Jaguars' Doug Marrone Doesn't Rule out Benching Gardner Minshew Amid Struggles

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 21, 2020

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II, right, scrambles past the Detroit Lions defense for a 6-yard touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
Stephen B. Morton/Associated Press

Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Marrone says he has not ruled out benching Gardner Minshew if the team's struggles continue. 

"Maybe in the future, I think," Marrone told reporters Tuesday. "I mean, I'd be naive not to say [that's a possibility]. That's up for any position, any play that we can do for ourselves to get better. But no, I didn't feel that way during the course of the game."

The Jaguars have lost their last five games, but Minshew is hardly the biggest reason. Minshew has thrown for 1,682 yards and 11 touchdowns against six interceptions, despite Jacksonville lacking top-end talent at skill positions. Both the team's leading rusher (James Robinson) and receiver (Keelan Cole) went undrafted out of college, and the Jaguars spent their offseason jettisoning most of their veteran talent.

The Jaguars' offensive line also ranks among the NFL's worst units, with Minshew going down for a sack 13 times over the last five weeks. 

Pro Football Focus' 65.6 grade of Minshew's performance is not particularly promising, but he's been an accurate quarterback who has largely avoided costly mistakes. The NFL's NextGen stats show Minshew has completed two percent more of his passes than expected.

"We ought to have some kind of a sense of urgency to be able to score every drive," Minshew said. "But also, a lot of that is putting our defense in bad positions a lot of the time and not capitalizing when they put us in a good position. We have to do better at that and I think that will help us."

Mike Glennon serves as Minshew's backup and has never flashed more than average backup skills across his seven NFL seasons. Any change at quarterback would come more out of desperation than anything.