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On QB: "We've got two guys who can play…"

Combine - Doug and Dave Pressers-07

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Jaguars talked quarterback Tuesday.

That's notable in any NFL offseason, and it was notable for the Jaguars Tuesday even though neither General Manager David Caldwell nor Head Coach Doug Marrone offered hints about the direction of the position next season.

Nick Foles? Gardner Minshew II?

Both started for the Jaguars last season, and neither Caldwell nor Marrone on Tuesday committed to saying which one might start next fall.

"We're in a position where we feel we've got two guys who can play," Marrone said during his media availability at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine.

Caldwell took the same approach, echoing what Jaguars Owner Shad Khan said before the Super Bowl earlier this month – that the Jaguars have two quality players at the position.

"Like Shad said a couple of weeks ago, that we have two quarterbacks we really feel good about," Caldwell said.

Foles, who signed as an unrestricted free agent last March, started last season but sustained a broken clavicle 11 plays into a Week 1 loss to Kansas City. Minshew, a sixth-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, started Weeks 2-9 before Foles replaced him for three games.

Minshew then replaced a healthy Foles, starting the final four games and completing 285 of 470 passes for 3,271 yards and 21 touchdowns with six interceptions for the season. Foles completed 77 of 117 passes for 736 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions.

"The best thing to do is have those guys go out there and have them compete," Marrone said. "When one of them separates themselves, and there's been enough body of work for it, then that person's going to be the starting quarterback.

"We're trying to create that at all of the positions. Quarterback's no different."

Marrone on Tuesday also praised third-team quarterback Josh Dobbs, who was acquired for a fifth-round selection from Pittsburgh the day after Foles' injury.

"He did a really good job for us during the year and got better," Marrone said "We're going to put him in that mix, too."

Minshew went 6-6 as a starter last season, leading all rookie quarterbacks in victories despite starting just 12 games. Foles, the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player with the Philadelphia Eagles following the 2017 season, went 0-4 as a starter last season.

"Both of those guys are in a situation that they both have proven in their own way that they can be a good quarterback in the NFL," Caldwell said. "Nick obviously has a much larger body of work than Gardner does. But what Gardner did last year as a rookie I think is very impressive. He won six games and was .500 in the games he started … He had probably the best stats of any rookie quarterback last year."

Marrone was asked if the timing of naming a starter mattered.

"I always try to be very careful because you're going to get asked that question quite a bit, and you never want to paint yourself into a corner," Marrone said. "What's going to happen is when you say that stuff publicly, people are going to hold you accountable and keep asking you. For me, I think it's when everyone can see it. Not necessarily everyone watching us practice, but more importantly when the players can see it.

"When you're sitting in that locker room, and you're out there on the field and when you're watching all the tape, I think those players know who should be playing and who shouldn't be playing. I've always felt that way."

Caldwell said he didn't feel Minshew's record last season – or the team's victories in two of the final three games – would play into deciding 2020's starter.

"I wouldn't say it gives him a leg up," Caldwell said. "I think every year's a new year. You hope that every player takes a jump up, and that's not just Gardner but that's Nick, too – another year being in Jacksonville. We'll see how that plays out."

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