Are the Jacksonville Jaguars cursed? Certainly dropping $88 million on a shiny new quarterback, just to see him injured in the first quarter of the first game of the season (after throwing his first touchdown pass, no less) makes it seem so.
Or are we blessed? There’s a case to be made–a well-mustachioed one at that. Though he underwhelmed mightily in the preseason, rookie 6th round QB Gardner Minshew was one of few bright spots in the Jags loss to Kansas City last Sunday. The 23-year old was 22-25 with two touchdowns (and a pick that ricocheted off the hands of Leonard Fournette), with a passer rating above 122, while smashing a smattering of records in his first professional outing.
For those who’d followed Minshew’s career (not us, admittedly), the performance may not have been that surprising. As a grad transfer at Washington State last year, the already mustachioed Minshew set college football ablaze, capping a record setting season with a fifth place finish in the Heisman Trophy voting. The Mississippi native was so popular in Pullman, WA, he inspired a country song, “The Mississippi Mustache”!
There’s a lot to root for with Minshew. And we’re certainly hoping The Mississippi Mustache can be a complement to our other famed mustache (that of Shad Khan) and, maybe, just maybe save our season.
To learn more about Minshew, we reached out to Jags reporter Ashlyn Sullivan, who helped us comb through the fine hairs of the mustache.
Minshew’s a rookie. But he did take a lot of snaps in the preseason. He looked pretty competent out there against KC. Do you have a sense of the coaching staff’s confidence in their new starter moving forward?
The coaching staff is as confident as they can be with the former backup quarterback now being QB1. It’s a nightmare for any NFL team to lose their starting quarterback. However, the Jaguars are optimistic Minshew can keep pace while Foles broken collarbone heals. Ever since Gardner Minshew arrived in Jacksonville, Doug Marrone raved about Minshew’s football IQ. Minshew was prepared to be in the game against the Chiefs, he knew what plays he wanted to run and surprised many with his execution.
What’s your personal gauge on his ability to at least be a stopgap, possibly win some games, while Foles recovers? Did you see anything that gave you hope?
As of now, Foles could play in week 11 against the Colts. I think it is more than possible that Gardner Minshew could get the Jaguars to 6 and 4 by the time Foles comes back. What gives me hope is Minshew is more than confident he can be the guy. Throughout this week preparing for the Texans, Minshew has been the same guy he always has been–cool, calm and confident. He was never frazzled against the Chiefs. He is mentally tough enough to handle the role of starting quarterback.
So, epic mustache, right? Besides a preference for 70s-inspired facial hair, what’s something unique about Minshew we should know?
The mustache is no doubt epic–Gardner will be the first to tell you that. There are many unique things about the new starting quarterback; he is a humble guy who comes from a very athletic family. His mom, Kim is a former volleyball player at Mississippi State University. His sister, Callie was Mississippi’s Gatorade Player of the Year in high school and is playing volleyball at MSU just like her mom. Gardner admitted that Callie is actually the most athletic in the family, but he is happy to take second place.