Washington State head coach Mike Leach joined “XL Primetime” to discuss his former quarterback Gardner Minshew, who the Jaguars drafted in the sixth-round of last week’s NFL Draft.
Minshew played only one season for Leach at Washington State, but it was a successful culminating in an 11-2 record.
“The biggest thing is he was so excited and so elevated to play that I thought it elevated the rest of our team,” Leach told 1010XL. “I think ultimately the best asset that a quarterback can bring to a team is to elevate the players around him and I think Gardner did an outstanding job of that.
“I also thought we continued to get better and better as a team throughout the season for which he was a big part of. I think you want that kind of personality and that kind of leadership at that position.”
Leach singled out one of the best qualities Minshew will bring to the Jaguars.
“He works really hard in the film room,” Leach said. “A lot of guys can go into the film room and cloud their mind up and he does a good job of staying on task and sorting out what’s important.
“He doesn’t confuse it with all the other things that are going on which is always part of the challenge.”
For years Leach’s “Air Raid” offense has been thought of as a college offense and one that would not work in today’s NFL. In the past few seasons that narrative has changed.
Leach was asked about his pass-first mentality coming to the NFL.
“It really didn’t take as long as it’s been perceived because coaches for a long time have been doing various Air Raid concepts,” Leach said. “You would have a hard time naming any NFL team that’s not playing with some Air Raid concepts within their offense.
“I do think it’s here to stay for a while and I do think that any offense, regardless of what you want to call it, is trying to attack the space on the field and that is the whole objective of offense is to create space. The more space you create, the more options you have.”
Finally, Leach, who is never one to mince words, was asked about the current playoff format in college football. It should be noted that Leach has been openly critical of the current playoff format in college football and has even suggested a 64-team playoff in the past.
“The funny thing is Division-One football is always complaining about their playoff format, whether they have one or whether they don’t, whether four teams is enough and they’re never happy with it,” Leach said. “I-AA never complain about theirs, Division-II and Division-III never complain about theirs. The NFL never complains about theirs.
“Division-One does it one way and everybody else does it another, so maybe, just maybe, and I know this is risky thinking here, but just maybe if we did it like everybody else our satisfaction would be like theirs.”
(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreen1010XL)