During their 28-11 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers yesterday, the Jacksonville Jaguars benched big free agent acquisition, Nick Foles, in favor of backup quarterback Gardner Minshew. Minshew, famous for his swagger on and off the field, was a sixth-round pick of the Jags in this years draft but has far surpassed those expectations.
In week 1 of the 2019 NFL season, Jacksonville rolled out their $88 million man with the hopes that he would carry them to the Super Bowl like he did the Philadelphia Eagles back in 2018. Unfortunately for both the Jaguars and their quarterback, Foles broke his left collarbone on a touchdown pass to wide receiver D.J. Chark when Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones landed on him.
That injury thrusted the rookie Minshew into the starting lineup where he did better than anyone expected. The Washington State product passed fo 13 touchdowns, while only throwing 4 interceptions. Minshew invigorated the Jaguars and their fanbase with his shiftiness and poise in the pocket. That energy is something head coach Doug Marrone is looking to recapture after naming Minshew the starting quarterback for the rest of the season.
Marrone says a big reason for the switch is the fact that Minshew’s ability to move in the pocket gives the Jaguars are better chance to win, and he is right. Foles is like a slug in the pocket, moving as if he has cinder blocks strapped to his cleats. That’s not to say he is a bad player, but Foles’s ability to create is far worse than Minshew’s.
I doubt this is the last time we see Nick Foles as the Jags starting QB, but Jacksonville has to be regretting the contract they gave him in a big way. I mean, they just benched the guy for a quarterback that almost wasn’t drafted. Not great!
But on the other side, Jacksonville has to be happy with what the found in Minshew: a quarterback who, as a rookie, looks like they belong in the league. It will be interesting to see if Minshew actually ends up being Jacksonville’s “guy” for the long-term, but he has the chance to prove that he is with Marrone moving him to number one on the depth chart.
-Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)