blake Bortles was a tragedy for the Jags. Nick Foles broke his collarbone in his first game. And Gardner Minshew was thrust into the starting role. So, as expected, hopes were low in Jacksonville. However, what looked to be a massive problem is slowly turning into a miraculous story. Minshew is becoming what some refer to as a “cult hero” for the Jags. A character per say, with quite a legendary college story. Yet, we could be looking at more than just a story. So, Can Minshew help lead Jacksonville to a playoff appearance? Or will we be looking at another Quarterback disappointment for the Jags.
A History of Gardner Minshew
Gardner Minshew attended Brandon High School in Brandon, Mississppi. There, he was a rated 3-star prospect and the 70th overall pro style Quarterback in the 2015 class. Despite committing to Troy University, he decided to attend JUCO Northwest Mississippi Community College where he won the NJCAA National Football Championship. In 2016, he transferred to East Carolina university where he flashed some of the talent we would see today. After two years, he transferred again to Washington State for his senior season where he was immediately eligible to play.
At Washington State, Minshew lead the team to a school record 11 wins. This included a record breaking performance against East Washington where he set the school record for completion percentage(78.9%) and threw for a career high 470 yards. Minshew finished 5th in Heisman voting and capped his career with an Alamo Bowl victory over Iowa State. During which, he set the Pac-12 record for most passing yards in a single season.
Minshew entered the 2019 NFL Draft where he was taken with the 178th overall pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Savior of Jacksonville?
Despite a somewhat subpar preseason where he got a lot of action, Minshew opened the season as Nick Foles’ backup. However, this did not last very long. After Nick Foles broke his collarbone against the Kansas City Chiefs during the week one game, Minshew was tasked with leading the Jags for at least the next eight weeks. Despite holding a 1-2 record, Minshew has been much more than serviceable. Tossing five touchdowns to only one interception for nearly 700 yards. He has thrown for over 200 yards in all three of his appearances and holds a passer rating of 110.6.
Despite a small sample size, Minshew has been very effective. Which, in theory, is all Jacksonville needs. With a stellar defense backing Minshew, if he can continue to be as efficient as he has been playing, Jacksonville could be a sneaky team that might take a very competitive and even level AFC South by surprise.
What’s In Store For Minshew
What benefits Minshew most is his cult-like popularity. He is a fairly care-free kind of person that can also put a smile on everyone’s face with his humor. His style is groovy and almost reminiscent of a ’70s action star. He’s done everything from working out in only his jockstrap to receiving a porn endorsement. Minshew is a breath of fresh air that makes Jacksonville a marginally less boring team. He really does encapsulate that “Florida Man” personality. A guy who is simply fun to be around and can bring life to a team that desperately needs it.
His play is nothing to hide either. While he has been playing very efficiently so far, it’s unlikely Minshew will remain the starter when Foles returns. However, that doesn’t rule out a future for Minshew. He can very well be tutored by Foles and become the full-time starter as soon as next year. Minshew has all the tools needed for NFL success and he is in a very good position to become one of the most underrated players in the league today.
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