How Minshew lost his shirt, lost a game but gained an important fan


Generally speaking, you shouldn’t take off your shirt in a job interview, but there are some rare cases when it works.

This is one of those times.

Back in 2019, when Gardner Minshew was still a relatively little known quarterback prospect from Washington State, he took a pre-draft visit to Indianapolis to meet with the Colts. During that visit, he met with then-offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni, who challenged him to a game of H-o-r-s-e.

As the game went on, the competition grew fierce and Minshew actually removed the button down shirt he wore to the meeting.

“I think that really stood out,” Minshew said on Wednesday. “I think that might have actually played a role into why I’m here.”

Based on what we know now, Minshew might be right.

Because it turns out that Sirianni’s obsession with competition in all things didn’t begin when the Eagles hired him as their head coach in January. And you can imagine how a quarterback prospect who got that into a game of H-o-r-s-e would have made an impression on him.

On Saturday, Minshew and Sirianni were reunited when the Eagles shipped a 2022 sixth-round pick to Jacksonville for their former starting quarterback, who had since lost his job to No. 1 pick Trevor Lawrence.

His competitive streak was on display this offseason when Minshew was determined to battle Lawrence for the Jaguars’ starting gig, even though the odds were obviously heavily slanted in the top pick’s favor.

Back in July, Minshew was on Green Light with Chris Long for a really fun appearance and had this to say:


“I’ll tell you this, man. In preparation for the competition, I haven’t taken a s— in weeks,” Minshew said. “Because No. 2 isn’t an option. No. 2 is not an option.

“Anybody who comes in and thinks that’s an option, that’s what they’re gonna get. You know what I’m saying?”

See, that’s the competitive streak of someone who would pop their top during a friendly basketball game.

So now that Minshew is in Philly, how’s this going to work? Because the Eagles have been very clear that he’s the third-string quarterback behind Jalen Hurts and Joe Flacco.

“I’m just here to help this team win,” Minshew said about the third-string role. “And whatever capacity that is, I’m here to work hard. Gotta learn this offense first and help all the guys in our room. I’m just looking forward to the opportunity I have in front of me.”

Right now, Minshew is just learning Sirianni’s offense and spending as much extra time as he can to catch up. Perhaps down the road, there might be an opportunity to take over the backup role if Howie Roseman can get something for Flacco. But the Eagles paid Flacco big money for a backup, so he’s not losing his job outright.

And then next season, Minshew figures to be the backup behind either Hurts or whoever the Eagles bring in to be their starter. His salary is still less than $1 million in 2022, the fourth year of his rookie contract. So we’ll see.

Meanwhile, what Minshew has seen of Sirianni’s offense, he likes.

And what he knows about the city, he likes too.

“Man, I’ve just heard how kind everybody is,” he said with a devilish grin. “That’s the big thing.”

Minshew went on to elaborate that he’s just happy to be in a city where the fans are extremely passionate. It seems like the personality of Eagles fans matches Minshew’s demeanor and competitive streak.

Speaking of which …

Who won that game of H-o-r-s-e between Minshew and Sirianni back in 2019?

“Dang. He did,” Minshew said. “But I was up and then we started talking ball. He was kind of distracting me. I took my shirt off and it didn’t help. And he just continued to beat me. That’s why I’m back. I’m back for revenge.”

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