Much more responsibility on Gardner Minshew’s shoulders for unusual training camp

Mark Brunell offers analysis of Minshew's obstacles as camp approaches

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) greets teammate defensive end Josh Allen, left, before an NFL football game, against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Gardner Minshew and the rest of the Jaguars quarterbacks are due to report in for training camp tomorrow.

Mark Brunell is looking ahead to next week’s first practices in camp.

This unusual year in the NFL is going to be tough on rookies and young players because of the lack of offseason practices. Those factors will also put extra responsibility on the veteran players, not just on the field, but off it as well.

“I think you’ve got the responsibility to look out for the young guys, especially the rookies--the draft picks,” Brunell said. “Guys that haven’t been around the league, try to remind them, ‘Listen, there are a lot of things going on, there are always distractions. But regardless of those distractions, we have one goal in mind and that’s to win a championship.' So I think the veterans really have to do a very good job. guys that have been around to make sure that guys are dialed in, in the meeting rooms in the weight room, obviously on the field, being very responsible as football players and as men.”

Some young players will also be expected to lead. Take quarterback Gardner Minshew, for example. Although he’s entering just his second year in the league, this is HIS team now. What does Brunell expect from Minshew?

“We were all impressed last year. He exceeded our expectations. We’ve talked about this quite a bit. The hope was that he would take a big jump from year one to year two. That’s a possibility but without the OTAs, minicamps, work in the offseason with his teammates, that that can become very difficult,” Brunell said. “That’s where you make your strides, in my opinion, from year one to year two is in the offseason. Because once the season starts, there’s not enough time.

“You’re also looking at a situation where Gardner Minshew will not have many preseason games to choose from, if if any, whether you know, Doug marone, decides, you know, to play him or not, that won’t even be been an option, unfortunately. And so he’s just not had a lot of work called that’s my biggest concern. And it’s not just the quarterback, it’s the quarterback not having the opportunity to work with guys like DJ chark and the and the other and the other players have been in the huddle call in place. Just not a lot of football time this offseason for Gardner to take that big jump.

“A team rises and falls on his on their quarterback, and we’ve got a quarterback that just, hasn’t been on the Field enough this offseason.”

With the rest of the veterans due to report on Tuesday, there will be a lot more to go through before they hit the field. Every player must be tested for COVID-19, and because it’s going to take at least 24 hours to get results back, the players won’t be on the field for a while. In fact, it’s possible that the entire first week of camp is going to be more about getting the testing protocols down and ensuring that everybody will understand everything about how this year is going to be a training camp like they’ve never experienced before.

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