JACKSONVILLE – What he wanted he has received.
What Gardner Minshew II wanted entering Jaguars 2021 Training Camp was an opportunity. Because Jaguars coaches have given him that, he said he is pleased with the last 10 days.
"It's controlling what you can control," Minshew said Friday following a two-hour, ten-minute practice on Day 8 of '21 camp at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex.
Minshew, a third-year veteran quarterback, made his first media appearance of camp Friday. A 20-game starter for the Jaguars the past two seasons, Minshew – as expected – during the session was asked about his teammate, rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who the Jaguars selected No. 1 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft in March.
"I can't worry about who they draft, who's starting at the end of the day," Minshew said. "I can control how I practice, how I work, how I prepare. As long as I focus on those things, I know I'm doing everything I can."
Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer addressed Minshew when speaking the media this past weekend, praising Minshew for his handling of the situation.
"I admire Gardner because we have a relationship now," Meyer said "I do appreciate what he's going through. That's one thing that I really appreciate about players. It's never been harder than 2021 to put team ahead of self. He's done a really good job."
While many observers have assumed that Lawrence will start this season, the Jaguars have yet to name a starter. Lawrence and Minshew essentially have split repetitions throughout camp, alternating days and periods with the starters. Minshew worked with the first team Friday.
"All I ask for is a chance," Minshew said. "They said they'd give me that, and they have with the reps I've been given. That's all I can ask for. At that point, it's up to me."
Minshew, a sixth-round selection by the Jaguars in the 2019 NFL Draft, started 12 games as a rookie and eight more last season. He has completed 62.9 percent of his passes with a 7-13 record as a starter, throwing for 5,530 yards and 37 touchdowns with 11 interceptions.
He was asked Friday if Lawrence's presence changed his mindset.
"It doesn't," Minshew said. "I can control how I work, how I prepare. I'm trying to get better every day. When you start playing the comparison game, and you're worried about somebody else and not yourself, it's only a negative impact.
"I'm really just focused on myself and trying to get better every day – and trying to be the best leader I can be for these guys."
Minshew said his relationship with Lawrence thus far has been "great."
"Trevor's an awesome dude, super humble," Minshew said. "He has come in here ready to work, ready to learn. It has been a lot of fun working with him. I'm excited to continue to build that relationship."
Minshew was asked what it said about him that he didn't ask for a trade when Lawrence was drafted, that he opted to remain with the Jaguars and compete with Lawrence.
"It's something I've never been through," he said. "I've never gone through this sort of deal. I've learned, 'Let your agent handle all that stuff.' I can't control what team I play for. I control how I prepare, how I work, how I interact with the guys around me. Those are the things I'm focusing on. I believe if I do all the right things, I can play in this league as long as I want."
Minshew before camp told the "Green Light" podcast that he hadn't … well … gone to the bathroom in a certain way in two weeks because "No. 2 is not an option." The slightly off-color, humorous quote made news, but Minshew said Friday he believes in the spirit of the quote.
"Anytime you go into anything thinking losing or second-best is an option, most of the time that's what you're going to get," Minshew said. "It's like when Cortez landed in Veracruz with 600 dudes trying to take the Aztec Empire, you know what he said? He said, 'Burn the boats so we go back in their boats.' That has stuck with me pretty much since I heard that story."