Gardner Minshew is making his case to make Minshew Mania a long-term solution in Jacksonville.
A former sixth-round pick, Minshew opened the 2020 season in impressive form after a strong rookie season. Although the Jacksonville Jaguars aren’t quite competing for an AFC South Division title yet, the team is in an increasingly better position to do so with Minshew at the helm.
Still, Minshew has some doubters and skeptics. That’s why Minshew said he’s trying to channel his inner Vincent Van Gogh — and that has nothing to do with painting.
Gardner Minshew is impressing in Jacksonville
With shoulder-length hair and one of the best mustaches football fans have seen in a long time, Gardner Minshew didn’t need long to become a fan favorite.
Originally a backup behind former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles last year, Minshew took over after Foles suffered a Week 1 injury. Minshew completed 60.6% of his passes for 3,271 yards, 21 touchdowns, and six interceptions in 14 games, 12 of which he started.
Minshew went 6-6 in those games and led three game-winning drives. Although no one would confuse Minshew for Lamar Jackson, the rookie averaged 5.1 rushing yards per carry on 67 rushing attempts.
Fully entrenched as the starter this season, Minshew completed 73.8% of his passes for 787 yards, six touchdowns, and three interceptions in the Jaguars’ first three games. Jacksonville upended Philip Rivers and the Colts in Week 1 before losing consecutive games to the Titans and Miami Dolphins.
Minshew may be changing the Jaguars’ plans
Although Gardner Minshew entered the 2020 season with some buzz, many draft analysts expected Jacksonville would land the No. 1 overall pick next April and draft Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence.
On the one hand, that idea shouldn’t be ruled out just yet. Jacksonville may have a new head coach — Doug Marone has had consecutive losing seasons since guiding the Jaguars within a few minutes of the Super Bowl in January 2018 — and Minshew could become expendable.
Still, Minshew is doing enough to show he might be the Jaguars’ correct option going forward. Minshew has improved as a passer, especially with his accuracy, and he is a high-character player who the locker room clearly respects.
If Jacksonville does wind up with the No. 1 overall pick, they could always choose to trade down and acquire more assets while committing to Minshew for 2021 and beyond.
Gardner Minshew is learning from Vincent Van Gogh
Gardner Minshew still has some doubters, and he is fully aware of that fact.
Minshew isn’t letting those who aren’t sold on him keep the second-year quarterback down. In a recent interview with The Players’ Tribune, Minshew explained the lessons he’s trying to learn from a painting legend.
“Vincent Van Gogh, people told him, ‘You can’t be a great painter, you only have one ear.’ You know what he said? ‘I can’t hear you.’”
Well, Minshew isn’t entirely wrong in that regard. It’s not quite equating giving up to “when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor,” but Minshew’s good-humored analysis is technically correct.
Jacksonville should be feeling confident entering a three-game stretch at Cincinnati, at Houston, and at home against the Detroit Lions. If Minshew continues his strong play, Jacksonville could suddenly emerge from that streak with a 4-2 record on the season.