Jacksonville Jaguars first-year coach Urban Meyer was admittedly emotional after telling quarterback Gardner Minshew that he was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles last week. Meyer said he was in a difficult position after Sunday’s preseason game and that he respects Minshew as a player.
“That was tough, man. I was a little choked when I saw him in this office and came in, ”said Meyer. “I didn’t know him at all. It didn’t start on the best of terms because I’m not sure how much he wanted to be here. I get it. First pick overall and he’s a competitive maniac, this guy. I get it.
“I’ve told him for the rest of his life, consider myself a big fan. Because he’s what you want. He’s a warrior. He’s a competitor.”
Minshew was sent to Philly for a sixth round selection after the Jaguars announced Trevor Lawrence as their starting quarterback for Week 1 as No. 1 overall.
In two seasons, Minshew played 23 games (20 starts) and had 5,530 yards, 37 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, a 62.9% completion percentage and went 7-13 as a starter.
Minshew was a 2019 six-round pick (# 178 overall) by the Washington State Jaguars. Minshew played the first two years of his college career in East Carolina before moving west. He finished his final season (2018) with 4,776 yards, 38 touchdowns, nine interceptions, and a completion percentage of 70.7% under Mike Leach.
There have been some thoughts that the Jaguars might need someone to stand in for Lawrence initially, as the former Clemson star had surgery on his left shoulder earlier this spring. But Lawrence showed no ill effects from shoulder pain during the minicamp and preseason and is the option Meyer is looking to tackle.
“I have (had a certain amount of time in mind) but it’s a three week preseason as opposed to a four week preseason.” Meyer said. “We have a goodbye week after that but I think as we continue it is now a matter of repetition. We wanted him to deserve it, as we do in every position. We had the feeling that after the last performance he was good, of course not that great, we didn’t run the ball that well. Somehow I thought to myself that after the second preseason (game) we would have to somehow to get someone ready to play in three weeks. “
Lawrence threw over 3,000 yards in each of his three seasons, including 2020 when the season was cut short due to COVID-19. The three-time All-ACC selection averaged 3,366 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 5.6 interceptions per season, which resulted in its being cemented as the first overall selection, the legacy that was expected for some time during his career.
Being appointed starting quarterback for an NFL team could drastically change the mindset of some players, but it doesn’t seem like Lawrence feels that. Lawrence insisted that nothing had changed after Meyer’s announcement.
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“I’m very excited about the opportunity; I am thankful for”, Lawrence told reporters after being named the Week 1 Starter. “But it doesn’t really change anything. We still have the same task ahead of us. We have to get much better individually, as a team, on the offensive. It brings some clarity, which is nice to go forward. But it doesn’t really change much. “
Riley Gates contributed to this report.