Mark Long: Jaguars Have Worst Quarterback Situation In NFL

AP Writer Discusses Jacksonville's Misfortune At QB

September 11, 2019 - 9:45 am
acksonville Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles (7) looks on from the sidelines in a sling during the fourth quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports


Nick Foles' promising start with the Jacksonville Jaguars lasted about ten minutes into their Week 1 loss against Kansas City. 

He connected with DJ Chark on a 35-yard pass for the quarterback's first touchdown with his new team. Foles, however, took a significant hit from Chiefs' tackle Chris Jones that resulted in a broken left clavicle. The 30-year-old underwent surgery on Monday and will miss a large portion of Jacksonville's schedule. He'll be able to return during Week 11, but Foles' injury is the latest misfortune in a long line of Jaguars' quarterback miscues. 

Mark Long of the Associated Press discussed the ramifications of Foles' injury during "Ferrall on the Bench."

"The most beautiful pass with the most horrible result ever," Long said. "Forget the touchdown, you lose your quarterback ten plays into the season opener. You've been looking for this guy for 20 years almost - looking for a franchise quarterback. You failed repeatedly in the draft with Bortles, Gabbert, Gerard and Leftwich so they think they've got their guy. They go out and pay him 88 million - 50 guaranteed - to come in and you get him for two series. He certainly looked good in that second series. This is absolute devastation. I've came up here in '05 and this is the first time I can ever remember a season that was just flushed week 1."

Jaguars' rookie Gardner Minshew replaced the injured Foles. He's the team's fourth quarterback in under a year's span. Jacksonville released 2014 third overall pick Blake Bortles, who ultimately signed in Los Angeles, after the team signed Foles to the massive four-year contract. Now, the Jaguars turn to the former Washington State standout instead of their franchise quarterback.

"Looks like he has a promising future in this league but I cant imagine a rookie quarterback is going to come in and do anything other than flounder in this league since that's typically what you do," Long said. "They're going to be struggling to win football games. I don't care how good the defense is and I don't care how good Leonard Fournette is. They've got the worst quarterback situation in the league. Forget the fact that you're starting a sixth-round draft pick, but you're also paying - don't forget they're also paying $15.5 million to Blake Bortles to not play and now they're paying $12 million to Foles to sit on the bench on IR for two months. You almost got $30 million wrapped up on two guys and neither one is going to take a snap for you."

Minshew threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns in his first regular season appearance for the Jaguars. Minshew's lone interception happened with five minutes left in the fourth quarter, where Jacksonville trailed by 18 points, as he attempted to rally the late charge. He completed 22-of-25 passes and is now looked upon as "the guy" to lessen the blow of Foles' injury.

"He had a fantastic debut when you look at the numbers," Long said. "What you've got to look at deeper, both touchdowns came in the fourth quarter. You wonder what is Kansas City playing from a defensive standpoint at that point. With that said, he also completed his first 13 passes. The guy wasn't a deer in the headlights by any stretch of imagination. But you wonder now people are going to have tape on him, I think we'll get a better feel for what Gardner Minshew is.

"I'll say this, I've never seen anybody treat a sixth-round draft pick like the Jags have Gardner Minshew in terms of Doug Marrone, Tom Coughlin - guys who don't sit around praising quarterbacks all day - they've praised this kid from day one. They're over the moon with him in terms of his ability to pick things up and learn the offense."

Click below to listen to Long's interview in its entirety.