Hartman: Webb shifts from QB to full-time receiver for Vikings

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 16, 2013 - 1:00 AM

The move from quarterback to receiver was due to drafting Cordarrelle Patterson and signing Matt Cassel.

Those who thought Joe Webb had no future as a quarterback should be happy, because the former Alabama-Birmingham standout has become a full-time wide receiver for the Vikings.

Coach Leslie Frazier said the decision to shift Webb to receiver was made after the draft, when the team selected receiver Cordarrelle Patterson in the first round and also because the Vikings had signed free agent quarterback Matt Cassel.

“We had been talking about it for a while, and we made the decision that this was the way to go after we had our draft,” Frazier said.

Webb said he was told of the decision on the first day of the teams workouts.

“When I came back … Coach brought me in the office and talked to me about the different plans they had and stuff.”

Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said Webb has done a good job catching the ball, and there’s a belief that because of his speed the coaches figure they can use Webb as a member of special teams and in other ways on offense.

Webb was asked how different will it be moving from quarterback to wide receiver.

“It’s going to be very interesting,” he said. “I haven’t played it since my rookie minicamp, but I think I can adjust to it pretty good. You just have to put in a lot of work. Coach Stew [wide receivers coach George Stewart] will do a lot of that with me, so we’ll see what happens.”

Position not new

Playing receiver is nothing new for Webb, because he played his entire sophomore season in college at the position.

“I was kind of doing both quarterback and receiver, but I was doing more receiver,” he said. “I did that the whole year, and I got some plays here and there for my junior and senior year, but basically my sophomore year.”

But Webb did say that it is going to be a big change.

“You have a whole different world at quarterback, but I think that’s going to help me out there at receiver, having been at quarterback and knowing the coverage and how DBs run their plays,” he said.

“I think that’s going to be a big advantage for me. I always relate things that I see on the field to quarterbacks — to Christian [Ponder], to Matt Cassel, to [McLeod] Bethel-Thompson, I can tell those guys what I see out there. That will help them out a lot, my quarterback experience.

“Also, it will help the receivers out — for instance if they see a safety rotating down, different coverages that teams prepare and things like that. I think it’s going to be a big help.”

Webb’s speed — he ran a 40 yard-dash in the low 4.4s coming out of college — has proved to be a big advantage when he scrambled as a quarterback and should be an advantage as a receiver.

Webb said he is comfortable at his new position.

“I’m doing good,” he said. “I’m doing real good. I still have a long ways to go, but I’m getting better every day and that’s all you can do.

“I just take it one step at a time, one day at a time, one play at a time, and hopefully it can turn out as a success.”

Webb said the move to wideout was fine with him, and hopefully he can help the team in other ways.

“If I get the opportunity to get on the field and run around and make a couple plays, I’m sure everyone will be happy for that.

“I’m OK with whatever is best for the team. I’m a team player. Whatever we have to do for us to get back into the playoffs and continue to win ballgames, I’m all for it.”

Webb is a free agent after this season, but he wants to succeed as a wide receiver and remain with the Vikings.

“I love Minnesota,” he said. “They’ve welcomed me like a son to a father, and it’s a great city. I love playing for the fans, and I think it’s a great fan base here, great atmosphere, great place to play.”

And what will he remember about his last game at quarterback against the Packers in the playoff loss?

“Green Bay is a great team, a great team and a tough environment,” he said. “That’s a game that I look back on, learn from my mistakes, and keep moving.’’

Webb as a receiver

In his collegiate and professional career Webb has caught 33 total passes for 480 yards and four touchdowns.

In his sophomore season at Alabama-Birmingham, Webb caught 30 passes for 459 yards and three touchdowns. He was primarily used at wide receiver that year but also spent time at quarterback. He caught two more passes for 12 yards, including a touchdown reception, in his senior season at UAB.

For the Vikings Webb has caught only one pass, a 9-yard reception in 2011. He was targeted five times that year as a wideout.

Jottings

• Alex Foster, the Chicago basketball player who committed to Tubby Smith at Minnesota and had his scholarship withdrawn by Richard Pitino, the new Gophers coach, has now committed to Smith at Texas Tech.

• One factor going against the Wild’s chances of improving next year is the fact that it will play in a tougher division because of the NHL’s realignment. In the Northwest Divsion this year, the Wild regularly faced Edmonton, Calgary and Colorado, teams that finished 12th, 13th and 15th in the 15-team Western Conference. Next year, the Wild will be in a division that also includes playoff teams in Chicago and St. Louis.

• The Colorado Rockies placed former Twins outfielder Michael Cuddyer on the 15-day disabled list as he battles an inflamed disk in his neck. The Rockies believe Cuddyer, who is batting .319 with seven home runs and 23 RBI, will come off the disabled list as soon as he is able to on May 23.

• The Gophers basketball team’s new strength and conditioniong coach is Shaun Brown, who was last at Southern California but also worked at Kentucky from 1992 to ’97 and got to know Pitino at the time. And the strength coach Brown succeeded at Minnesota, Steve Felde, was quickly hired by Miami (Fla.).

• Former Gopher Trevor Mbakwe is one of 63 players working out this week at the NBA combine. Flip Saunders, the Timberwolves’s new president of basketball operations, is attending the combine along with a number of pro scouts.

• Former Gophers defensive back Michael Carter sprained a foot on the first day of his Vikings free agent workout, so he didn’t get a chance to show what he could do.

