Jaguars' QB Gardner Minshew II Quotes 8.4.20
COURTESY OF JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
(On if negative speculation and comments about the Jaguars and him are motivating) "I think me and the rest of our team, we're pretty internally motivated. We have our own goals. We don't need anybody else to tell us what to do or what we're not going to do. I believe that we believe in each other and we are going to bring it each day to be the best we can be."
(On being motivated by critics in the past) "Yeah, I think you hear all those things and you hear what people are saying against you, but at the end of the day you know what you can do and you know what the guys around you can do. We are going to focus on the things we can do and not what we can't do. I think if we do that, if we focus on ourselves, we'll have a chance to be pretty damn good."
(On having to quarantine after being put on the Reserve/COVID-19 list) "It was brutal. Yesterday it was like the first day of school. I had my outfit picked out and everything. I had to stay at home and that sucks. I missed out on playing with all of my friends. I did not contract the virus. It took one look at me and ran the other way. (laughter) That was probably in its best interest. So, here we are, back on Tuesday. We're ready to roll and excited to go play some football."
(On how Coach Marrone was impressed with him improving ball security last season and what improvements might be made this season) "I have definitely made that a focus. More than anything, it's just about awareness. Realizing how much faster these guys get on you, realizing when you have the ball in bad positions and trying to eliminate those as much as you can. I think more than anything it just shows I'm going to do everything I can to improve my game because the better I am the better the team's going to be and the other guys on the team."
(On if the team has put it on each other to be safe and smart during the offseason) "Yeah, no doubt. I told all of the guys that we have a responsibility to each other and each other's families to be safe. Sometimes it's not fun and sometimes it's not what you want to do, but it's what we need to do to be able to have this season and win the games like we want to win them."
(On if living with roommates during a pandemic is husband and wife like and how him, Andrew Wingard and Michael Walker have handled it) "Our relationship definitely is not husband and wife like. Just want to clarify that. They've moved out this year, but I think everybody in the league just can't afford to be around somebody. Even if you're not going to contract it, you can't afford sitting out those couple days. We are all just going to ride it out solo this year."
(On not living with teammates anymore) "No. But, that's honestly a good thing that it happened now. We realized what could happen and what could go wrong if one of us failed a test. It was a thing that we all agreed that was best for us."
(On how him and Michael Walker spent most of the offseason in Naples and how they both ended up on the Reserve/COVID-19 List) "What happened is that we both had the antibodies staying in Naples. We probably got it down there at the same time and had no symptoms or whatever. I think he failed a test, but I don't think he has it again. But since he failed it, and I was around him, then I had to sit out too. Just shows the fragility of this whole thing and how fickle this thing could be. Just being around somebody and if they touch enough people, you could shut down a whole team real quick."
(On how he is going to approach this season with so much going on) "I think it's like any other season in some ways, but obviously way different in others. I think in the same way it's where your feet are. If I am here in the building, it's all I can do, until they tell me I have to leave, and I'm going to give it all I have here. And if I can't be in here, then I am going to figure out how I can get better at home and how I can participate from home, but hopefully we get everybody healthy and everybody in the building this whole year."
(On the idea that the NFL might have a quarterback from each team be quarantined) "Yeah I think it's definitely something to think about. I don't know, that would be a tough thing to do to somebody and not practice all year. I'm not sure what good that would even be at that point if the first two guys got hurt and you got a guy who hasn't even been practicing. So, I don't know. It's a decision not for me to make, obviously, that's why out coaches get paid the big bucks and I trust ours are going to make whatever decisions are necessary."
(On how important the relationship between QB1 and QB2 is) "I think it's huge. They lean on each other; the season gets long. It helps. You get up here before the sun is up and somebody's in the film room with you and you can talk it through and you kind of really keep each other going especially over such a long season."
(On some aspects of Jay Gruden's offense that will help his strengths as a player) "I think it's a very exciting offense. I think everybody so far has been really enjoying learning it. I'm very excited for what it's going to bring for us. I think it just gets the ball out of your hands and distributes it to guys that can make plays. I think we have plenty of those guys, too. So, I think everybody's excited for what Jay Gruden is bringing and what we have coming back."
