The Jaguars’ quarterback of preference is back, which means the fun and shiny object is back on the bench.
But Gardner Minshew thinks he proved during his run replacing the injured Nick Foles that he can be a starting quarterback.
“I think I proved I can be a guy in this league for a long, long time,” Minshew said, via Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. “I think they believe that. And there’s other things we’re going to get better at so the next time I do get this opportunity, I’ll be ready and I’ll be better and we’re all going to progress together.”
Minshew replaced Foles 11 snaps into the opener, and started the next eight games. The Jaguars went 4-4 in that span, while the sixth-round rookie completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 2,285 yards, with 13 touchdowns and four interceptions. The 92.8 passer rating is solid, but he also leads the league in fumbles with 11, losing second of them. He also charmed people with his enthusiasm and his mustache, creating a cult following in a hurry.
Minshew turned the ball over four times in his last game, a loss to the Texans in London. That made it easier to go back to Foles — such that it was really a decision — but Minshew gave them reason for hope.
“He’s done a great job,” Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said. “I feel a whole lot different about him now than I did prior to him playing, in a very positive way. We took some things and had some discussions on things that we’re going to work on going forward which will give him the ability to be a player in this league for a long time.
“We really believe that.”
Now, they get to hand it back to the guy they believed was going to help them make the push from a fringe playoff team to something greater.
Now it’s Minshew in that role, which is where he began the season.