Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


It's official: Joe Webb will be a quarterback and a quarterback only in 2012

Posted by: under Quarterbacks, Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Leslie Frazier Updated: February 24, 2012 - 1:13 PM

In the Vikings’ ideal world, Joe Webb won’t see the field much in 2012.

At present, the chips are being pushed to the middle of the felt as an all-in bet on Christian Ponder, whose 10-start performance as a rookie was erratic. But there remains a pervasive belief within the Vikings’ organization that Ponder has all the tools to take a big leap forward in his second season.

The best-case hope: Ponder removes all doubt that he is indeed the franchise quarterback that general manager Rick Spielman and head coach Leslie Frazier believe him to be.

Which would leave Webb as the odd man out. Sort of.

Webb is still an incredibly valuable back-up plan at quarterback. That much was proven when he delivered impressive results in relief of Ponder at Detroit and Washington last December. And Frazier has made it very clear the comfort that having Webb as a solid QB No. 2 provides. After all, Ponder had injury problems over each of the final five weeks last season and failed to finish three starts.

But if Ponder stays healthy and has success, Webb will spend most of his Sundays chained to the sideline. On Thursday at the NFL Combine, Frazier said Webb is being stamped with the “quarterback only" tag. Gone are the days of experimenting with Webb as a wide receiver.

“Although he can do a lot of different things, we really want to see him develop at the quarterback position,” Frazier said. “We're leaning, as we speak today, toward moving away from some of those other things he's capable of doing.”

Talk to Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave or quarterbacks coach Craig Johnson regarding Webb’s potential as a quarterback and they’ll both come back to a three-word description for what has prevented Webb from vying for the starting role: Time on task.

So in order to give Webb his greatest shot at success, the Vikings feel it’s necessary to make him a full-time quarterback, to not allow him any side distractions.

“He's a viable No. 2 for us without question,” Frazier said. “We feel he creates a lot of pressure for defenses having to defend him. We want to give him the best chance to really fulfill his potential as a quarterback. I think if we can let him home in on a position and not move him around quite as much, that should be a plus for him and a plus for us."

And just to be clear, Frazier still hopes to find ways to involve Webb some in the offensive game plans as a quarterback. Frazier also continues to assert that there is so much to love about what Webb brings to the table, giving the Vikings great confidence that there won’t be much of a dropoff if something were to happen to Ponder.

Said Frazier: “[I like] his athletic ability, his playmaking ability, his leadership qualities. Just the energy he brings to the team when he’s out there.”
 

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Toronto 6:00 PM
Indiana
Cleveland 6:30 PM
Detroit
Milwaukee 6:30 PM
Miami
Memphis 7:30 PM
Dallas
Chicago 9:30 PM
Golden State
Washington 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
NY Rangers 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Arizona 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Washington 6:00 PM
Columbus
Tampa Bay 6:30 PM
Carolina
Dallas 6:30 PM
Montreal
Detroit 6:30 PM
Florida
Colorado 7:00 PM
Nashville
Buffalo 8:00 PM
Calgary
Minnesota 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Anaheim 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Ball State 6:00 PM
Akron
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Bowling Green
Western Mich 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Ohio 6:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Xavier 6:00 PM
Georgetown
Vanderbilt 6:00 PM
Georgia
West Virginia 6:00 PM
Kansas State
Central Mich 6:00 PM
Kent State
Saint Josephs 6:00 PM
La Salle
Nebraska 6:00 PM
Michigan
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Toledo
Tulsa 6:00 PM
Tulane
George Washington 6:00 PM
VA Commonwealth
Pittsburgh 6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Indiana State 7:00 PM
Evansville
Tabor College 7:00 PM
Oral Roberts
Florida 8:00 PM
Alabama
Tennessee 8:00 PM
Arkansas
Texas A&M 8:00 PM
Auburn
Baylor 8:00 PM
Oklahoma State
DePaul 0 Postponed
Providence 0
Michigan State 0 Postponed
Rutgers 0
Wyoming 8:00 PM
Utah State
Fresno State 8:05 PM
San Diego St
UNLV 9:00 PM
Nevada
SD Christian 9:00 PM
CS-Bakersfield
Colorado State 10:00 PM
Boise State
Temple 6:00 PM
UCF
Campbell 6:00 PM
Presbyterian
Coastal Carolina 6:00 PM
High Point
Gardner-Webb 6:00 PM
Radford
UNC-Asheville 6:00 PM
Liberty
Winthrop 6:00 PM
Longwood
Columbia International 6:00 PM
Charleston Southern
Tulane 7:00 PM
Houston
(3) Baylor 7:00 PM
TCU
Navy 7:00 PM
American Univ
Valparaiso 7:00 PM
Illinois-Chicago
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who will win the Super Bowl?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT