With unquestionable athleticism and pure talent, rookie QB Joe Webb has made a big splash this preseason by having his way with the defenses thrown at him. There was skepticism prior to preseason play on whether or not the former University of Alabama-Birmingham standout would be able to handle the dynamic defenses of the NFL, but by way of showcasing his athleticism during the 4 preseason games, the rookie QB has turned that skepticism into optimism.
Webb’s passing stats are nothing remarkable, but they are respectable for a raw rookie QB – 17 of 30 for 191 yards, 3 TDs and 2 INTs (95.3 rating) – but what the stats don’t show is the “playmaker” factor. Pure and simple, Webb makes plays that many other QBs cannot make.
The former Blazer has done a great job of making his reads while evading the pass rush nearly every time he’s been hurried. He’s been sacked just twice in 4 games played and without his ability to avoid the pass rush, that number could easily be doubled or tripled. But avoiding the rush is just half the equation; it’s what he can do after escaping defenders in the pocket that makes #14 a special football player.
Webb finished the preseason as the Vikings leading rusher, topping the combined numbers of RBs Adrian Peterson and Albert Young. The Vikings 4th-string QB tallied 126 yards on 11 attempts and 1 TD with not 1 of those attempts as a called running play. Quintessentially, Webb has gained 126 yards by evading the pass rush. Two of Webb’s rushing attempts this preseason were big “playmaker” plays. One coming on a 48-yard sprint down the middle of the field in San Francisco for a TD and the other occurring Thursday night on a scamper along the Bronco sideline for a 41-yard gain.
“I think I did pretty good,” Webb told reporters after Thursday night’s 31-24 victory over Denver. “Just went out there and made a couple of plays and opened up some eyes a little bit. There is a lot to learn from this tape. I just thought I did all that I could.”
What is uncertain at this point is how the Vikings coaching staff will address their backup QBs with a 22-man cut to take place on Saturday. The Purple have not held 4 QBs on their regular season roster during Head Coach Brad Childress’ time at the helm and Webb is currently in that QB4 slot. What is certain, though, is that Webb’s potential as an NFL “playmaker” has thrown another dynamic into the roster cut-down assessment.
Tags: Joe Webb
Posted in All, CJ Siewert | 35 Comments »