Webb says he's come a long way as QB

Joe Webb (Leon Halip/Getty)

The Vikings drafted Joe Webb with the intent of making him a wide receiver, but Webb says he has come a long way in his quarterback development over the past two years.

Former Eagles head coach Buddy Ryan made the infamous quote when justifying the release of Cris Carter by saying, "All he did was score touchdowns." When it comes to backup quarterback Joe Webb, all he does is produce.

While the Vikings have strenuously maintained that there isn't a quarterback controversy between Christian Ponder and Webb, Webb is doing to his best with his play on the field to create one.

He has come off the bench twice in the last three games to rally the Vikings offense on the road. Three weeks ago at Detroit, he replaced an ineffective Ponder and completed 12 of 23 passes for 84 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 109 yards and another TD to bring the Vikings within one yard of pulling off a major comeback. Last Saturday, he replaced an injured Ponder and completed four of five passes for 84 yards, two touchdowns and a perfect passer rating of 158.3, while rushing five times for 34 yards and a touchdown to lead the Vikings to their third win of the season.

Webb said he is willing to maintain his role as a backup, but added he is a much different quarterback than the athlete the Vikings drafted two years ago with the intent of converting to wide receiver.

"I've come a very long way," Webb said. "I came here as a receiver and a quarterback. I've learned a lot of different things that I didn't learn in college. These two years have been very good for me."

Webb has provided a spark to a Vikings offense that has been in dire need of an infusion. While some quarterbacks would get frustrated by being sent back to the sidelines after a pair of impressive performances, Webb said it's all in a day's work for him.

"I can only do what I'm asked to do," Webb said. "I understand that. I can only prepare to play each week as best as I can. After that, it's not up to me whether I get in or I don't."

With Ponder being viewed as the QB of the franchise moving forward, there have been some questions as to whether Webb will get a legitimate shot to be the Vikings starting quarterback next year. Webb said all he can do is try to make that decision more difficult for head coach Leslie Frazier, even if he is facing an uphill battle for the starting job.

"That's Coach's decision," Webb said. "I can only control what I do on the field when I do get out there. As long as I keep producing, it will open more people's eyes."

THURSDAY NOTES

  • The Vikings sellout streak will continue at 144 straight dating back to when Red McCombs bought the Vikings in 1998. The team announced Wednesday that the Chicago game has sold out. It seems ironic that, prior to McCombs buying the team, there was a clause in Dennis Green's contract that paid him a bonus for the number of homes games that sold out. Suffice it to say, neither Brad Childress nor Frazier had such bonuses written into their contracts.

  • There has been some discussion that Sunday's game might be the final game at the Metrodome. As the theory goes, if the state approves a new stadium on the current Metrodome site, the demolition of the current stadium would likely take place this spring and the Vikings would be relocated – most likely to TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota. The Vikings remain opposed to the Metrodome site, which would cause problems for fans, since there would be no beer sales at the U of M stadium during the three years the Vikings would likely be playing there – reducing the Vikings' in-stadium revenue streams even more.

  • While the focus on Jared Allen's sack streak is the four he needs to set the NFL's all-time single-season record, he is 2.5 sacks behind the Vikings single-season record of 21 set by Chris Doleman.

  • Guard Anthony Herrera (back) was the only Viking to miss practice Thursday. With Steve Hutchinson placed on injured reserve this week, the Vikings find themselves shorthanded at the guard position.

  • The Bears were without Julius Pepper (non-injury related), Brian Urlacher (knee) and Marion Barber (calf) at practice Wednesday.


    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.


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