Quarterback Nick Foles fractured his clavicle in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ first game of the season, and his injury meant the door was wide open for rookie Gardner Minshew to strut right through it, because Gardner Minshew looks like a guy who struts, or at least saunters.
Jacksonville’s sixth-round pick of Minshew kept with the franchise’s tradition of drafting QBs who look much older than they actually are. This man is 23 and yet could conceivably be a brother of Jim Tomsula.
Minshew’s appearance is captivating, but the Mississippi native’s actual football abilities might be something to watch. After replacing Foles on Sunday, he went 22-for-25 for 275 yards, two touchdowns, and a pick. That set the record for the highest completion percentage in NFL history from any player with at least 15 pass attempts in his debut. The Jaguars still lost to the Chiefs, 40-26, but there appears to be something to build on here. At least, head coach Doug Marrone hopes so:
“I feel better about him [Minshew] now, today, after Week 1, than I did probably during the preseason,” Marrone said. “I think that’s fair to say. I think the work during the preseason was able to get him ready for things like this. I don’t know — I’m hoping that’s the case.”
Who is this late-round pick who has by circumstance been thrust into a starting role? For starters, Gardner Minshew’s full name is Gardner Flint Minshew II. How did Flint become his middle name, you ask? His dad’s name is Flint. Where did the “II” come from? Unclear on that part, because that’s not his grandfather’s name either, and also his grandfather wanted to name him Beowulf:
[High school English teacher Nichole] Robinson had to verify this part, but she has vague memories of Minshew blurting out to the class that his grandfather, Billy Minshew, once voted to name him Beowulf.
“Beowulf is considered one of the greatest warriors because he can achieve anything and won’t let anything stop him,” Robinson told the class. “And (Gardner) said, ‘My granddaddy wanted me to be named that, because that’s what he wanted me to be.’ ”
“My dad wanted to name him Beowulf,” Flint Minshew verified, “and that’s about as far as that got.”
As for the mustache: Yeah, he’s had that for a while. It was a whole thing when he was at Washington State. He played for the Cougars after stints at East Carolina and Northwest Mississippi Community College. Anyway, that’s pretty much all you need to know about Gardner Minshew until he leads the Jaguars to five straight Super Bowl wins.