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Game that was: Marrone declines to reveal starter

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during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars changed quarterbacks Sunday, yet again.

Whether that means Gardner Minshew II will start next week after replacing an ineffective Mike Glennon Sunday, Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone declined to say on Sunday evening.

Minshew, the starting quarterback from Games 1-7, replaced Glennon in the third quarter of a 31-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans Sunday. Marrone immediately after the game said he had an idea who will start against the Baltimore Ravens next Sunday but didn't want to announce the decision before speaking to the two quarterbacks.

"I'm actually going to make sure I speak to them first, before I do something through the media," Marrone said. "I don't want them to find out from what I said."

Glennon, making his third consecutive start, completed 13 of 23 passes for 85 yards and no touchdowns with an interception Sunday. Minshew replaced him after a third-quarter interception.

"Mike [Glennon] took a pick, and we were behind, and I really wanted to try to get a spark," Marrone said, adding that he was: "Thinking that Gardner could extend plays and make some plays with his feet and then he did that."

Marrone added, "I think everyone can see that there's a lot of things that we've got to keep working on and keep trying to improve upon. So, I don't think it's with one position right now, that we can point to. I think we've just got to try to see whoever it is, whoever gives us the best chance to try to win a football game."

Minshew, who missed four games with a thumb injury before being a healthy backup in a loss at Minnesota last week and again Sunday, completed 18 of 31 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions in a little more than a quarter and a half. He threw a five-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Keelan Cole on his first drive Sunday, but the Jaguars' next two drives ended when Minshew threw incomplete inside the Titans 20-yard line.

"It felt great to be back in there," Minshew said. "It's something that I really missed. I miss the camaraderie with the guys. I miss being out there. As much as you're always a part of the team, it's just something different when you're really out there with the guys and that's always special. I thought we got in a rhythm, it was kind of up and down, but I think we can finish drives better."

"Once I came into the game it was kind of different type of game. Being down multiple scores, they play you kind of differently. The goal there was to take the completions when they're there which I could have done a better job of and take the shots when they're there, which I think we did an okay job of."

Minshew, who started 12 of 14 games last season and the first seven this season, said Sunday the last two weeks being a healthy backup were "different for sure."

"I was just trying to help Mike any way I could, just help the team in any way I could – through preparation and practice," he said. "But there's always that itch and there's really nothing to scratch that except getting out there and playing."

Minshew was asked if he believed he showed Sunday he should start moving forward.

"I don't know," he said. "That's not my call. I'm going to try to help the team score points and help the team get better in any way I can. Whatever they need me to do, I'll do. But obviously there's nothing like being out there and being under center."

NOTABLE

Rookie running back James Robinson rushed for 67 yards on 12 carries Sunday, and now has 1,035 yards and seven touchdowns on 224 carries. When Robinson went over 1,000 yards rushing with a season-long 47-yard carry in the fourth quarter, he became the fourth undrafted rookie in NFL history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season. He reached 1,000 yards rushing faster than any undrafted rookie in NFL history and became the third rookie in franchise history to rush for 1,000 yards, joining Fred Taylor (1998) and Leonard Fournette (2017). Marrone acknowledged the accomplishment afterward, with teammates applauding the rookie's season-long performance. "In a season like we're having where everybody is struggling, to have something like that happen is good," Marrone said. "Normally, I don't ever really talk about individual accomplishments after the game, but I did because we don't really have a lot going for us – except we have three more opportunities. But it's something that could be celebrated by all of us, the offensive line, receivers, the tight ends – even the defensive guys and specialists." Marrone added, "Here's a guy that represents so much of what's good about competition, about playing, about humility, about keeping things in perspective. He's been a great example. So, I said that to the team after the game and they clapped for him, when there's not a lot to clap about really."

QUOTABLE I

Minshew on Robinson being acknowledged by teammates after the game: "He definitely deserved that. Coming in as an undrafted rookie and to carry the load and help this team the way he has, he deserves all that. I'm all for individual accomplishments because that eventually that helps the team win. If everybody does their job to the level that James is doing it, then we'll be alright."

QUOTABLE II

Robinson: "I am grateful that he [Marrone] did that. Before the game was even over, all the guys were coming up to me and saying 'Congratulations.' I mean, all those guys are behind me, and we were hoping I was going to get it in the first quarter. But, I mean, it wasn't awkward at all."

QUOTABLE III

Marrone on Titans RB Derrick Henry's 215 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 26 carries Sunday: "Sometimes those other guys win, too. They win on those plays and they cost us, and that's one of the things that happen. He's the best running back in the league for a reason and obviously, we put everything on the table to try to stop him today and we weren't able to get that done."

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