It's Time To Release Joe Webb

Tom Dahlin

No one can deny he has physical skills, but those skills haven't translated to any type of football acumen in a long time.

Joe Webb was a 6th round draft pick for the Vikings in the 2010 draft at spot 199, the same position Tom Brady was taken at when he was drafted bt the Patriots way back when. As we always tend to do on draft weekend, we here at Daily Norseman were pretty happy with who the Vikings picked, especially a certain athletic QB from UAB. First up, Fearless Leader:

Ordinarily, a sixth-round pick wouldn't get a whole lot of talk, particularly not a sixth-round pick that was drafted by a team that went 12-4 the previous season that's being asked to switch positions. But the more I read and hear about Joe Webb, the more I think that he could actually make a serious contribution to the Minnesota Vikings in 2010...I'll be honest with you, folks. . .outside of the Vikings top two picks, I'm the most excited about Joe Webb.

Heh. Heh heh heh. Wait, what's that? You have my quotes available in the archives as well, Mr. Way Back Machine? Oh. Well then:

The athleticism of Webb just jumps out, and he really carries himself confidently.

But wait there's more? Okay (the following was from the Philadelphia SMR in 2010)...

I like this kid. He made some mistakes early, but I've seen more from him in two games than I have from any Vikings quarterback not named Brett Favre since Daunte Culpepper's tremendous 2004 campaign. He's young, and he had a particularly bad play down on the goal line on the opening drive of the second half, but he made two beautiful throws to get to the Vikes down to the goal line. That TD run in the third quarter was ridiculous, and there aren't five QB's in the league that can make that play. Hell, there aren't five RUNNING BACKS that can make that run (one of them plays for the Vikes, heh heh). Oh, and how about the 3rd and 10 pass to Percy mid fourth quarter? He gave a hellacious pass rush the middle finger and flipped a laser to Percy over the middle. First down, followed by a TD by AP, which proved to be the game clincher. Simply awesome. The Vikings will---and must---acquire multiple quarterbacks through the draft or free agency, but if it was me, Webb goes to training camp in 2011 with an opportunity to compete for the starting job.

Yes, my friends, I was a full fledged member of the Cult of Webb for awhile, and to be fair, he has flashed some ridiculous skills as a Minnesota Viking. But his best game as a Viking was the Eagles game from Monday/Tuesday Night in his rookie season. That was in 2010, and he really hasn't flashed any sweet football skills since November of 2011.

Webb has regressed, and there's really no denying that. He was originally drafted to be a wide receiver, but the Vikings decided to keep him at quarterback. But then they did try him at receiver for a bit, then as a kick returner for one game, then back to quarterback.

We can argue back and forth as to whether or not the Vikings have given Webb a fair shake. I believe they have--he has been the backup quarterback since early in his rookie year, and the Vikings have not moved him around from one position to another. And that has lead me to my conclusion that it's time for the Vikes to move on from the Webb era. Why? I'm so glad you asked!

Last year when Christian Ponder struggled about the midway point of the year, there was a movement afoot to give Webb a chance, and both Chris and I were on that bandwagon. But the Vikings didn't and they stuck with Ponder. Ponder rebounded and lead the Vikesto the playoffs for the first time since 2009, but was hurt in the season finale against Green Bay. Joe Webb was announced as the starter.

Then we found out why the Vikings never yanked Ponder. Webb was horrid in a way that made Spergeon Wynn go 'oh man, that's terrible. And I know terrible.'

But the Vikings organization is still seduced by Webb's physical skills, and now they're making noise about moving him back to receiver again. The problem is, Webb hasn't transferred those physical skills into football skills in a long time, and Webb-to-WR hasn't worked before.

So why, exactly, would it work again?

Do the Vikings need WR help? Yes. But assuming that the Vikings select a receiver or two in the draft, their WR corps will be Greg Jennings, Jerome Simpson, Jarius Wright, Greg Childs, and rookie receiver 1 and 2.

Do you seriously think that Webb will beat out any of those guys? I don't. And with the addition of Matt Cassel, Webb is going to battle MacLeod Bethel-Thompson for the 3rd string job at quarterback. And if they're looking to move him to receiver, I am of the opinion the Vikings have already made up their mind there as well.

Say it ain't so, but it's time to release Joe and let him go elsewhere.

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