My relationship with Joe Webb has ebbed and flowed since August 2010. A couple of friends and I went down to Mankato on a ridiculously hot day to watch the training camp activities. We were sitting right in front of where the quarterbacks and receivers were working on route running. We watched the quarterbacks cycle through. When Joe Webb stepped up to start throwing, his first pass sailed by Bernard Berrian. I thought, “Oh great. T-Jack Jr.” Webb’s next pass was a long bomb to Taye Biddles. It was a beauty and I thought, “Oh! Uh. Hmmm?” (As an aside, Jackson later knocked the wind out of Biddles because he rocketed a ball right at him with his usual lack of touch)
Fast forward to the preseason, watching the Vikings vs 49ers on TV. Joe Webb scampered for a TD and I cheered. Later he took a sack in the end zone for a safety. I stared. My training camp friends and I went to the Vikings vs Broncos preseason game. The crowd cheered for Favre, booed Jackson and cheered for Joe Webb. Again it was a mix of “Oh!” and “No.”
Fast forward again to the Giants game in Week 14. Favre’s streak ends and Jackson gets the start. Jackson cracks knees with Peterson because he doesn’t know how to hand off properly. Joe Webb comes in for a play. In the 4th quarter, Jackson limps off and in comes Joe Webb, Savior du jour. It was a whole lot of “Meh.” Jackson goes out on IR. We acquire Patrick Ramsey and Rhett Bomar. When you’re shedding QBs right and left, it pays to have back ups that aren’t Greg Camarillo.
In Week 15, Joe Webb was to start. Favre recovered (mostly) from his Bills’ injury and started instead. Wootten knocked Favre out in the 2nd quarter and it was Joe Webb to the rescue. Or not. After the game, I was convinced it was time to move Webb back to wide out.
Week 16. Favre hadn’t passed the initial exam for his concussion and Joe Webb starts against the Eagles on Sunday Night Football on Tuesday, because it’s been that kind of season. The first 2 quarters were full of “Eh? Better than last week…” The second 2 quarters? Long bomb to Percy. A rushing TD. Another missed TD where Peterson was wide open as Webb rolled out to the right but Webb never threw (not a highlight). The incredible 3rd down and 11 laser to Percy.
The Vikings, led by Joe Webb, upset the play-off bound Eagles with their third string quarterback on the national stage, preventing the Eagles from earning a bye and stunning the nation. Joe Webb’s response? “My teammates rallied around me.” and “I give the credit to my teammates.”
I think we’re on to something with Webb. I think Joe may have what it takes to be a formidable QB in the NFL with more game experience. If I were the Vikings, I would use my first round pick in the draft for an offensive lineman and see what Joe can do next year. What do you think?