Jaguars' Doug Marrone on Gardner Minshew: 'Obviously We Want to See a Big Jump'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 1, 2020

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II (15) throws a pass against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
Stephen B. Morton/Associated Press

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone laid out his expectations for second-year quarterback Gardner Minshew in 2020.

During an interview with John Oehser of the Jaguars' official website Tuesday, Marrone said: "Obviously, we want to see a big jump. We're excited for him. It's a great opportunity. He's not going to change the way he is. He's a hard-working kid who has a lot of potential. We've got to make sure everyone around him is doing their job and doing it at a high level."

Minshew beat out veteran Nick Foles for the Jags' starting job twice last season, leading Jacksonville to trade Foles to the Chicago Bears this offseason. That makes Minshew the Jaguars' clear starting quarterback for now.

Minshew isn't a lock to start in 2020 since the Jaguars could draft a quarterback or explore the free-agent market and sign either Cam Newton or Jameis Winston, but as of now, all signs point to him beginning the 2020 campaign as the starter.

Despite putting up huge numbers collegiately at Washington State, Minshew was an unheralded sixth-round pick in the 2019 draft. However, he stepped in and played well when Foles got hurt in the first game of the season, kept the job when Foles returned, lost it back to Foles briefly and then regained it again.

Overall, Minshew started 12 of the 14 games he appeared in, went a respectable 6-6 as a starter, and completed 60.6 percent of his passes for 3,271 yards, 21 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He also showed off his mobility with 344 rushing yards.

Minshew far outperformed his draft status, and he earned a look as the potential long-term starter.

If the Jags don't sign a quarterback with extensive starting experience and don't select Justin Herbert or Jordan Love with the No. 9 pick, it will be clear Marrone has confidence in Minshew's ability to be "the guy."

Despite trading defensive lineman Calais Campbell and cornerback A.J. Bouye, the Jags still have talent on defense. They also have a strong running game spearheaded by Leonard Fournette, who is coming off a career year.

The Jaguars will need Minshew to make plays at times, but if he can focus primarily on limiting mistakes, Jacksonville could have a winning formula in place.

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