After the Game
Time for the Joe Webb Discussion
(photo by Rick Burtzel)
Positive. It’s a funny word. It’s different than optimism. It doesn’t infer ‘an outlook’ or a ‘feeling’, instead it can be quite quantitative. For example, a positive gain can mean a five yard run up the middle. We refer to positive as the plus sign in the turnover ratio. It’s good to be positive. And I believe it’s time that the Vikings to positively support the idea that Joe Webb should start a few games in 2012.
We’re heading into week 10 of the NFL season and with 4 games left against the Packers and Bears, (both won decisively yesterday) wins will be more scarce. The Vikings are in a strange place. Their realistic playoff chances were sunk when they couldn’t defend their home turf against the Buccaneers, yet they are moving steadily moving away from the rebuilding stage. Getting to mediocrity without knowing who your starting quarterback can be done easily. However, a positive sign for a playoff team is the quarterback play. At this point, the Vikings are still searching for answers. With 7 games left, they should at least uncover the possibilities and reinstate the idea that the 25-year old, third year quarterback, Joe Webb, can be their starter.
Mike Lombardi said about Joe Webb, “I don’t care where the Vikings drafted Christian Ponder, the best quarterback on the team is Joe Webb. He is a playmaker and should get better and better. The Vikings need to build around Webb, not Ponder.”
Here are the positives: at 6’4, he’s more than tall enough for the position, very hard to bring down, has a strong arm, and most important – he brings much needed explosiveness to the Vikings offense. Here’s what former senior personnel executive and current NFL Network analyst Mike Lombardi said about Joe Webb, “I don’t care where the Vikings drafted Christian Ponder, the best quarterback on the team is Joe Webb. He is a playmaker and should get better and better. The Vikings need to build around Webb, not Ponder.”
Offensive Coordinator, Bill Musgrave, must think more out of the box on Webb. This preseason, Webb’s playmaking seemed to be curbed in favor of a more pocket style quarterback. Unfortunately, his strength might be more conducive on making plays. Good coaches make the best of their talent. In limited playing time, Webb produced 9 first downs with his legs. He rushed for 7 yards per scramble, comparable to RGIII’s 6.5 yard average and Cam Newton’s career 5.7 average per rush. Can you imagine a Wild Cat of Adrian Peterson and Joe Webb, owner of a borderline 4.3, 40 time? If that makes you salivate how about Joe Webb and Percy Harvin running that play? This would be Tim Tebow and Willis McGahee 2011 – but running on fast forward. And while Webb is no Matt Ryan with passing mechanics, he is more accurate than Tebow. Webb’s career completion percentage is a little more than 10% higher than Tebow’s. We bag on Tebow a bit in this piece, but keep in mind, his ‘QB mobile’ brand of play led the Broncos to the playoffs last season. Joe Webb can successfully bring that style of ball to Minnesota – and make it better. The Vikings have won a total of 14 regular season games since their magical 2009 run, which makes it clear – they are still looking for answers. Be positively sure about what Joe Webb can bring, before you keep him buried on the bench for continued mediocrity.