JACKSONVILLE – John DeFilippo's message to his new quarterback is succinct.
What does Gardner Minshew II – the Jaguars' new QB1 – need to do in Houston Sunday to consider his NFL starting debut a success?
"Go win us a game," DeFilippo said.
DeFilippo, in his first season as the Jaguars' offensive coordinator, spoke to the media Thursday in advance of the team's Week 2 game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, on Sunday. It will mark Minshew's first start since he took over as the starter after starter Nick Foles sustained a broken clavicle in a Week 1 loss to Kansas City this past Sunday.
Minshew, a rookie who was selected in Round 6 of the 2019 NFL Draft, completed 22 of 25 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns with an interception against Kansas City. While winning – and doing it on the road – is different than compiling impressive statistics, DeFilippo said it's the only objective.
"That's why we play," DeFilippo said. "That's why we're showing up in Houston. That's why they're showing up, is to win a football game. And that's our expectation level, to go out and win. Whoever's on our team, whoever's on their team, that's the expectation level, is to play well enough to go win a football game."
DeFilippo and the offensive staff spent the offseason and preseason installing a game plan around Foles, who signed as an unrestricted free agent from Philadelphia in March. As DeFilippo sees it, that game plan needn't change much with the rookie.
"Gardner is a really smart guy," DeFilippo said, adding that Gardner's coach at Washington State – Mike Leach – is one of the sport's best offensive minds. "He's been well-schooled before we got him, and he really understands football. He's a bright young guy and he has a lot of confidence in himself. He has a lot of confidence in his teammates and the system.
"Whenever you have the qualities you do, you are going to have a chance to have success."
Also around the Jaguars Thursday:
*Running back Leonard Fournette praised much about Minshew when he spoke to the media Thursday, but he couldn't quite praise one of Minshew's "training" routines. "Before our preseason games, he'd be in the locker room stretching in his jock strap," Fournette said with a laugh. "He must think we're still in college. That's a college thing, but that's his ritual. I'm used to it now." Fournette was asked why he didn't put a stop to the situation. "If that makes him throw 88 percent, he can have it," Fournette said. "I'm not going to stop him." …
*DeFilippo on opting to coach from the press box as opposed to being on the field as he has done in the past: "I feel really confident in the guys we have on our offensive coaching staff to know that they are going to get communication to me on what's going on the sidelines. At the end of the day, the way I looked at it was, 'Where can I be where I can help the football team the most?' That's what the decision came down to." …
*Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and defensive end Calais Campbell remained on the injury report for a second consecutive day Thursday, with Ngakoue missing practice for a second consecutive day and Campbell practicing limited after missing practice Wednesday. Defensive coordinator Todd Wash said he expects both players to play Sunday. …
*Tight end Josh Oliver (hamstring) and offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi (hamstring) missed practice along with Ngakoue for a second consecutive day Thursday, while defensive tackle Marcell Dareus was limited with an elbow injury for a second consecutive day. Other Jaguars players limited in practice Thursday: wide receiver Marqise Lee (knee), cornerback A.J. Bouye (hip), safety Ronnie Harrison (ankle) and left tackle Cam Robinson (knee). Linebacker Quincy Williams (knee) was listed as practicing full. Lee is expected to appear on the injury report on Thursdays as limited as a maintenance issue as he returns from a knee surgery that cost him last season. …