MINSHEW THE MAN FOR THE JAGUARS AFTER FOLES INJURY
By Anthony Wood
Can Gardner Minshew be the man for the Jaguars after Foles injury?
Minshew's First Regular-Season Outing
The one positive note to take from this from Jacksonville’s point of view is that Minshew has developed quickly in this system. He looked shaky early on this preseason, but on Sunday, in what was an unscheduled NFL debut for the Washington State alumnus, he impressed from the word go.
Minshew took full control of the offense, completing 22 of 25 passes for 275 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. In fact, according to CBS Sports, Minshew somewhat rewrote the record books on Sunday when he completed his first 12 passes, as they were; “the most consecutive completions to start a career since 1991.”
It is hard to gauge exactly what to expect from Minshew based on yesterday’s performance when considering that he was playing behind a somewhat makeshift offensive line due to injuries. The initial signs though are positive.
He looked far more comfortable in the pocket than just a few weeks ago. Thanks to an impressive performance by wide receiver D.J. Chark, he will know that he has multiple reliable targets to work with moving forward when you work Chark in with the likes of Dede Westbrook and Leonard Fournette, who himself looked in far better shape last night than in 2018.
What does Minshew Bring to the Table?
Minshew and his questionable facial hair are coming off of an impressive season with the Cougars in which he passed for 4,779 and 38 touchdowns. That was his only season in the Pac-12, as Minshew was a transfer from the East Carolina Pirates after his junior season. What really stands out in the numbers above is the jump in completion percentage when he got to Washington State. Having been below 60% completion rate in Carolina, he jumped up over 70% with the Cougars and there is a lot to be excited about.
The talent is clearly there, and he showed more than enough when coming in for Foles to suggest that this offense should keep on rolling despite losing their starter. The question now remains whether or not he can keep this form up consistently in the NFL. That is something that only time will tell.
A factor that will surely help Minshew accomplish this is knowing that Foles has his back, and will be there to guide him should he need it.
“I was really proud of him stepping up and I’m going to be here to help him anyway possible,” Foles said to the media after the game.
What About Foles?
This is hard on the Jaguars who just inked Foles to a four year deal worth $88 million. $20 million of that is guaranteed over the first two years so from that point of view Foles is somewhat protected. Additionally, he will count $12.5 million against their cap if he is released at the beginning of the 2021 season. All of the signs at this stage will suggest that Foles is going to be the man when he comes back. However, the same was said when Dak Prescott started playing in place of Tony Romo.
Foles is expected back this season, but that will depend on the situation with the Jaguars season. If this all goes downhill over the next 6-to-10 weeks then perhaps we see Minshew get the entire season, before Foles comes back ready for camp in 2020.
Trading for Joshua Dobbs
Wle the Jaguars starting job seems to be nailed down, for the time being, they had no third quarterback on the roster. Joshua Dobbs joins the Jaguars from the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for a 2020 fifth-round pick per Ian Rapoport.
The 24-year old, a former fourth-round pick out of Tennessee, made five appearances off the bench for Mike Tomlin’s side in 2018. In those appearances he completed 6-of-12 passing attempts for 43 yards and an interception.
More recently he appeared sparingly for the Steelers this preseason, finishing 18 of 33 for 280 yards and two interceptions. Perhaps not mind blowing numbers, but to be fair he was behind both Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph on the depth chart.
It seems unlikely that they will bench Minshew in favor of Dobbs given how well he played on Sunday. However, Dobbs will provide depth and experience behind Minshew while Foles resides on IR.
REPRESENTING BRITS IN THE US, ANTHONY WILL BE WRITING FOR THE TOUCHDOWN FROM HIS NEW HOME IN TEXAS. WHERE HE ALSO WRITES AND PODCASTS FOR THE TEXANS WIRE. FOLLOW HIM @ARWOODNFL ON TWITTER.