Simms' Top 40 QBs: No. 34, Gardner Minshew
Chris Simms tells Connor Rogers how Gardner Minshew landed No. 34 in the "Buzzworthy Backups" tier of his Top 40 QB Countdown.
CONNOR ROGERS: We are not positive this player will start the year as a backup. We truly don't know.
CHRIS SIMMS: Right.
CONNOR ROGERS: It's a wait and see. Number 34 is.
CHRIS SIMMS: Gardner Minshew, the Indianapolis Colts. And I would be shocked when all is said and done. We talked about this a little through the draft process. I think Anthony Richardson will be the starter. I do. His number one flaw is he hasn't played enough. So let's get him out and get him playing, right? So that's just my thought there. But Minshew, I mean, he's got great, natural feel for the position. He's really your perfect backup. He doesn't need a lot of reps to hit the ground
Running. And that's always what I've been very impressed with Gardner Minshew. And he's played a ton of quarterback. So he's got great feel. He, like Mike White, he sees the field even better than Mike White. He can really process it and go through reads in a hurry. He's a very accurate thrower, especially in the short to intermediate game. Now, when you get downfield, yeah, he doesn't have a huge arm, you know?
And he moves well in the pocket and can do all that and be slick in a little bit that way. He's not a great athlete. He's not going to turn the corner and run for a 20 yard run down the sideline, right? But man, Connor, when I break him down a little bit, it is the timing, the anticipation. And here, where he's shocking when you go back and watch him, he's really [BLEEP] good with people around him in the pocket, right?
He's got this way of like, OK, wait, I'm looking to the left at the out route. It's not open. Now I'm getting back to the middle of the field where I have an in-cutter or crosser, right? And he's got pressure in his face. And for a small guy, he stands in there and hangs on his back foot and throws the ball and really does a good job in those type of moments. It's very impressive.
CONNOR ROGERS: So a jump for Gardner Minshew. He was number 37 last year.
CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah.
CONNOR ROGERS: He jumps up to number 34. You've called him a natural before, Chris. And I think that kind of goes to what you said about just having the feel. He's as fearless as they come, this guy.
CHRIS SIMMS: Oh, fearless.
CONNOR ROGERS: This guy does not care. He's not fazed by even being called upon to start.
CHRIS SIMMS: No doubt.
CONNOR ROGERS: But is there a physical attribute that you see is a higher end attribute for him, or is it just everything put together?
CHRIS SIMMS: I think it's everything put together. I think that's why I don't know if he'll ever be a starter, just because there is just no that higher end attribute to really latch on to, right? Like I was saying last year, listen, I think the world of Gardner Minshew. I really do. And I took a lot of crap because I was like, hey, the Eagles aren't going to fall off with Gardner Minshew. They're still going to be damn good. And people kind of took that as a shot at Jalen Hurts.
And I was like, no, the Eagles are awesome. And this guy is better than you think. And he played-- week 16 in his first game was at Dallas. And he threw for over 355 yards. That's like-- that's really hard to do. You haven't done shit the whole year. And now, we're going to throw you in against Dallas, who's desperate and does a bunch of crazy shit on defense-- maybe one of the better pass rushers in football. And we're going to ask you.
And they don't even run the ball that well that day. And we're going to ask you to win the game. I think that tells you what they think of him as well. He can play. He's a player. But to your point, he's not going to make a ton of wow throws or, oh my gosh! We were struggling. And he got out. He put us on his back and got us through some tough times or tough quarters. No, that's not what he's going to be. And that's why he's number 34.
CONNOR ROGERS: What are the chances, you think, that he ultimately does start week one? I know we've talked about how Richardson needs to play. And we're going to look at the Colts schedule to try to outline that. But--
CHRIS SIMMS: Yeah, cool.
CONNOR ROGERS: They bring him in from a system with the coach that he's going to be comfortable in.
CHRIS SIMMS: Right.
CONNOR ROGERS: He's somebody that, once again, he seems very well at handling whatever is asked of him. If you need him to start, he'll start. If you need him to be the number two, he puts a smile on and says, I'll be the number two. But I'll compete like the number one. I mean, what are the odds with that? Do you think this is-- to me, Chris, this feels like a situation where nobody in the world knows. It's going to depend on what Anthony Richardson looks like the first couple of weeks in training camp, right?
CHRIS SIMMS: I think you hit it. I think you hit it. That's exactly right. We know Gardner is going to run practice well. He's going to look good. He's going to look good in the preseason. He's going to do a good job. That's what he always does, you know?
And you know what is maybe one of his best attributes? When you were talking there and I was thinking about it a little bit, too, and why he is 34 and maybe ahead of some of the other guys? He does bring a little pizzazz and leadership that I can say some of the other guys don't. For a backup quarterback, he's got some shit about him--
CONNOR ROGERS: 100%.
CHRIS SIMMS: --where guys want to follow, right? And you could see that when he's on the field and how the team reacts to him and all that. But I think that yeah, Anthony Richardson's going to have to fail to not be the starter. That's how I look at it. And again, I have Anthony Richardson as my 36th quarterback because I think his transition will be easy because Sirianni knows how to use that type of quarterback.
They're going to run him and do all of that. And we talked about it. It simplifies the pass offense and all of that. I would be shocked if it's not Richardson. That's all I'm saying. I'm saying-- to your point, Richardson would have to play like crap in preseason game two and 3 and all of that, to where they go, oh, OK, well, we can't even put him out there. It's that scary. Let's go with Gardner Minshew.
CONNOR ROGERS: And you look at their schedule. I mean, it's just not a murdererous row out of the gate. Jacksonville is taking nice strides-- the Texans. You get the-- Ravens defense was very hot and cold as a whole--
CHRIS SIMMS: Very much.
CONNOR ROGERS: --last year.
CHRIS SIMMS: But you got the Rams at 4. Yeah, I mean, it's not the worst or murderer's row schedule to say, hey, let's start out a young quarterback here and just let him take his lumps, right? And we'll see. And again, in a lot of ways, this is where, again, I like Gardner Minshew, like you're hearing. But I think the team is set up more for Anthony Richardson and his offense anyways.
I don't look at their team and go, oh, drop him back 40 times a game. And Gardner Minshew picking you apart is what they're made to do. I look at it as, hand it to John Taylor. Keep it Anthony Richardson. Hand it to John Taylor. Keep it again, Anthony Richardson. Fake it to John Taylor. Oh, hey, there's Michael Pittman Junior wide open down the field. And that fits Anthony Richardson in my opinion.
CONNOR ROGERS: Absolutely. So Gardner Minshew turned 27 years old this weekend. Happy belated birthday to Gardner Minshew.
CHRIS SIMMS: Happy birthday.
CONNOR ROGERS: Definitely a good option to at least have in the bullpen if Richardson's going to need a breather at some point this year.
CHRIS SIMMS: That's exactly right here.
CONNOR ROGERS: And an ideal team guy.