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Big Cat Country Q&A: Is this the beginning of the end for Minshew Mania?

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Let’s answer some Jacksonville Jaguars questions after our Week 9 loss to the Houston Texans.

Today we’re talking about the fan base’s heel turn on Gardner Minshew, this team’s luck at finding serviceable quarterbacks in the sixth round, and the end of Minshew Mania.

Jimmy from Jacksonville, FL

Q: Why is this fan base so fast to move on from Gardner Minshew? I get that he hasn’t been amazing, but he definitely hasn’t been the main issue. Seems like the minute anyone starts to underperform, it’s time for this fan base to throw them aside. Probably going to do the same thing with Justin Fields or Trevor Lawrence, right?

A: I don’t think the fan base is turning on him “so fast” but I do think it’s an accelerated response for several reasons. First, we’ve hung on too long to dead weight under center since before Shad Khan bought the team. Gardner Minshew was not good enough in his rookie season to allow us anything other than a “let’s see what he does next season” and that’s what we did. Second, more and more NFL teams are getting transcendent quarterbacks under center and we’re left with mediocrity or worse. Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes, and Lamar Jackson represent a page turn for this league. If you don’t have a quarterback who can carry your team, you’ll never succeed.

Jonathan from New York City, NY

Q: Do you see a scenario where Dave Caldwell is retained and he somehow surprises everyone by picking a non-quarterback even if a top quarterback is available?

A: I do and it causes me to wake up yelling in a cold sweat. While I think it’s likely that Dave Caldwell and Doug Marrone are shown the door after this season, it’s not set in stone.

Shoota from Fort Benning, GA

Q: Which quarterback do you think the Jaguars will take if they are at No. 2 overall?

A: Justin Fields.

Elliot from Summerville, GA

Q: Do we want Jake Luton to do good, or is losing still winning this season?

A: I want him to do exactly what he did on Sunday — play well, but not well enough to win.

Evan from Jacksonville, FL

Q: How ugly is this Green Bay Packers game gonna be?

A: You ever seen a blobfish?

Joshua from Kansas City, MO

Q: Do the New York Jets have two winnable games left in their schedule?

A: They do not.

Austin from Jacksonville, FL

Q: Why are we good at finding sixth round quarterbacks?

A: Define “good” for me. I think Dave Caldwell has an eye for talent when it comes to players who can be serviceable or fill a certain role, but he’s not good at spotting top-tier talent — evidenced by his absolutely abysmal first round drafting record. Caldwell’s gift is that he can amass enough average talent that every once in a while it hits and makes him look smart (i.e. James Robinson) but when asked to identify the cream of the crop he almost always fails. Gardner Minshew and Jake Luton look to be very solid backups. But they aren’t going to transcend a game like quarterbacks in Kansas City, Houston, or Baltimore do.

Josh from St. George, FL

Q: With Jake Luton doing good in his first career start, is this the beginning of the end of Minshew Mania?

A: I don’t think Gardner Minshew is the quarterback of the future for this team. He may be the starter in next season’s opener as a bridge guy for a rookie, but he’s not the long-term starter. If that’s the end of Minshew Mania, then that’s the end of Minshew Mania. I think he still has some exciting wins left in his career but I hope they aren’t for the Jaguars this year.

Chris from Jacksonville, FL

Q: What do the Jaguars do if Jake Luton continues to play like he did this weekend? Is there a world where he starts the rest of the season? Even more frightening, is there a world where the Jaguars don’t draft a quarterback in the first round?

A: I think the Jaguars would like to get as much tape on Jake Luton as they can and if he plays like he did Sunday, then sure... he’s the starter. If he starts to come back down to earth, the coaching staff won’t hesitate to put Gardner Minshew back in though. They’re playing for wins, not draft position.

Art from Drexel Hill, PA

Q: I know Todd Wash stinks. You’re not a good coach when you can’t make players play better than they are. But is the talent that bad? We have three first round picks on the defensive line, a second round pick at linebacker along with a pricey free agent, and have a first round pick at cornerback. Either Todd Wash can’t make it work or Dave Caldwell is picking trash cans. Which is it?

A: It’s all of the above. Todd Wash is not a good defensive coordinator primarily because he only knows how to run one defense. Dave Caldwell is a bad general manager who is giving Todd Wash rotten ingredients. They’re making each other look very bad because they both are very bad, if that makes sense. A good defensive coordinator wouldn’t have been a field goal away from an NFL record seventh consecutive game giving up 30 or more points. A good general manager would have hit on more than one of his nine first round picks during his time here. Jalen Ramsey is the only first round pick I’d call “good”. Everyone else has underperformed.