I don’t keep a detailed catalogue of questions that are emailed to me or submitted to the comments section below each vikings.com Blog entry, but I’m guessing that one of the most frequently asked questions from Vikings fans is about Joe Webb and whether A) he’ll get on the field this season and B) he’ll remain a QB or switch to WR.
Up until this point, my answer has been that there is no question Webb will remain at QB and there’s also no question he’s not ready to play in an NFL game quite yet. But now, with the Vikings sitting at 4-7 and with Brad Childress out and Leslie Frazier in as (interim) head coach, it’s a fair question to re-evaluate.
The biggest Joe Webb enthusiasts insist that the Vikings should take this opportunity – being out of realistic playoff contention – to see what Webb can do at the position. He showed flashes of brilliance as a runner during the preseason and athletic QBs tend to excite football fans. Other Webb fans think that if the Vikings don’t want to play him at QB this season, they should move him to WR to find a way to get his talents on the field.
Webb was selected by the Vikings in the 6th round (#199 overall) of last April’s draft out of the University of Alabama-Birmingham. He played both QB and WR in college and became the first player in NCAA history to pass for 2,000+ yards and rush for 1,000+ yards in back-to-back seasons. Webb was named Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year after the 2009 season, his 1,427 rushing yards in 2009 were the 3rd-most by a QB in NCAA history and he tallied 32 TDs in 2009 (21 passing, 11 rushing).
So his playmaking ability cannot be questioned.
Speaking of Webb and questioning, Frazier was asked about Webb on Wednesday during his weekly press conference. The original design for Webb was to be a WR in Minnesota, but after watching him throw during rookie minicamp in May, Childress switched him to QB. With Frazier now at the helm, questions have re-emerged about what Webb’s future position will be with the Vikings.
“I think he can be a quarterback in our league,” Frazier said. “It’s still early for him; definitely want to give him every chance to be a successful quarterback.”
In fairness to Frazier, though, he probably hasn’t given this matter a ton of thought since becoming interim head coach. As a result, this is an issue he’ll certainly evaluate once the 2010 season is over and he’ll have every right to change his opinion on Webb going forward. Ultimately, it’s clear Frazier understands the potential Webb has as a playmaker in the NFL.
“He can definitely make some plays with the football in his hands,” Frazier explained. “He’s an outstanding athlete. We’ve got time to evaluate him.”
Tags: Joe Webb, Leslie Frazier
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