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Jaguars brass address quarterback position, potential to add competition

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During the team’s pre-draft media availability, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone showed confidence in Gardner Minshew II while also stressing competition at all positions, including quarterback

Indianapolis Colts v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

After trading quarterback Nick Foles earlier this offseason, the Jaguars have only second-year quarterback Gardner Minshew II and fourth-year quarterback Josh Dobbs remaining on their roster.

While the team has sang praises of Minshew, there has been speculation of the team potentially adding another quarterback whether that’s through the draft or in free agency.

In speaking with the local media on Thursday, both Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone and general manager Dave Caldwell addressed the position at length, with Marrone expressing confidence in the team’s current starting quarterback, Minshew, while also stressing that competition at all positions, including quarterback, is always encouraged.

“When you look at it, first of all, we evaluate everyone in the draft. We evaluated the quarterback position like we evaluated the defensive end and running back positions, everything,” said Marrone when asked about Minshew and the quarterback position moving forward.

“Sometimes you look out there and, right now, if we went to play and Gardner Minshew is our guy and I’m excited about that. But do I want competition for him? Absolutely. You want competition for everybody.”

Marrone is happy with Minshew at quarterback, he says, and does not want to paint a picture of needing competition specifically at quarterback, simply for the entirety of the roster.

The Jaguars won six games with Minshew starting at quarterback last year, the most wins by any rookie quarterback in 2016, and over the offseason the young quarterback took his talents to Naples, Florida to train, getting better with quarterbacks coach Ken Mastrole.

“(Gardner’s) a guy right now that’s working his ass off. We’re working on getting a better football team and, like Dave said, if we can bring someone in, cool. Or the other thing is bring some people around him that can help that position at quarterback. I think everyone has to prove.”

The team’s head coach also reiterated the possibility to add weapons surrounding the quarterback position, making it stronger by association.

Caldwell has echoed similar sentiments regarding Minshew in the past, stating that the team would likely want to bring in a quarterback if only to give Marrone three to work with during camp.

“I think we have two avenues to do that, one is through free agency and one is through the draft,” said Caldwell on Tuesday. “We’ll get through the draft, and I know coach Marrone likes to bring three quarterbacks into camp for rep purposes, and I think we can look at that as a situation. But, I think we’ll get through the draft and see what we come out of the draft [with]. If one presents himself we will pull the trigger, and if not we’ll look to see what’s on the street.”

One quarterback which could be apart of the conversation as far as competition, is veteran quarterback Cam Newton. Newton was recently released by the Carolina Panthers after nine seasons with the team.

Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette also has mentioned Newton as someone he’d like to play with, however the team’s running back recently stated publicly that he was not intending to disrespect Minshew at all, and only stressed the ability for the team to continue to build and add competition.

“I am just trying to be getting into the best position as a team as we can win,” Fournette stated on ESPN’s FirstTake on Thursday. “That is all that was about. Just a friendly competition because they bring out the best in people.”

The Jaguars will decide whether or not they’ll be adding a quarterback, most likely following the draft barring one of the top prospects falling to them in a favorable position later in the draft. However, one thing remains clear and that is that the Jaguars coaching staff continues to want to add, and build around their starting quarterback, Minshew.