Vikings rookie QB Joe Webb has run the gamut of media coverage since out-dueling his counterpart, Eagles QB Michael Vick, on Tuesday night – and rightfully so.
Webb is truly the “feel good” story at the end of a tumultuous season. The athletic rookie was drafted in the 6th round as a WR, returned to the QB position at rookie mini-camp, was added to the 53-man roster at the beginning of the season as the #3 QB, was not activated for a game until the Dec. 5 victory over the Buffalo Bills where he suffered a hamstring injury and this past week he made his first-career start, guiding his team to an improbable 24-14 upset victory on the road.
“Yeah, you never know how things will pan out,” Webb acknowledged on Thursday before the team’s practice. “Last year I was training to be a receiver, and at the rookie mini-camp all of a sudden I was back at quarterback. I’m more comfortable at that position because I’ve been playing it multiple years. It was just a great experience for me; a great game by the Vikings. Even though some people said I had a great performance, I still feel like there’s room for me to improve.”
Webb has been working with the 1st-team offense in practice since the week following the Dec. 13 loss to the NY Giants when Brett Favre ended his 297 consecutive games started streak and backup QB Tarvaris Jackson suffered a season-ending toe injury late in the game. The injuries to both Favre and Jackson have allotted Webb the starting role, a responsibility that demands a comprehensive knowledge of the playbook and the expectation for continued improvement.
The way Webb composed himself on Tuesday night was superb taking into account it was his first start and in the national spotlight, but Vikings Interim Head Coach Leslie Frazier wants to make sure that the coaching staff can cater to his abilities in order for him to improve this Sunday against the Detroit Lions.
“We’re going to try to put a couple wrinkles in there that might be able to help him,” Frazier said. “Especially the fact that he’s gained more confidence now because of the success that he had on Tuesday night, we can open it up a little bit. Not very much more because of the time that we have to prepare, but we do want to give him some opportunities, both in the pass game and try to do some things in the run game that may open up some things for him as well. We will give him a little bit more.”
Webb will continue to face speculation and criticism from the media on whether or not he will become a capable starting QB in the NFL in the future, but that only adds inspiration to a young player that lacks none of it.
“That’s just motivation for me,” Webb stated. “Coming into the draft, people saying I’m going to be a receiver and things like that, it was just motivation for when I got my time to play at quarterback and take advantage of the opportunity.”
Tags: Joe Webb, Leslie Frazier
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