Vikings quarterback Joe Webb (14) on the sidelines.

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Webb stays positive despite first-game mistakes

  • Article by: JUDD ZULGAD
  • Star Tribune
  • August 15, 2011 - 6:29 AM


Joe Webb posted a subpar 27.6 passer rating in the Vikings' 14-3 loss on Saturday night in their preseason opener at Tennessee, but the quarterback remained upbeat afterward.

"It was OK," Webb said of his performance. "Obviously, I can get a lot better. Just go back and watch film and learn from my mistakes."

Webb entered in the second quarter after starter Donovan McNabb came out following two series and played into the first series of the third quarter. Webb completed four of eight passes for 45 yards, threw an interception that led to a Titans touchdown and was sacked once.

He also ran for 33 yards on five carries, finishing second to running back Lorenzo Booker (47 yards, nine carries) in rushing yards for the game. Vikings coach Leslie Frazier had no problem with Webb's decision to scramble.

"That is a big part of his game, so you don't put the clamps on Joe in that way -- you just don't do that," Frazier said. "You let him be Joe Webb, and that is a part of what he does and you have to let him play. That is what we want to see, we want him to be Joe Webb."

Webb lined up at wide receiver twice in training camp practices and certainly could be used in a variety of ways, but Frazier has made it clear since camp opened that Webb is going to be brought along as a quarterback. He isn't going to be moved full-time to another position.

Webb realizes he has that security and thus doesn't appear to be putting pressure on himself.

"It's going to come," he said when asked about the offense under new coordinator Bill Musgrave. "We're just taking advantage of this preseason time to get more and more comfortable with the offense. I think the more reps we get at it, go and watch film and get more practice at it, we'll be OK."

As for the second-quarter interception he threw, Webb said he saw Titans veteran safety Jordan Babineaux too late on a pass over the middle that was intended for wide receiver Devin Aromashodu.

"Right when I got ready to throw, I saw him come across the field," Webb said. "... I did not lock in on [Aromashodu]. It was just a great play by the defensive player. All I can do is learn from it."

It's early

The Vikings sat four starters on Saturday -- right end Jared Allen, defensive tackle Kevin Williams, cornerbacks Antoine Winfield and Cedric Griffin -- so their entire first-team defense was never on the field.

The members of the first unit who did play saw the Titans move the ball from their own 27-yard line to the Vikings 16 on the first series of the game before a Matt Hasselbeck fumble resulted in a loss of 30 yards. A drive that could have resulted in a field-goal attempt instead stalled at the Vikings 37 and ended with a punt.

"There is still a lot of work to be done," linebacker Erin Henderson said when asked about the defense's play in the opening half. "But we'll look at the film, look at the tape. We can see what they we're able to do against us, and what they were able to have success with. We can see what we did well and just go from there. We've got to get better every week and just continue to improve in order to be the defense that we want to be."


• The Vikings had Sunday off and will resume practice today at Winter Park. These practices are not open to the public.

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