Gardner Minshew is approaching his role on the 2023 Colts a little bit like how you're instructed to handle things if the oxygen masks on a plane ever drop.
He'll absolutely help Anthony Richardson and Sam Ehlinger however he can, but he still has to prioritize taking care of his own performance.
"I think for the team to be the best that we can be, every player has to be the best they can be," Minshew said. "So taking personal responsibility for yourself and then helping others after that — it's like, fix your air mask before you put it on other people, but definitely help when you can."
Prior to signing with the Colts in March, Minshew served as Jalen Hurts' primary backup from 2021-2022 with the Philadelphia Eagles and appeared in nine games (four starts), completing 63 percent of his passes for 1,102 yards with seven touchdowns, four interceptions, a passer rating of 92.8 and an average yards per attempt of 8.1. He spent his two years in Philadelphia working with then-offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, now his head coach in Indianapolis.
Minshew was a sixth-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019 and threw 37 touchdowns against 11 interceptions with a passer rating of 93.1 over two seasons in north Florida. Minshew is one of three quarterbacks in NFL history to be drafted in the sixth round or later and have a passer rating above 93 (minimum 100 attempts), along with Brock Purdy and Tom Brady.
"Whatever Gardner is doing, whatever his job is at that time, I have confidence in him," quarterbacks coach Cam Turner said. "Starter, backup, whatever it might be. You get to know Gardner, you'll buy in and you'll believe in him, that's for sure."
Turner bought into Minshew because of his passion for and knowledge of football – "you can tell a guy like that knows every single detail to every play, every rep we do," Turner said – and his ability to recall things he did with Steichen and the Eagles has already benefitted the Colts during the 2023 offseason program.
And the knowledge Minshew possesses about Steichen's offense and how he expects things to be done is important, as he can help translate for Richardson and Ehlinger to speed up their acclimation process.
"He knows what to look for," Turner said. "He knows what to help the quarterback with on certain plays and certain looks, and I just think the way we install and how to study and all that stuff.
"... Having a peer that is going through the same thing and been through that experience recently is extremely valuable."
So if Minshew earns the Colts' starting job or winds up backing up Richardson, the Colts are confident he'll be an asset to their team and quarterback room – and will have the right attitude to whatever role he's in.
"If you have a room that's splintered or rooting against each other, it's no fun for anybody and it pulls the team apart," Minshew said. "I think more than anything's you compete and you compete to make each other better, you push each other, but at the end of the day whoever's out there, no matter who it is, we're all wanting to win and we're all wanting to help them win."