The team will look either through the draft or free agency for a QB, but Joe Webb showed some ability under center.
While it is certain that Brett Favrewon't be back next season and it's unclear whether Tarvaris Jackson will return to the Vikings, new coach Leslie Frazier said the team is going to take a good look atJoe Webb and believes the 2010 sixth-round pick has a bright future.
"You know, the fact that Joe has only had a short window to get some work in, it's a little bit tougher to gauge," Frazier said. "We've got about 2 1/2 games of actual game film to look at and determine, and even in practice, because when Joe was with us in practice, everything was just off the scout team getting ready for the next opponent."
If nothing else, Webb certainly opened some eyes by helping the Vikings win the Week 16 snow-delayed game at Philadelphia, when he threw for 195 yards and ran for 31 more in a 24-14 victory over the NFC East champions on Dec. 28 in his first start at quarterback.
Frazier said he realizes Webb doesn't have the résumé that other young quarterbacks such as Tampa Bay's Josh Freeman were able to develop over the course of a rookie year. But Frazier said Webb, originally ticketed to be a wide receiver after the Vikings drafted him out of Alabama-Birmingham, showed the Vikings that he has some ability to play under center in the NFL.
"Is that enough to put us in the hunt next season?" Frazier said. "That's what we've got to determine."
Of course, there is a lot of speculation that the Vikings will draft a quarterback in April.
"There's a very good chance of [drafting a QB]," Frazier said. "That's the No. 1 position that we're really honing in on, and it's a matter of whether we're going to draft one or whether we try to sign a potential free-agent quarterback. But we're trying to determine that right now."
Frazier, who attended the Senior Bowl with other coaches, said there were some gifted players in the Jan. 29 game in Mobile, Ala.
"There were some good players down there, again this year, probably as good as I've seen in the years that I've gone down there, at all positions, whether it be running back or quarterback or wide receiver, there was a lot of talent," Frazier said. "So what we've got to do now as a staff, and what we've been doing since we got back from the Senior Bowl, is going back and looking at tape from those college players so that we can become familiar with them before we go to the combine. That was really our coaching staff's first chance to watch the college seniors. Our scouts were very familiar with them, but our coaches weren't, so now we get a chance to watch some tape and learn a little bit more about them."
Joe Webb wants a chance to compete for starting QB job with Vikings Vikings QB wants chance to contend for No. 1 position By Jeremy Fowler
firstname.lastname@example.org Updated: 02/12/2011 12:16:38 AM CST
Joe Webb scrambles as he looks to pass in the second half as the Minnesota Vikings play the Chicago Bears at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Monday, December 20, 2010. Chicago won 40-14.
Joe Webb has heard the talk about the Vikings' need for a franchise quarterback — from inside and outside his own team.
He's not keeping count of who does or doesn't include him in that conversation, instead preparing to win the starting job in 2011 regardless of who shows up for training camp.
The Vikings have the 12th pick in April's NFL draft and could select a quarterback while securing a veteran to serve as a stopgap option.
"They might have quite a few quarterbacks at camp," Webb said Friday. "I'll just be doing what I've done all my life, competing for a job. Some people think the team should draft a quarterback in the first round or get someone else or keep me. I can't control any of that. I just know that whenever I do get on the field, I'm well prepared for the opportunity."
Webb showed promise while quarterbacking the Vikings for most of the last three games, including starts against Philadelphia and Detroit. He completed 60.7 percent of his passes for 477 yards and no touchdowns, with three interceptions, two rushing touchdowns and an impressive 24-14 win over the Eagles.
Webb is still considered raw as a pocket passer after the Vikings selected him in the sixth round of the 2010 draft as a wide receiver out of Alabama-Birmingham.
But the Vikings have not forgotten about his potential. Webb said he had a recent phone conversation with new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave.
Webb said Musgrave did not delve into schematic details, but his understanding is the new offense is expected to have West Coast principles, which Webb learned under former coordinator Darrell Bevell.
"He said he's looking forward to working with me," Webb said. "I heard he's a great coach, the things he did with Matt Ryan and the Falcons to help develop him into a great quarterback."
Vikings quarterback Joe Webb on the sidelines as the Minnesota Vikings played the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich., on January 2, 2011.Vikings lost 20-13. (Pioneer Press: Ben Garvin) (Ben Garvin) movements while keeping their eyes downfield and keeping patience."
The looming NFL lockout could hinder or benefit a player such as Webb, who hasn't had an entire offseason to master a playbook. A lockout also could hinder a newly drafted quarterback, which could be an advantage for Webb.
Webb hopes to get a playbook from Musgrave before the collective bargaining agreement expires March 4.
"Hopefully, they can do that just to give us a head start if we can't go through OTAs (organized team activities), just to get mental reps, just being able to look over again," Webb said.
What position do you see Webb excelling at the most?
QB Includes(Starter and Backup Roles) (145 votes)
WR (36 votes)
KR and/or PR (3 votes)
QB (Wildcat Formation) (21 votes)
205 total votes