In his new role as the Colts’ starting quarterback, Gardner Minshew is eager to return to Jacksonville.

In his new role as the Colts’ starting quarterback, Gardner Minshew is eager to return to Jacksonville.

 

 

Shane Steichen, the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, speaks with Gardner Minshew, his quarterback, during a timeout in the second half of their NFL matchup against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, Oct.
8, 2023 in Indianapolis. Darron Cummings/AP Photo.

During the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Oct.
10, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew (10) tries to complete a pass against the Tennessee Titans.
August 8 in Indianapolis, 2023.

On Sunday, September 10, after the Indianapolis Colts’ overtime victory over the Baltimore Ravens, quarterback Gardner Minshew of the Indianapolis Colts celebrates. 24, 2023 in Baltimore.

Before facing the Tennessee Titans in an NFL game on Sunday, October, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew (10) warms up.
8, 2023 in Indianapolis.

After an NFL football game on Sunday, Oct.
1, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew, right, and Tennessee Titans offensive tackle Andre Dillard, left, trade jerseys. 8, 2023 in Indianapolis.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gardner Minshew treasures the memory of his unforgettable 2019 campaign in Jacksonville.

The rookie quarterback became a sensation throughout the league thanks to his quick start and stylish mustache.
It’s true that “Minshew Mania” was popular.
It was over less than two years later after seven consecutive losses.

Minshew may never have another experience quite like those months, but going back to Jacksonville this week as the Indianapolis Colts’ starting quarterback brings back the best of times.

“Man, it was awesome; it was a dream.
Following the injury reserve designation of rookie Anthony Richardson on Wednesday, he said, “It was everything you wanted as a kid and then some.

“Even though it seems like a lifetime ago, I am very thankful for the experience.
I’m incredibly appreciative of my time in Jacksonville, those supporters, and that community.
Awesomeness abounds.
“.

Minshew obviously has no animosity toward the team that selected him and gave him a chance before choosing to trade him to Philadelphia in August 2021.

But since his rookie season, everything has changed for the former Washington State star.

He had a two-year stint with the Eagles after struggling in Year 2.
He practiced his mechanics, put in extra time in the film room, mastered the offense designed by Nick Sirianni and Shane Steichen, and prepared for any eventuality while there, biding his time behind the quickly developing Jalen Hurts.

The outcomes were favorable. He qualified for the playoffs twice and won the NFC title the previous season before falling short in the Super Bowl.
And even though he played in just seven games for the Eagles and went 1-3 as the starter, Minshew proved to be the epitome of a professional with a constant, dependable presence.

The Colts hired Steichen in February, and he pushed the organization to sign Minshew in March.
Even after selecting Richardson with the fourth overall pick in the April draft, Steichen and his offense were important factors in Minshew’s decision to join Indy.
They were also eager to give him a genuine chance to compete for the starting position.

“They were very straightforward right off the bat. They claimed that if they chose someone at that location, they would probably be playing,” Minshew said.
“I’m just grateful that they gave me some thought. “.

After the first game of the preseason, Minshew learned that he had lost the contest.

However, the 27-year-old native of Mississippi remained unconvinced.
He persisted in working hard and pushing himself in order to be prepared, should it be necessary, and he performed better than some had anticipated.

He has replaced Richardson three times in the Colts’ opening five games who was hurt. Indy (3-2) triumphed in two of those contests and at Baltimore in overtime during Minshew’s debut.

Even though his statistics—57 of 83 for 553 yards and two touchdowns—might not captivate fantasy football fans, Minshew has not thrown an interception and has looked confident in the pocket.

Most importantly, Minshew has been a welcome addition to the locker room.

Zaire Franklin, who leads the NFL with 69 tackles, said, “You all know me, I’m going to talk trash and he’s going to talk back to me.
Whether it’s a team meeting, whether it’s a good-on-good period in practice, whether it’s watching one-on-ones.”.
“He brings the same kind of energy.
What you want is for it to be contagious. “.

Photographers Steichen and Co. a year ago, when three different starters won a combined four games, Indianapolis lacked the assurance that they would have over the course of the following four weeks as Richardson recovered from an injured AC joint in his right shoulder.

When the AFC South co-leaders face off, one of them, Sam Ehlinger, will serve as Minshew’s backup.
Kellen Mond, a former Vikings and Browns quarterback, was added to the practice squad by Indianapolis on Wednesday.

But when Minshew visits his old team for the first time following the trade, it will bring back fond memories of the time when Minshew was Jacksonville’s star attraction.

He’s always been a fantastic athlete.
Safety Andrew Wingard, who was also a member of the Jaguars’ 2019 rookie class, lamented how he appeared to have been “run out of the building here.”.
“But he is where he is, and I’ve always said he’ll play in this league for as long as he wants to.
He is the center for the Colts, and I believe that makes them even better.
He checks it down, gets it out of his hand quickly, and is extremely intelligent and cerebral. He knows where you’re rolling and where you’re not covering guys.
He performs all actions.
“.

 

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