Let’s get right to the point. Joe Webb is not a quarterback. He’s an explosive playmaker who, under the right circumstances, can make defenses pay with his athleticism, but still he’s not a quarterback. Webb belongs in the same category as Tim Tebow. “He just knows how to win”, “He just makes things happen”. But for now at least, Tim Tebow’s days as a starting quarterback are over, and until Webb shows a huge level of improvement, so are his.
It comes down to one very simple thing. To win in this league, a team needs to be able to effectively pass the ball. A pocket passer who sits back and picks apart a teams defense with his arm can lead a team to a Super Bowl victory, but someone who relies on his feet more than his arm is probably not going to have a ton of success. That in essence is the problem with Joe Webb. Of course being athletic and able to make plays out of the pocket can be hugely beneficial to a quarterback, as demonstrated by Cam Newton. In 2011 Newton rushed for nearly as many yards (706) as Adrian Peterson, however he also wracked up an impressive 4,051 passing yards. In his time with the Vikings Webb has demonstrated that he’s just not capable of making enough throws to be truly successful in the current pass-happy league.
Coming off the bench in the middle of a game to replace an injured starter is one thing, and Webb has shown he can be successful here, but once teams have a chance to game plan for him, his edge is lost. Surely Webb has value (perhaps as a trade), and his skillset makes him a desirable addition to any roster, but the reality is, if this team wants to make to win the division and make it to a Super Bowl, Webb’s contributions will be minimal, if not nonexistent. If the Vikings find themselves on their way to a playoff run and Christian Ponder should be injured with a handful of games left to go, the team would be much better off in the hands of a Sage Rosenfels (oops…) or even Mcleod Bethel-Thompson than Joe Webb.
What I predict for Joe Webb this season is nothing too out there. He remains on the team. He remains the backup quarterback. He doesn’t do much of anything. If all goes well this season, we won’t see any of Joe Webb, not as a replacement after injury, and not in the ridiculous, unnecessary, and hopefully dead “blazer” formation. At some point this season Webb will be moved to the number three spot behind Bethel-Thompson, and after that his time with the Vikes will be limited. They may want to trade and get something good for Webb while they still can.