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It’ll be the Miami Dolphins taking on the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday. It will, however, be billed as The Beard vs. The Mustache. Ryan Fitzpatrick takes his beard and the Dolphins into Jacksonville to face Minshew and his mustache and Jaguars. Fitzpatrick has already delivered the first blow with a jab at Minshew’s facial hair, and Minshew immediately fired back.

Gardner Minshew’s road to the NFL

Gardner Minshew didn’t take the traditional path to get to the NFL. In 2015, Minshew played football at Northwest Mississippi Community College and guided the team to an NJCAA national title. He threw for better than 3,200 yards and completed more than 60% of his passes.

In 2016, Minshew transferred to East Carolina where he split time early and then came on strong. As a junior, Minshew went 293-of-506 for 2,140 yards with 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He graduated in 2017 and then transferred to Washington State as a graduate student.

At Washington State, Minshew won the 2018 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (nation’s top senior or 4th-year junior QB). He finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting. He was the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year. Minshew was drafted in the sixth round by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2019 NFL draft.

Ryan Fitzpatrick’s journey through the NFL

Ryan Fitzpatrick is the poster boy for NFL journeymen. He has played for eight different teams during a 16-year career. Fitzpatrick played his college football at Harvard and was a seventh-round pick by the St. Louis Rams in the 2005 NFL draft.

In two seasons with the Rams, Fitzpatrick started three games and went 0-3. He then made 12 starts in two years with the Cincinnati Bengals, going 4-7-1. Fitzpatrick seemed to find a home in Buffalo in 2009 when he signed a three-year deal. He wound up playing four seasons with the Bills, going 20-33.

After his release from the Bills in March of 2013, Fitzpatrick played a season each with the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans. From there, it was two years each with the New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Miami Dolphins. In 16 years, he’s had two winning seasons as a starter. For his career, Fitzpatrick is 55-85-1 as a starting quarterback.

The Beard vs. The Mustache

Ryan Fitzpatrick is known for growing out his beard, while Gardner Minshew is famous for his mustache. The two go at it Thursday night when the Miami Dolphins play at Jacksonville. The topic of the facial hair was brought up and Fitzpatrick said his beard had the cooler look.

“I think the beard is the cooler look,” Fitzpatrick said. “I think guys that grow mustaches a lot of times have patchy sides for their beards so they just stick with the mustache. My wife appreciates the mustache trimmed up a little bit more, but she does hate the beard, too. I guess that’s a lose, lose for me.”

Minshew was asked to respond to Fitzpatrick’s comment. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Minshew said, “I’ll let mine speak for itself. But I’m gonna have respect for my elders. Especially when they’re much, much elder.”


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