The positives and negatives of Holcomb starting this week
Nothing official has been announced yet about who the Vikings starting quarterback will be this weekend at Kansas City, but the best guess appears to be veteran Kelly Holcomb.
Starter Tarvaris Jackson has not been practicing because of a groin injury and has been obviously hobbled based on the limited media access during practice sessions.
Head coach Brad Childress and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell have been non-committal about whether Holcomb or Brooks Bollinger would start if Jackson is a no-go, but you can read between the lines.
Holcomb is up to speed on the offense.
“Yeah, that is my sense,” Childress said when asked about Holcomb’s readiness to run the offense. “You can speak to him about that. I have had a couple conversations with him; there are a couple different things that are different. I don’t see him…I kind of went back and watched him play in the Dallas game and I don’t feel like there are a lot of things. When you are able to sit there through an ongoing game plan, I don’t feel like there is a lot of things he probably can’t get his grasp around. So I have seen him develop, and really it was developing the small things, whether it be a snap count or how we do a motion or how we call something, but systematically it’s close to what he has done.”
“I am going to watch them in practice and then I will go with my instinct here when we get to the end of the week,” Childress added.
Assuming Holcomb starts, many would conclude that is the right choice at this point. Jackson is coming off his worst game ever and some think he is simply not ready.
Childress at least publicly disagrees with that assessment, yet the case can be reasonably made that Holcomb gives the Vikings their best chance at winning this game this week at Kansas City.
If indeed Jackson is not healthy enough to play, it’s really a moot point and the only option the Vikings have. But some would be lobbying for Holcomb this week regardless, who could very well be their best option for winning this week’s game.
However, the downside is that it does not necessarily help the long-term development of Jackson. One poor performance is not enough to pull the plug on. Every quarterback who has ever succeeded in the NFL has had games like Jackson had last week. It’s to be expected and part of the learning process.
In a perfect world, the injury would not be a factor, Jackson would bounce back from last week’s game and demonstrate continued growth and development from the experience.
Jackson being forced out and bringing Holcomb in might only create controversy that will not be helpful in developing Jackson for the long haul.
Nevertheless, it is already a must-win game for the Vikings, no matter how committed you are to your long-range plan. Jackson can still learn from the experience and all involved hope Holcomb succeeds if in fact he ends up being the guy this week. But there’s no question it opens up a can of worms.
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