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Big Cat Country Q&A: Is Gardner Minshew still the answer at quarterback?

Miami Dolphins v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

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Let’s answer some Jacksonville Jaguars questions after last night’s 31-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

Today we’re talking about Todd Wash, Gardner Minshew, and ice cream.

Sad from Jacksonville, FL

Q: Is Gardner Minshew still the answer?

A: If you asked me 24 hours ago, I would have said yes. This morning, I still think the answer is yes, but I have to think about it. NFL quarterbacks have to be able to win no matter what kind of coverage the defense is throwing at you — in the case of last night it was a lot of Cover 3 and Cover 4. They were daring Minshew to win underneath and he can do that. He’s shown he can do that. But he was terrible on third down. The team was 3-for-10 because of drops, errant throws, bad decisions, sacks conceded... it’s not all on Minshew but he’d be the first to tell you it starts with him. I think he’ll bounce back with a long week to prepare, but it won’t be fun between now and then.

Evan from Jacksonville, FL

Q: What do the Jaguars need to do both physically and mentally over their long break in order to keep Joe Burrow from getting his first win?

A: With how bad the offense was last night, I’m still more worried about this defense. They let Ryan Fitzpatrick have a career day. Literally. He started out 12-for-12 when he had never started better than eight straight completions in his career. He finished with two incompletions and three touchdowns. The team was down 14-0 before the offense had started its second drive. They have to tighten up on early downs to force longer third downs. They have to do better on third downs. They have to find ways to pressure Joe Burrow. I’m still far more worried about the defense than I am the offense.

Dan from Los Angeles, CA

Q: What flavor depression-curing ice cream should I get next time if the Jaguars disappoint me again?

A: I would stock up on some cookie dough ice cream if I were you.

Gabriel from Rio Preto, Brazil

Q: What can we expect against Bengals besides the L?

A: I don’t think we should expect a loss when we go up to Cincinnati, but we should expect it to be a much closer game. Miami exposed a lot of things wrong with both sides of the ball. I’m not confident they win, but I’m leaning that way right now.

Bryce from Pine Grove, PA

Q: How long do you think Todd Wash has if the defense keeps playing like that?

A: He’ll finish out the season, but he’ll be fired at the end of the year. This is one of the worst defenses I’ve seen in franchise history but it shouldn’t be that bad. It’s a young roster, but they’re making mental mistakes and not executing well on third down. They’re out of position. They look surprised at times. That’s just bad coaching.

Adam from Wescosville, PA

Q: Is there any hope for the defense? If not we are going to lose a lot.

A: Help is not on the way. What you see is likely going to be what you get for the rest of the year.

Zachary from Jacksonville, FL

Q: Is it time to jump off the Gardner Minshew train and pretend like we were never on it to begin with?

A: No, not yet. Let’s see what he does against another bad secondary. If he lets Cincinnati make him look like sixth round rookies usually do, then... it’ll be time for a conversation.

Chiotti from Jacksonville, FL

Q: Are our defensive players bad and young? Or is it really Todd Walsh’s fault?

A: Some of them are bad. Some of them are young. Some of them are both. Todd Wash isn’t the only problem — the roster he’s been handed isn’t very good — but he’s still a problem.

Lamar from Riviera Beach, FL

Q: Will Todd Wash get terminated after this season?

A: I don’t think they’ll kill him. They’ll just fire him.

Tyler from Savannah, GA

Q: I paid my hard earned money to come to this game. Is there any reimbursement for losing as bad as we did?

A: Tyler, there is not.

Gabe from Chapel Hill, NC

Q: Coming off that dumpster fire that has us feeling like everyone needs to be fired, what are some things that are actually good about this team? What seems terrible but actually isn’t?

A: Well, the offense was bad but James Robinson looks like the real deal. Same with the young receivers — Laviska Shenault is better than advertised and Keelan Cole seems to have found his magic again. The offensive line is opening running lanes. Myles Jack is playing out of his mind as well. Jay Gruden is a good offensive coordinator and plays to the strengths of his players instead of trying to force a square peg into a round hole. There are some individual pieces that look really good, but it’s not enough to overcome all the bad.

Lane from St. Paul, MN

Q: Is it too early to call James Robinson our running back of the future?

A: It is not.

Daniel from London, England

Q: Can we expect to concede on every opening drive until Todd Wash is fired?

A: Until the Jaguars start on offense, I think this is a reasonable expectation.

Rich from Savannah, GA

Q: Been a faithful Jaguars since the beginning. Been to countless terrible games throughout the years. I have never once left early. Tonight, I left in the third quarter. Can you explain why I left and feel good about it? Was it the mask I was wearing? Why is Todd Wash still here? Obviously, the so called “trouble makers” that were booted from the team disagreed with the scheme. He is still here and I left in the third quarter. Wow. At least it’s Friday.

A: I don’t know specifically what it was about last night that finally broke the camel’s back, Rich. Maybe it was watching Ryan Fitzpatrick have a career day. Maybe it was the 12 straight completions to start the game. Maybe it was seeing us get little to no pressure on defense. Or C.J. Henderson forgetting that players aren’t ruled down until they’re touched. Or Joe Schobert get juked by a 37-year-old man. Or Chris Conley drop passes for first down. Or offensive pass interference penalties that wiped out touchdowns. I can’t tell you, Rich. But I wouldn’t have risked exposure to watch a team that went down 14-0 before the end of the first quarter.