Anonymous NFL Coach Prefers to Play Gardner Minshew over Cam Newton, Andy Dalton

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 18, 2020

FILE - In this Dec. 29, 2019, file photo, Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II (15) rolls out to throw a pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday,, in Jacksonville, Fla. Minshew was ready for Jacksonville’s “first day of school.” Then Minshew got a call saying he had been in close contact with a teammate who tested positive for the coronavirus and would be forced to quarantine for two days. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Gardner Minshew II's unique personality made him a fan favorite on social media last season, but at least one NFL coach believes the Jacksonville Jaguars made the right decision to stick with him as their starting quarterback in 2020. 

Per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, an anonymous assistant coach said he would take Minshew over Cam Newton and Andy Dalton

"If you asked me whether I preferred to play Cam, Andy Dalton or Gardner, I'd say Gardner," the coach said. "He's younger, he can make plays when things aren't perfect and he's accurate."

The Jaguars were rumored to have some interest in Dalton early in the offseason. 

ESPN's Jeff Darlington reported on May 1, one day after Dalton was released by the Cincinnati Bengals, that Jacksonville was "absolutely interested" in signing the nine-year veteran. 

Darlington did note the Jaguars likely would have stuck with Minshew as their starter and Dalton being the backup if a deal happened. 

Dalton wound up signing a one-year, $7 million deal with the Dallas Cowboys on May 2 to serve as Dak Prescott's backup. 

It's unclear how much interest the Jaguars ever had in Newton, with the exception of running back Leonard Fournette talking about it on ESPN's First Take (h/t NFL.com's Nick Shook) in April. 

"I've been knowing Cam for a minute now," Fournette said. "Like I told some people that talked to me, I told them it's no disrespect to [Gardner] Minshew. I'm just trying to get in the best position as a team so that we can win. That's all that was about, just a friendly competition, because, you know, that brings out the best in people."

Newton signed a one-year, incentive-laden deal with the New England Patriots on July 8. 

Minshew showed plenty of promise in 14 games during his rookie season in 2019. The Washington State alum completed 60.6 percent of his passes for 3,271 yards, 21 touchdowns and six interceptions. 

Jacksonville went 6-6 in Minshew's 12 starts, compared to 0-4 in games started by Nick Foles