Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson seemed a bit confused by Pat Williams' comments on Sirius NFL Radio this weekend.
The defensive tackle told hosts Alex Marvez and Howard Balzer that he believes Jackson needs to work harder.
"I talk to Tarvaris all the time (and) tell him you have to put in the time," Williams said on Saturday. "This ain't college no more. This is the NFL. You have to put in more time than you are used to putting in. If you are putting in four hours, you have to put in eight. You have to put in more time than what he's doing. I think if he puts the right time in, he will be a great quarterback in the league."
"It was kind of surprising, but it is what it is," Jackson said Wednesday when asked about Williams' comments.
"I'm just going to turn it up a notch, I guess. Try to work a little harder and we won't be having this conversation."
Asked how those comments make him feel, there was some indication that there is room for improved work ethic.
"Like I need to work harder. That's it. I guess my play on the field will answer all those questions, but right now I'm just going to continue what I'm doing and get better," Jackson said.
Defensive end Ray Edwards, who confirmed his strident support of Jackson on Wednesday as well, said he isn't concerned with Jackson's work ethic.
"I think Tarvaris works hard. We've both been training this offseason together. He's definitely putting the work in and he's definitely going to be prepared and ready to do what he needs to be successful," Edwards said.
No doubt, this has been another trying offseason for Jackson. Last year, he entered training camp as the team's top quarterback, but just before training camp opened the rumors of Brett Favre wanting to be traded to the Vikings started to heat up. Jackson handled that situation with aplomb. But after a strong first two preseason games before an injury sidelined him, his opening to the regular season left something to be desired.
He completed only 45.7 percent of his passes in the season opener, throwing a touchdown and an interception at Green Bay and followed that by completing 58.3 percent of his passes, with no touchdowns and no interceptions, against Indianapolis before he was benched in favor of Gus Frerotte.
Jackson regained the starting job 10 games later and finished the season better, but seemed to regress somewhat in his final two performances against the aggressive defenses of the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles.
For Jackson, the rekindled Favre rumors in 2009 and comments from others are just part of his life as an inconsistent quarterback trying to grow into a solid starter.
"I love my life. I love my job and I've just got to go out there and do better," he said, knowing what could put an end to the constant questions. "If I play better, I won't have all these different conversations and have to answer all these questions all the time."
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