JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Andy from St. Augustine, FL
I'm not saying we should have got more for quarterback Gardner Minshew II. I am saying it's disingenuous to state as a fact C.J. Beathard is better. It is a fact that Beathard outperformed Minshew in the first two preseason games (against third stringers and players that won't be on a roster, while Minshew played against first- and second-string players), but those are just glorified practices. When the lights are on and the games have counted, and on similarly bad teams, Minshew has far outperformed Beathard. In 12 starts for a bad 49ers team, Beathard was 2-10 (17 percent win percentage) with a 58 percent completion percentage, 18 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and a passer rating of 81.1. Minshew, playing for a really bad Jag team, in 20 starts was 7-13 (35 percent win percentage) with a 63 percent completion percentage, 37 touchdowns and 11 interceptions and a passer rating of 93.1. Based on previous performance, when the games counted, Minshew has shown he's simply the better quarterback (compared to Beathard). The only reason I can see they traded him is they signed Beathard to a guaranteed free agent contract, and while the money isn't huge - they didn't want to look like they had made a mistake. Change my mind.
I probably won't change your mind. Minshew, because he was exciting and unique with a magnetic personality, has endeared himself to many Jaguars fans. And because he had a good run in 2019 when he pulled off some dramatically memorable victories, he will – and should be – remembered by many Jaguars observers and fans fondly. But the league appeared to catch up to Minshew's skill set during the 2019 season, and he increasingly struggled against defenses that game-planned to take away his strengths and prey on his weaknesses. And while Minshew's statistics were often impressive, they were not necessarily reflective of how he played. The Jaguars acquired Beathard this offseason for a reason – that they thought he was a capable backup for how they wanted to play. He played well enough to earn a role as the backup whereas Minshew didn't play well at all during the preseason – and Minshew didn't even play as well this preseason as he did last season, when he didn't play as well as he had the previous season. Have I perhaps been a bit too strong in recent days that Beathard was clearly better than Minshew – and that the topic isn't debatable? Perhaps. But do I think the Jaguars made the right decision? Yes? And do I worry at all that they shouldn't have traded Minshew? Absolutely not.
Bruce from Saint Simons Island, GA
O, What about Tavon Austin in the hybrid role?
It's very possible wide receiver Tavon Austin will be on the Jaguars' regular-season roster, and they possibly could use him in a hybrid role. I don't know that he would be used as extensively – or be as effectively – as rookie running back Travis Etienne Jr. would have been used had Etienne remained healthy. And I don't know that the look would have been the same. But Head Coach Urban Meyer likes Austin, and he certainly could be used in a dynamic, hybrid role.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, I'm glad to see that you had a chat with Trevor after the last game and after being named starter. What did you say to him?
Vanawsum from BLOUNTVILLE
I hated the trade of Minshew to the Philadelphia Eagles for a sixth-round pick, as I'm sure many other fans did. If you were acting general manager, would you have made that trade at this time? Even if the coaches decided to put him behind Beathard on the depth chart, I would think he could be far more valuable when quarterbacks inevitably are injured, and teams have urgent need for a cheap replacement with starting experience?
I think the Jaguars needed to get what they could for Minshew when they could get it, and I think when a team offered than a sixth-round selection they moved quickly to make that trade. I don't think he realistically was going to draw more than they received had they waited to make a deal.
Steve from Nashville, TN
If a team goes 8-8 plus a tie, is that a .500 record?
It is where I come from.
Logan from Wichita, KS
Hard to see Minshew go. The mania was real and will really be missed. Do you think he will play three games this year to help that pick become a fifth?
Sure. Why not?
Marcus from Jacksonville
You have said emphatically the past couple of days that Gardner Minshew was traded because he wasn't one of the top two quarterbacks on the roster. I tend to agree with that, but it makes me question the "competition" between Minshew and Lawrence that many fans were upset about and that took away valuable first-team reps from Trevor. If it is so clear that Minshew isn't in the top two, then why was he competing with Trevor and not competing with C.J. to be the backup? Was that all a ploy to try and increase his trade value? I get the whole "Trevor needs to earn it" mindset, but if that is true, then you have a competition with CJ, who is apparently the clear No. 2 on the roster. Anyway, I agree that it was time to move on from Minshew, and I hope he find success in Philly, but I think the song and dance that was the training camp QB competition was stupid then and make even less sense now.
I guess I never focused as much on the Great Quarterback Competition Debate as many observers. My thought was that Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer wanted rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence to earn the job. I assumed there would come a time that Lawrence would do so, and Meyer never seemed to seriously doubt that Lawrence would earn it. I also never shared the view of many media members that Lawrence was being hurt by a lack of repetitions with his receivers. Perhaps I'll be proven wrong on that. As for having it be Minshew competing with Lawrence … that made sense because it was Minshew who started 20 games over the last two seasons, and because there had been times in the last two seasons that Minshew played well enough to win games. And sure … giving him a chance to shine in preseason would only help his trade value. But Minshew didn't shine – and in fact, he struggled in two preseason games far more than I expected he would. Was the quarterback competition stupid? I suppose it was to anyone who didn't grasp that Meyer truly believed Lawrence should earn the job. That was important to Meyer. It may not be important to anyone else, but it mattered to Meyer. And that's why it happened.
Alan from Ellington CT
Hey John. If a team was shopping a player to trade. Do they share training camp video with the other teams?
Michael from Lakeland (Formerly Jacksonville)
There's been a lot of commentary discounting Lawrence's play against the Dallas Cowboys' second-team players. Firstly, he did exactly what you expect a good quarterback to do. Secondly, let's not pretend the Jaguars were playing with a full complement of starters on the offensive side of the ball either; there was a WR3, and RB1 and one starting OL on the field. I think he looked pretty darn good.
Lawrence completed 11 of 12 passes for two touchdowns and 139 yards against Dallas Sunday. He threw multiple passes that looked as if they would have been completions against any defense. His 38-yard pass to wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, for example, looked like a perfectly thrown pass that only the receiver could have caught. That maybe wouldn't have meant a completion against all defenses, but it would have meant a completions against most defenses. Look, Lawrence played well in weird circumstances Sunday. He did all he could do given the situation. That's better than the opposite. It seemed on a lot of levels like a good, momentum-building performance. We'll see if it's what it seemed.
Chuck from Jacksonville
Sorry to see Minshew leave, but I get it. This way Urban can re-sign Timmy and he can have his old number again. When do we see Timmy again?
You're trying too hard, Chuck.
Jozy from Jacksonville
When I want Jaguars news and updates, I check Jaguars.com, a number of blogs, but always rely on Twitter for their accurate and quick reporting that anyone can comment to. Consensus among the latter is that Lawrence really lost "valuable time" during practice due to sharing first team reps with Minshew. How much more advanced could he be if only he has been the one to take starting reps?
I'm sorry. I'm still laughing at "always rely on Twitter for their accurate and quick reporting." Good one, Jozy. Good one.