Gardner Minshew drew the start on Saturday night with Jalen Hurts resting. Minshew didn’t light it up like he did in Week 13, but he did keep a roster of mostly Philadelphia Eagles backups close in the first half.
They just ran out of steam playing against the Dallas Cowboys starters. Minshew went 19-of-33 for 186 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He had a passer rating of 81.1, a far cry from the 133.7 he posted on December 5. And this one came in a 51-26 loss to Dallas instead of a 33-18 victory over New York.
After Saturday’s game, Minshew addressed the media and talked in depth about what the 2021 season has looked like from his seat on the bench. He hasn’t been shy about his desire to be a starter again, including a recent march into Nick Sirianni’s office where he asked what it would take to unseat Hurts. No chance. Not right now.
“You know, I think one thing this coaching staff is big on is transparency, and knowing where you stand,” Minshew told reporters. “So I was just going in there and I’m a competitive guy – we’re all competitive guys, we all want to play – and I was just asking what it took and he said ‘we’re solid right now’ and I respect that, and I’m going to do everything I can to put myself in that position at some point.”
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Minshew Grateful for Philly Experience
The Eagles control the rights to Minshew until 2023 since they inherited his four-year rookie deal from Jacksonville. He’s a great ace to have in the hole as a backup, but the Eagles might consider trading him in the offseason. There are a ton of quarterback-hungry teams in the NFL – Denver, Washington, Carolina, Pittsburgh quickly come to mind – and his value might be at the highest its ever been.
His start against the Jets proved he can still whip it around. If Hurts is indeed the guy in Philly, then the Eagles would be smart to move him. They could get a valuable draft pick in return, especially since they only gave up a sixth-rounder to get him. Minshew explained how much he has learned this year just by being No. 2 on the depth chart.
“I think I’ve learned a lot this year,” Minshew said. “You know, we got a great coaching staff, a great group of guys around me. [I’m] taking a different seat this year, a different perspective, and I think that’s a good thing to learn sometimes. You see things in a different way when you’re not in there. And I think I’ve gotten better this year and I’m grateful for the experience.”
Minshew also understands how hard it is to be a starting quarterback. You have to seize the opportunities when you get them. He lamented not doing more to get the win in Week 18. Hopefully, there is enough good film of him out there to generate interest from another team.
“I was 1-1 for this team so I wish I could have played well enough for us to win today,” Minshew said. “That’s the biggest regret. But grateful for every opportunity I get and hope to do better with the next one. I do not take lightly the scarcity of it [starting], how hard they [starts] are to come by, so any experience I can get I’m very grateful for and hopefully grow and get better for it.”
DeVonta Smith Breaks DeSean Jackson’s Record
DeVonta Smith is the new franchise record-holder for most receiving yards by a rookie in a single season. The No. 10 overall pick finished with 916 yards following a three-catch, 41-yard performance. He came into the contest 38 yards shy of breaking DeSean Jackson’s 2008 mark of 912 yards. There is officially a new sheriff in town.
“I kind of feel good just to get it out of the way,” Smith told reporters. “In the beginning I was kind of like, I wasn’t really worried about it but once it happened, everybody being around me, just congratulating me, it felt good.”
Minshew was incredibly happy for Smith and was glad he was the one who got to throw him the record-breaker. Smith caught a 12-yarder to tie Jackson, then surged past him after hauling in a four-yarder. History.
“It was awesome, really happy for him,” Minshew said. “He’s a great dude, works real hard, and is going to be a really, really special player, so to be able to help him get that, we’re all really fired up for him.”