Gardner Minshew II - Tuesday, December 24, 2019

(On the positives he can take away from this season) "I think one of the positives Terry [Florida Times-Union writer Garry Smits] is definitely that shirt you're wearing right there. That gets me in the Christmas spirit, so that definitely helps anytime you can wear that. There's definitely positives to be taken. I think there's a lot of learning that happened, and I think we're going to use some of the stuff that we went through this year to make us better for the future for sure."

(On what led to the improvement in his ball security over the past few weeks) "Yeah, just a new focus to it. Just learning [that] guys get on you a lot quicker. They're longer, they're faster. In college it feels like you have a little bit more time then you do here, so just getting a better feel for that I feel like has helped."

(On if his time backing up QB Nick Foles helped with his ball security) "Yeah, because I think when you're in the starting lineup you're doing everything as game prep, whereas when you're not, you can do more things to kind of work on your own game. I was able to kind of focus on things with the help of Flip [Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo] and [Quarterbacks] Coach Scott [Milanovich] and really kind of address some issues that I had been having."

(On if there is a fine line between ball security and playing too safe) "Absolutely, and we're trying to figure that out. When to extend plays and how to do it the right way, so that's one thing we're going to try to – because that's one of the things we feel like I do well in my game is being able to do that, extend plays. So, we have to do that responsibly."

(On if the next step is to find balance between ball security and making plays) "Yeah, that's just been part of the learning process working on that. So, as we move forward, as we get more experience, hopefully the better we'll get at it."

(On what areas he feels he has improved on over the season) "I think one of the things is just knowledge, and with experience comes that knowledge. I think the game is just a little bit slower now than it was, and I think a lot of that comes from me and knowing what we have to do and then having a better feel for what they're doing."

(On if the trials experienced early in this season prepared him during games) "Yeah, I think so. I think my path being in a bunch of different [quarterback] rooms, I think that kind of helped me prepare for these changing situations and all the chaos that ensued."

(On how much he's been through this calendar year) "It's been long, because football hasn't stopped since the beginning of my senior year at Wazzou, it just kind of goes through. And I think all the rookies go through that, it's definitely a long one. But you look back and you're super grateful for it. Grateful for all the things you've learned and most importantly all the people that have helped you do it."

(On if it's hard to not get caught up in the possibility of there being coaching changes) "Right now, no. We're just trying to win this game for everybody in that room. No one person deserves it more than anybody else, because we've all been there putting the work in, so we all want to do it for each other. Everything else isn't in our control."

(On why he thinks the offense continues to get off to slow starts in games) "I don't know. We're trying to identify that and we're trying to address it. I think we have some things we're planning this week to try to mix it up, and I think at this point we're kind of throwing crap on the wall, seeing what sticks and hopefully we'll get it figured out this week and we'll get rolling."

(On the improved chemistry between him and WR Chris Conley) "The thing about Chris [Conley], he's been so consistent this year. His work ethic Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, everyday he's busting his tail, so I know exactly what I'm getting out of Chris. I know exactly where he's going to be, so I'm always comfortable working [with] him. It just so happened the ball has been finding him for the big plays and I'm really happy for him for that."

(On if he wants WR DJ Chark Jr. to eclipse the 1000-yard mark) "Obviously. We love DJ [Chark Jr.], we think he's one of the best in the league. If he wouldn't have been banged up, I think we would have had [1,000 yards receiving] by now, but it's a thing that's special. In my opinion, the best way to win the game is to get him involved, and if we do that, then he'll get in no problem and we'll win the game."

(On what it meant to him to see Chark play last week despite his ankle injury) "It's brutal man. You have so much respect. Him, and there's a ton of guys that go through that every week that doesn't even get reported. That's a tough situation because a lot of times football is not fun when you're out there and it hurts like crap, but DJ, he toughed it out and that earns a lot of respect with our guys."

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