Jan 5, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joe Webb (14) rushes with the football during the first quarter of the NFC Wild Card playoff game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Is there a place for Joe Webb on the Vikings team?


Joe Webb is an exciting player.  His speed and athleticism has caused the jaws of Vikings fans to drop when he has been given the opportunity to play.  He also has an attitude that shows that he wants to win and is willing to work hard to make winning happen.

Recently, Coach Frazier has mentioned that the team is interested in trying Webb at positions other than Quarterback. The only issue right now with Webb is finding out if there is a place for him on the final roster.  Let’s take a quick look at the options:

Wide Receiver

Jan 5, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joe Webb (14) scrambles away from Green Bay Packers linebacker Erik Walden (93) during the 1st quarter of the NFC Wild Card playoff game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings drafted Joe Webb in the 6th round of the 2010 NFL Draft as a Wide Receiver out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  While at UAB, Webb only played Wide Receiver for one year (2007) and played Quarterback the rest.  The limited experience at the position made him a project.  The Vikings were impressed with his measurables at his UAB Pro Day.  Some of his numbers would have led all Wide Receivers at the combine if he had been invited.

Webb’s best chance to make the roster is most likely Receiver.  If the Vikings decide to carry 5 Wide Receivers on the final 53, Webb will face some stiff competition for a spot.  Assuming that Greg Jennings, Cordarrelle Patterson, Jarius Wright, and Jerome Simson will make the team, that means one spot will be open for the rest of the players to fight for.  He will have to beat out players like Stephen Burton, Chris Summers, Adam Thielen, Rodney Smith and Greg Chids (if healthy).

There has also been skepticism about Webb’s ability to catch the ball consistently.  If this is something Webb can get under control, we could see him take that final spot.  Although many Vikings fans would be surprised if he beat out Burton, Smith, or Childs for the position, it is possible.

Quarterback

Jan 5, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joe Webb (14) throws a pass in the second quarter of the NFC Wild Card playoff game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings have been playing Joe Webb at Quarterback after he impressed coaches with his arm during his first training camp.  Since then, he has been the Vikings backup Quarterback behind players like Christian Ponder, Donovan McNabb, and Brett Favre.

Now that Christian Ponder has been named the Vikings starting Quarterback and Matt Cassell is the backup, that only leaves the Vikings third string position open.  He would have to beat out McLeod Bethel-Thompson and James Vandenberg to secure a spot.  That might be an uphill climb, since the Vikings seem to really like Bethel-Thompson’s potential and will most likely keep him at the position over Webb.

Kick Returner

As earlier stated, Webb’s speed and athletic ability would make him an excellent candidate to return kicks.  Sadly for him, the competition at that spot is even stiffer than the ones listed above.  He’d have to beat out guys like Cordarrelle Patterson, Marcus Sherels, Josh Robinson, and others.  This is a real long shot and is very unlikely.

Running Back

Even though this hasn’t really been discussed, it is an interesting idea.  Using Webb as a change-of-pace Running Back would allow the Vikings to implement more gadget plays and keep defenses guessing.  The question marks regarding using him in this way are his durability and ability to pass block.  The Vikings are set with the amazing Adrian Peterson starting, the depth at the position is in doubt.  Toby Gerhart in the last year of his contract and Matt Asiata is the only other experienced player at the position.  It is doubtful the Vikings would purse using Webb in this role though.

Release Him Into Free Agency

The final option for the Vikings is to set Webb free.  If the team can’t find a role to use Webb in, they should allow him to pursue a job with a different team.  It would be a shame for Minnesota to miss out on his athletic ability and electric playmaking, but if he’s not part of the Vikings plans moving forward, it is time to cut ties.

What do you see happening with Joe Webb?  What would you like to happen?  Let us know in the comments!

 

Tags: Joe Webb Minnesota Vikings

  • Mandooooo

    He needs to be cut. He is a waste of space, waste of time and waste of cap money. If he isn’t smart enough to learn how to play QB while holding a clip board for 3 years, he is never going to learn and will never learn how to play another position. Changing positions in the NFL isn’t as easy as everybody seems to think ESPECIALLY for somebody who can’t learn their “original” position.

  • mookieviking

    The fact that Simpson is listed above means there are 2 spots open at wide receiver because Simpson thus far is a bust. Try Webb at WR he could be great — the next R. Moss — if not cut him next year,

    • Rob

      If Webb were better than Simpson, he’d already be playing WR and higher than Simpson on the depth chart. According to local writers who cover the Vikings practices, Webb is just not an NFL quality WR when it comes to running routes an catching the ball — the two most important thinks he’d need to do.

  • Kevin

    Running back!

  • 50 years purple

    Kick returner, no brainer. Patterson or Robinson may be a little better, but if either gets dinged on a return it impacts another position. Think how your gut felt every time Percy took a big hit on a return. I don’t want to see anyone get hurt, but coaches need to take overall team risk into consideration.

    Upside, good starting field position and maybe a quick 6. Downside, if he can’t field the ball cleanly, please kneel in the end zone.

    If he shows good hands, try him as a deep threat in 3 receiver sets. Fewer routes to learn. Defenses will have to account for him. That could loosen coverage on the rest of the receivers, and maybe help Ponder find more open targets.

    Last of all, heck I like Joe. It would be a blast watching him burn coverage teams.

  • thinkmiddle

    Use him on Kick returns and on short routes like Percy used to run in the flats and across the middle behind linebackers – quick hits and then watch the yards after catch pile up. He’d be wide open too with the defenses focusing on Jennings, Patterson and Rudolf.

  • Chuck

    Cut him. We have wasted as much time on him as we did TJack. If we would have seen he is worthless before, we may have had a real back up QB going into the playoffs and had a chance.

  • Mark Quirk

    I don’t get you guys. I have been watching Vikings football since the beginning. There is no question if Webb can mature as a receiver in a very short time, he will be an asset. However, this will take an imagination on the part of Musgrave. I hear this is a make or break year for Ponder. I would say it is more of a make or break for Musgrave. I would be pushing for Webb to be one of my play makers. The options for him to push the corners on a reverse and stretch the field are to great to pass up. Without immagination we are one dimensional.

  • Mark Quirk

    We have to show the defense one thing to set up another in this league teams are always watching film to study players characteristics,tendencies, etc…….every week there has to be several new wrinkles. With the players the Vikings have on the roster right now I could push this offense to win the division. And Webb would have a huge role in the offense as a receiver and Jennings would be a player -coach just as he is going to be for Patterson. I have always loved Vikings football. And we have the players to do it. The question is do we have the coaching that will eat,drink,sleep,live, Viking football as I do.

  • Mark Quirk

    Have you ever played QB? Well I have. And you have no idea what you are talking about. I will agree that at times I don’t see the leadership qualities I need to see. However, the physical tools are there. Watch YouTube joe Webb .