(On the challenges of preparing for the Colts without preseason games) "I'm sure our coaching staff will do a great job of preparing us. Whether it's through scrimmages or more one-on-ones. I think there's enough things you can go over in practice, obviously, college never has preseason games and that seems to work out okay. I think, for us, we're going to take our practice reps, treat them like games and be as ready for them as we can."
(On how important it was to get the chance to work out with his receivers after returning to Jacksonville) "We, obviously, did that as much as we can while being as safe as possible. It was really good to be around those guys, spend some time, just go at the same pace, see how they like things and them see how I like things. We got a lot of new faces, we got of guys coming back who have really put the work in and got a lot better. I think, as a group, we're all very excited to work with each other."
(On what he's seen from the rookies so far) "Laviska Shenault Jr. is a freak, man. I knew it when we played him at Colorado. I was glad he wasn't super healthy that game because he changes the game when he has the ball in his hands. He's really impressed me. He's a lot better route runner, a lot better at catching the ball than I even expected so I'm really excited for what he's going to be. Collin Johnson, really big guy, doesn't move like he's a big guy, he moves really well, smooth and catches the ball really well. Both those guys, they love ball, they love learning, they're excited to be here so I'm excited to work with them."
(On how excited he is to work with DJ Chark Jr. again this season) "I'm so excited for DJ. He's put the work in these last couple years and the results are showing. We want him to be the guy where if he's one-on-one, we like that matchup every time. We're going to put a lot of faith in him, a lot of trust in him and I'm so excited to keep working with him, keep getting better with him as well as the other guys in the room."
(On how much he thinks playing together last year will help for this year) "I think it teaches you so much. Those live looks really teach you so much more than just meetings or route on air will ever teach you. I think when you get that end game chemistry with a guy it can really take you to the next level."
(On what aspect of his individual game he focused on the most this offseason) "Yeah, that is a good question. I think one of the big emphasis this offseason has obviously been learning the offense remotely. You know you haven't been in the meeting room every day to be able to ask questions, so it has been kind of figuring it out, talking to whether it is guys on the team who have been in the system before or talking to Coach [Jay] Gruden and [Quarterbacks] Coach [Ben] McAdoo as much as I can. I am just really trying to show up to camp ready to run this offense and help everybody else along."
(On what the tight end position can do for the offense this season) "I have been around several of these guys, I think that we got a lot of guys that can play, and that you know is a really good thing. We got Tyler Eifert that is coming in, we are very excited about him, big target, catches the ball well and has been really good in this league. James O'Shaughnessy who when he got hurt last year, me and him really connected well, he is playing really good ball, so whenever he gets back healthy, excited for him. Then you go all the way down the line, Josh Oliver who is basically, you know a rookie again, he didn't get as much work as we wanted him to get last year but he looks awesome, he is huge right now, moving really good. Then you got the two rookies Tyler Davis and Ben Ellefson, both of them impressed with how much they know, they are good in everything that we have done so far. Charles Jones also is coming back, a guy that blocked really well for us last year, brings a lot to the table. I think it is a deep room, I think it is a room that everybody here is excited about."
(On where the offense is at overall coming off of being remote) "I think that it is one of those things that you can draw everything up on paper, you know it by the book but it is really about getting in there and getting reps, feeling the real timing of things, trying to make sure that your footwork really matches up within the play, seeing where actual spacing is versus on the page is definitely different. So just looking forward to getting in those reps and I think that everybody else, this is an offense that is pretty user friendly, I think that everybody is learning it pretty well, excited to get moving with it."
(On what has been to most difficult to get used to in the facility with the COVID protocols) "We got these little blinking lights right here, you know if you just start to see it blinking red you are too close, so you just kind of have an awareness about you to keep your room. Other than that, it is not too different. We have a great staff here, a great training staff, janitorial staff, they are all doing a really good job making sure that everything is clean. We have a great plan in place, so I think everybody trusts that a lot, you know we are going to do whatever they tell us."
(On whether he will wear the protective NFL face shield) "Probably not no, I did not know that was a thing."