Viking fans may not like it, but it looks like Tarvaris Jackson is going to go on being our starting QB. And the finger injury he suffered in the Dallas loss doesn’t appear serious enough to change that.
At least one Viking writer, Tom Powers of the Pioneer-Press, is miffed by Brad Childress’s seemingly irrational commitment to the T-Jack Project. Said Powers in his column today:
This is not the Mid Continental Football League or NFL Europe or Shirts vs. Skins at the park. This is the National Freaking Football League. And you can’t flush an entire season down the drain while you try to develop a quarterback.
Powers goes on to suggest giving Brooks Bollinger a shot before resorting to Kelly Holcomb again. I might agree, had I seen anything from Bollinger in the last two years that suggested he was a viable QB. I still say, at least Holcomb has some track-record. Yes, I know, he wasn’t that much better when he was in there – but Bollinger has looked as brutal as Jackson, and at least Holcomb knows where the ball’s supposed to go (getting it there is another matter of course).
Childress, as we know, remains stubborn. Said Chilly of Tarvaris:
If you are going to develop somebody, the word kind of speaks for itself. We are currently in that process. I believe we’ll know a lot more about Tarvaris at the end of this year than we do right now.
The word being “development.” Here’s the dictionary definition:
the act or process of developing; growth; progress
Growth. Progress. Two things we haven’t seen from Tarvaris Jackson from the pre-season till now. In fact, I think it’s safe to say he’s gone backward. From near-adequacy to complete mind-numbing ineptitude. And where will he be by the end of the season when Chilly is ready to evaluate him? Will he, by then, at least be able to complete a simple slant? Will he have gotten over his habit of counting two and abandoning the pocket like a celeb fleeing the Malibu inferno? Hopefully he will still have a shred of confidence left.
Childress will continue calling for patience of course, while invoking past QB developmental success stories:
If you think about five games into Peyton Manning’s career, and where he was at from a touchdown to interception ratio, if you were doing the logic, you would say, “Whoa, not very good.” It’s a curve.
As Kevin Seifert points out in his piece “Vikings Have Little Choice With Jackson,” T-Jack has actually played in 8 games and started 6. But that ain’t the point. The point is that Peyton Manning was a number 1 draft-pick, someone in whom a lot was invested both financially and expectation-wise. Naturally, you’re going to be more patient with a player of that pedigree. Jackson, on the other hand, was a mid-round draft pick, and someone not very many scouts or other experts thought much of. So, it’s not like dumping him would be some kind of Ryan Leaf-like disgrace. It only gets to that point if you keep running him out there no matter how bad he sucks, and the season gets flushed down the crapper as a result. He just isn’t the kind of player you can justify putting everything on hold for because you believe he’ll develop. In five years, he will not be Peyton Manning. He will be lucky if he’s Jeff Blake.
And, at this point, we’d be lucky if we had Jeff Blake. Somebody’s got to know his number, right?