Marrone decides to go with Nick Foles as starter

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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In the aftermath of a dreadful 26-3 defeat against the Texans on Sunday in England, Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said he would wait until the end of the upcoming bye week before deciding whether Nick Foles or Gardner Minshew was his quarterback going forward.

Earlier than expected, Marrone made his choice.

Marrone announced on Tuesday that Foles will be the team's starting quarterback in Week 11 against the Colts and the rookie Minshew will return to being the backup.

Foles, who was officially activated from the reserve/injured list to the 53-man roster on Tuesday, was injured in the first quarter of Week 1 with a broken collarbone and Minshew has started since then.

"I made a decision on the quarterbacks and Nick will be our starting quarterback going forward," Marrone said. "Obviously [it's] my decision. I worked hard on it, came to it."

Marrone called in both players and spoke to them, informing them of his decision before telling the team and then announcing it to the media.

A former Super Bowl MVP for the Eagles, Foles arrived in Duval to turn the team around and take the starting reins. However, his debut lasted less than a quarter.

Minshew took over and Minshew Mania came with it. Showcasing a trademark headband and mustache, Minshew showed poise and talent far beyond that of a rookie drafted in the sixth round.

The Jaguars (4-5) went 4-4 with the Washington State product as a starter and Marrone believes his future is bright despite taking a step back to the bench.

"He's done a great job. I feel a whole lot different about him now than I did prior to him playing in a very positive way," Marrone said. "We took some things and had some discussions on things that we're gonna work on going forward which will give him the ability to be a player in this league for a long time. I really believe that."

In the aforementioned loss to Houston, Minshew had three turnovers in his worst start of the season. Marrone stated his decision wouldn't be made based on that game alone and on Tuesday said it hadn't.

"I looked at the body of work," Marrone said.

At the heart of Marrone's decision was Foles' experience and the belief that the QB who has started for the Eagles, Rams and Chiefs gives the Jaguars the best option at victory during the current campaign.

"Looking back at all the work we put in and I just go back to the experience of what he's going to be able to do," Marrone said. "I think that's going to give us the ability, a better chance of winning right now."

When asked at what point Minshew made Marrone second-guess having the rookie as the starter, the Jags coach said it never happened. In many ways, Foles never got his chance to be the Jacksonville starter and Marrone is ready for that to happen.

"I don't know if I had that thought process," Marrone said. "If I'm dancing with this person, but I know at the end of the night I'm gonna be dancing with this other, I don't think I'm going to be dancing that well with the first one."

On Nov. 17 in Indianapolis, Foles will get a re-start as the franchise quarterback for the Jaguars. His dance card had been filled and Minshew Mania will take a backseat.

A decision came early in Duval and it's time to return to Foles.

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