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Big Cat Country Q&A: How far can Gardner Minshew carry this Jaguars team?

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Kansas City Chiefs v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Let’s answer some questions ahead of the Jacksonville Jaguars facing the Houston Texans in Week 2!

Lincoln from Liberty, MO

Q: With Nick Foles being hurt, what is your outlook on the rest of the season? What are your predictions for the productivity of our offense?

A: This week will tell us a lot about the new offense under Gardner Minshew. Last week was a bit unpredictable — Minshew hadn’t practiced with the offense and the Kansas City Chiefs don’t have the best secondary in the world. Now, Minshew is getting reps all week. He’s studying film. The coaches are building their game plan around him and what he does well. Truthfully, I have zero idea what to expect, but Minshew looked good in Week 1. Very good. He wasn’t just checking down or throwing it to tight ends and running backs in the flat — he was throwing it downfield early and often. If the defense can do its job, things aren’t as bleak as they may appear.

Chad from Jacksonville Beach, FL

Q: How much should we read into the defense’s Week 1 performance knowing that we played against a top 3 offense in the league? Obviously there are behavioral challenges, but can these guys actually play?

A: Not much. This defense always has a game or two where there are major breakdowns and communication issues. This wasn’t a game we were supposed to win anyway, so it’s not the worst week to get this out of their system. I would be more worried about defensive coordinator Todd Wash. He got pencil whipped by Andy Reid. The Chiefs have playmakers on offense but we have playmakers too. It should have been far more balanced than it was.

Chevin from Jacksonville, FL

Q: Gardner Minshew played exceptionally well in relief of Nick Foles. Was Minshew really that good or was the Chiefs defense just that bad?

A: Both, but I’ll give the nod to Minshew. He didn’t panic. He looked poised and confident running this offense. Again, if he continues to take what he’s learning in the film room and translate it as well as the coaches say he can onto the practice field, the season isn’t a loss.

Jason from St. Augustine, FL

Q: What did we do to deserve this?

A: Look on the bright side, Jason — the Jaguars look to have finally drafted a good quarterback.

Jimmy from Port Orange, FL

Q: With Nick Foles being out anywhere to 8 to 10 weeks, do the Jaguars intend on shopping for a quarterback?

A: Nope. What you saw this week in trading for Josh Dobbs is what we plan on doing right now.

Steve from Sydney, Australia

Q: If the Jaguars catch fire with Gardner Minshew, does Nick Foles come straight back in as starter in Week 11 or do you keep going with Minshew?

A: I think it’s highly unlikely Minshew plays as well as he did Week 1 for the rest of his time under center. But if he does (big, nearly impossible if!) then you ride the hot hand and thank God you found your long term answer at quarterback in the sixth round.

Chris from Niagara Falls, Canada

Q: Is 20 years too long to love something that never loves you back?

A: Ask my ex-wife.

Kathy from Palm Coast, FL

Q: Who is in charge of the defense? Is it Todd Wash or Doug Marrone?

A: Todd Wash.

Brandon from Louisburg, NC

Q: The Houston Texans released Aaron Colvin. Would you resign him?

A: Nope.

Greg from Ocoee, FL

Q: Why so much zone defense?

A: Because the Kansas City Chiefs might have the most speed on offense of any team in the NFL. You can’t reasonably expect guys like Jalen Ramsey — as gifted as they may be — to keep up with them play after play after play in man coverage. Should there be more press and man coverage? Yes. But if you gamble too much, all it takes is one play for their stamina to run out and for a Sammy Watkins or Tyreek Hill to burn you. Wash was playing it conservatively, for sure, but there was a reasoning behind it.