While Gardner Minshew hasn’t had much “Minshew Magic” in him this season, the second-year quarterback has played better than a lot of starters across the NFL. The question now is whether that will be enough for him to save his job.
The Jaguars have a bye in Week 8, and head coach Doug Marrone said in an animated press conference on Tuesday that he is going to make some serious changes. He did not go into specifics, but ESPN’s Michael DiRocco speculates that benching Minshew could be on the table.
Jacksonville lost its sixth consecutive game on Sunday with a 39-29 blowout at the hands of the Los Angeles Chargers. Defense has been the biggest issue during that stretch, but Minshew has taken a ton of sacks and held on to the ball far too long at times. Marrone said Tuesday that he is “fired up” about making changes during the bye.
“I’m going to look at some things, I want to go a little bit outside the box. I want to challenge these coaches and challenge these players and see [what they can do],” the coach said. “I’m going to do whatever can to get the best out of this team and best out of these players."
Marrone said he never thought about benching Minshew during the loss to L.A. The former Washington State star has thrown for 1,855 yards, 13 touchdowns and just five interceptions this season. His 94.4 passer rating ranks in the bottom half of the league, however, and Marrone implied the adjustments he is going to make won’t be insignifcant.
“I’m sure people are going to mock me for that or say whatever the hell they want, but I really don’t give a s—. I’m fired up,” he said “I’m going to go after it and however it falls, it falls, but it’s open for me. I’ve done crazy s— before. A lot of people don’t know, we changed an offense four or five days prior to the opening of our season in Syracuse my last year. We just went in a whole different direction and, s—, it worked out.”
Marrone was referring to when Syracuse went 5-7 in 2011 and then 8-5 the following year. Apparently he changed some things up at the last second, and it worked out, though Jaguars fans are not holding their breath.
Minshew was drawing inspiration from a great place before the season, but that has not translated to wins. Much of the poor play has been out of his control, and we already know what backup quarterback Mike Glennon is capable of. If Minshew were to be benched, Marrone will likely want to give rookie sixth-round pick Jake Luton a shot.
With the way Marrone spoke to reporters, nothing out of Jacksonville should be a shock over the next week or so.