Jun 19, 2012; Eden Prairie, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson (4) throws a pass at Vikings minicamp at Winter Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE

Is McLeod Bethel-Thompson Pushing Joe Webb in Camp? Paul Allen Thinks So.

“McLeod Bethel-Thompson” wasn’t a name I anticipated having to type many times this training camp. Fourth quarterback. Camp arm. No shot at pushing Sage Rosenfels or Joe Webb for a job. Sure to be cut during the preseason. Why bother even learning to spell the dude’s name right? McLeod? MacLeod? McCloud? Eh, who cares…

But it looks like I may have been too hasty in dismissing Mr. Bethel-Thompson. At least one Vikings observer has taken special note of the lad, and believes he may have a future with the team. True that observer isn’t the most objective, clear-minded, sane and rational person in the world, but he’s not someone we can entirely overlook either. Paul Allen may not have a ton of credibility but he’s no Charley Walters either.

Yes, the voice of the Vikings Paul Allen has noticed McLeod Bethel-Thompson. And Allen likes what he sees. Tuesday evening on Dan Barreiro’s KFAN program, Allen singled out Bethel-Thompson as an overlooked gem in camp. But Allen’s praise of Bethel-Thompson went beyond the old “hearty pat on the back for a job well done, son” sort of thing. He went so far as to suggest that Bethel-Thompson may end up pushing Sage Rosenfels and even Joe Webb. Stunningly, Allen even suggested Joe Webb’s days as a Viking may be numbered.

I know what you’re thinking right now. Paul Allen must be drinking on the job again. Joe Webb is the #2 quarterback and ain’t no way some McLeod Bethel-Thompson is squeezing him out. I’d agree with you, except…well, I’ve been watching the camp reports and frankly, Joe Webb hasn’t seemed all that impressive. As PA pointed out to Barreiro, Webb has actually had a pretty bad camp on the whole. Furthermore, reminded PA, when you look at Webb’s overall performance as an NFL QB, he hasn’t really done anything to earn lock status as a #2.

True Webb has had a couple memorable games as a relief pitcher, and he did have that one nice start against the Eagles, but he’s also had other games where he’s been dismal. When Webb plays well, it’s mostly coming in during the game when teams aren’t ready for his speed and strength. Give a team – the Bears for example – a chance to prepare for him? Joe Webb has mostly been a lousy QB.

So if you take Webb’s spotty record as a player into account, and add in the fact that he’s not been overly impressive in camp? Maybe we shouldn’t be so sure about Webb’s status on the roster. What if Bethel-Thompson continues having good practices and mixes in a couple solid preseason performances? And Webb keeps stinking it up? It’s not out of the question that Webb could be bumped down the depth chart.

And if Webb gets bumped down from #2, really, what would be the reason for keeping him on the roster at all? Rosenfels at least has the “calming influence and mentor” thing going for him. Yes, I know some people love the idea of Webb as a multi-position weapon a la Antwaan Randle El, but honestly, does anyone think that’s ever going to come to fruition? The Blazer package is dead and buried. Webb is either a QB or he’s nothing. The way things are going, it looks like Webb’s career is leaning toward nothing. At least according to Paul Allen.

(note: Ponder started the Bears game as pointed out by the commenter below)

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Tags: Christian Ponder Joe Webb Mcleod Bethel-thompson Minnesota Vikings Sage Rosenfels

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