...or, in fact, potentially not even a Wildcat style QB, if Frazier's comments are any indication.
That's the news out of Indianapolis today from Leslie Frazier. When asked about the Amazing Spiderman's future role/s on the Minnesota Vikings, Frazier indicated that he strongly favored Joe Webb focusing on a role as a backup quarterback (which somewhat throws the whole notion of a ‘competition' come training camp right out the window, apparently).
"That would be a great scenario, Christian (Ponder) takes off and becomes a Pro Bowl player and you deal with whatever you have to deal with there. But Joe is such a talented guy. In our league, you need a talented backup quarterback. You're just one injury away from having to play with your backup. Joe is, to me, an outstanding guy in that role."
And, in my opinion, Frazier's absolutely right. The major knock on Ponder, both going into the NFL as well as after his rookie season, has been durability issues. Near the end of the season, we saw about as much Webb under center as Ponder. And with Webb's very different playing style, it poses an additional advantage to have him there- teams have to change up their game plans considerably when Ponder steps out and Webb appears, then disappears, then reappears in the end zone.
Frazier also mentioned the wisdom of having Webb focus on one role and one role only, which is also sound logic. The phrase "jack of all trades and a master of none" comes to mind- if Webb is practicing being a passing quarterback, wildcat quarterback, and wide receiver, even someone with his considerable work ethic and incredible athletic ability is never going to get any of those positions down pat. And whenever we saw Webb on the field last season, his only real success was as a backup quarterback- attempts to run the Webbcat "Blazer" package were disappointing to say the least, and his brief appearances as a WR never amounted to squat. Under center, as a plain ol' fashioned QB, however, he was the man.
While I know we all, and when I say "we" I say so including myself, want to see Webb out on the field as much as possible, I think Frazier's got the right idea here. If Ponder continues to face injury, Webb needs to be best prepared as the guy who will lead us the rest of the way. And even if Ponder doesn't get injured (which naturally is my hope), then we have the possibility of two strong quarterbacks on our team... which as Andy Reid once said, "is a good problem to have".
So there it is. For those of you holding out hope yet that Webb will transition to a WR, or that the Blazer packages will find some way to actually be successful, it sounds like you had better stop holding your breath. (Actually, if you've been holding your breath this long anyways... well, you're probably not reading this.) Despite Rick Spielman's new status as GM, Frazier remains the guy in charge of these matters, and I doubt that even in this, the season of lying as much and as well as humanly possible, that Frazier's saying anything but the truth and the likely future for Joe Webb.