Since the beginning of training camp the Vikings were certain that they would have 3 QBs to help the team prepare for its 50th season. But now after Brett Favre’s return there’s been a wealth of speculation on what the organization is going to do with its group of backup QBs.
The answer to that question: Nobody knows.
It may even be the case that the Vikings coaches and executives haven’t made a decision yet. The coaching staff will have to cut the roster down to 75 players on Tuesday but the 3 backup QBs will more than likely stay on board to see playing time this Thursday night against the Denver Broncos in the final preseason game at Mall of America Field. The final 53-man roster will be determined on Saturday.
We’ll curb any speculation as to how this scenario will pan out, but with that in mind, each QB has shown their worth to this team throughout the preseason workouts and during the first 3 preseason games.
Here’s what we’ve seen from each backup QB to this point:
As was the case last season, Tarvaris Jackson has spent the preseason as Favre’s backup and earned that role by way of his continued improvement over recent years. In 2007, Jackson guided the Vikings offense to the #13 ranking in the NFL, a jump from #23 in 2006. He was also a key factor to the Purple’s 5-game winning streak toward the end of the season. The 5-year veteran furthered his progression in 2008 by helping the team win 2 of its last 3 games to claim the NFC North title. Week 15 saw #7 throw for 4 TDs while posting a career-best 135.5 passer rating.
During the course of the preseason, Jackson has completed 10 of 18 passes for 58 yards. He has also rushed for 23 yards on 3 attempts with a long of 14 yards. Jackson started the Vikings 1st preseason game against the St. Louis Rams and has backed up Favre for the last 2 games, which may be an indication that he will retain the #2 QB role, but again, that decision has yet to be made. Head coach Brad Childress has mentioned that he’s been impressed with Jackson’s growth and ‘evolution’ during preseason practices.
After his acquisition by the Vikings prior to the 2009 season, Sage Rosenfels has spent his career in purple as the #3 QB. That has continued to be the situation throughout the preseason as Rosenfels has thrown for 392 yards and 4 TDs with a 63.8 completion percentage (30-for-47). The difference this season is that the 10-year veteran seems to have found a higher comfort level under center as a Vikings QB. He’s shown great poise and passing accuracy this preseason.
In what seems to be the wild card in this whole state of affair is the raw athletic ability of rookie QB Joe Webb. Webb was selected by the Vikings in the 6th round (199th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft and ever since his inception to the organization he’s continued to provide the team with a multitude of options. He began rookie minicamp as a WR but the coaching staff felt it was best suited for the former Blazer to return to his natural position under center. The 1st-year QB was the 1st QB in NCAA history to pass for 2,000+ yards and rush for 1,000+ yards in back-to-back seasons and that ability has seemingly translated to the NFL. Webb has made plays this preseason with his arm and his legs, completing 12 of 21 passes (57.1%) for 91 yards and 2 TDs while rushing the football 7 times for 78 yards and a TD. Webb’s rushing TD came on a 48-yard sprint down the middle of the field where he outran the entire San Francisco 49er defense.
Thursday night’s final preseason game may sway the Vikings coaching staff in one way or another to make a decision, but until Saturday, any guess on which backup QBs will make the final roster is as good as another.
Tags: Joe Webb, Sage Rosenfels
Posted in All, CJ Siewert | 104 Comments »