• Gophers recruit Taylor Cammarata was named the USHL player of the year after dominating the league with the Waterloo Black Hawks. Cammarata tallied 93 points (38 goals, 55 assists) in 59 regular season games. That’s the second-most goals scored in the USHL since 2002.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

  • related content

  • Video: SidCast: Willingham and Hicks need more hits

    Wednesday May 15, 2013

    Also, the Minnesota Wild will have trouble winning next year in their new division, the Timberwolves will be the...

  • Vikings quarterback Joe Webb (14)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Minnesota 35 FINAL
Miami 37
Baltimore 13 FINAL
Houston 25
Detroit 20 FINAL
Chicago 14
Cleveland 13 FINAL
Carolina 17
Atlanta 30 FINAL
New Orleans 14
Green Bay 20 FINAL
Tampa Bay 3
Kansas City 12 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
New England 17 FINAL
NY Jets 16
NY Giants 37 4th Qtr 6:57
St. Louis 20
Buffalo 17 4th Qtr 11:59
Oakland 19
Indianapolis 7 4th Qtr 5:24
Dallas 42
Seattle 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 108 FINAL
Toronto 118
Memphis 91 FINAL
Cleveland 105
Boston 38 2nd Qtr 2:01
Miami 50
Detroit 51 3rd Qtr
Brooklyn 53
LA Lakers 48 2nd Qtr 2:23
Sacramento 48
Philadelphia 37 2nd Qtr 1:10
Orlando 40
Phoenix 46 2nd Qtr 2:13
Washington 42
Indiana 6:00 PM
Minnesota
New Orleans 6:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Colorado 0 2nd Prd 19:33
Detroit 0
Dallas 2 2nd Prd 17:16
Edmonton 3
Buffalo 6:00 PM
Boston
Carolina 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Toronto 6:00 PM
Chicago
Philadelphia 8:00 PM
Winnipeg
Harvard 27 FINAL
Virginia 76
Maine 69 FINAL
Army 72
Ferris State 82 FINAL
Bowling Green 68
San Francisco 65 FINAL
Cleveland State 69
Oregon State 52 FINAL
Quinnipiac 60
Coastal Carolina 72 FINAL
Central Arkansas 55
Holy Cross 48 FINAL
Canisius 67
Southern Miss 55 FINAL
Georgia State 68
Western Carolina 66 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 62
Creighton 58 FINAL
North Texas 62
Maryland 73 FINAL
Oklahoma State 64
Cornell 61 FINAL
Radford 74
Vermont 55 FINAL
Saint Louis 58
Loyola-Maryland 52 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Reinhardt 72 FINAL
Winthrop 100
Ark-Little Rock 46 FINAL
Green Bay 66
TX-Pan American 72 FINAL
Nebraska Omaha 77
Alabama State 63 FINAL
Evansville 81
FIU 69 FINAL
Hartford 82
Goshen 55 FINAL
Valparaiso 82
Bryant 48 FINAL
Denver 46
Austin Peay 63 FINAL
Lipscomb 69
Tennessee St 47 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 65
South Dakota 67 FINAL
Montana 62
ULM 50 FINAL
Samford 64
Coker 52 FINAL
South Carolina 78
USC 75 FINAL
Boston College 71
Northern Ariz 66 FINAL
Hampton 75
SD Christian 61 FINAL
San Diego 71
UC Irvine 55 FINAL
Bradley 47
Troy 65 FINAL
Nicholls 64
Seton Hall 22 2nd Half
Georgia 41
Appalachian St 22 1st Half 6:30
Alabama 19
North Dakota St 6:00 PM
Kent State
San Jose St 6:00 PM
Washington St
Alcorn State 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Sacramento St 9:00 PM
Seattle
Nevada 3 FINAL
Louisiana 16
Utah State 21 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 6
(23) Utah 45 FINAL
Colorado State 10
Western Mich 24 FINAL
Air Force 38
South Alabama 28 FINAL
Bowling Green 33
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Cal-Irvine 55 FINAL
Denver 63
St Marys-CA 52 FINAL
George Washington 70
TX-San Antonio 49 FINAL
Nicholls 57
Portland State 71 FINAL
Columbia 66
Tenn Tech 62 FINAL
Morgan State 56
SMU 43 FINAL
Auburn 56
Quinnipiac 70 FINAL
Hartford 58
Hofstra 75 FINAL
Boston College 61
Eastern Washington 55 FINAL
Georgia Southern 42
Liberty 44 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 84
Fairleigh Dickinson 74 FINAL
Brown 79
Buffalo 73 FINAL
Long Island 79
Bucknell 74 FINAL
Mount St Marys 49
Stony Brook 70 FINAL
Wagner 76
FIU 83 FINAL
Wofford 75
Duquesne 56 FINAL
Providence 67
Maine 54 FINAL
William & Mary 51
Alabama State 43 FINAL
Samford 56
TX-Pan American 43 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 64
South Dakota St 64 FINAL
Marist 82
Saint Josephs 50 FINAL
(5) Notre Dame 64
Radford 60 FINAL
Virginia Tech 73
(3) Texas 67 FINAL
(4) Texas A&M 65
Rhode Island 60 FINAL
Bryant 56
South Florida 90 FINAL
Penn State 87
Sam Houston St 55 FINAL
TCU 79
Evansville 50 FINAL
IUPUI 62
(14) Maryland 110 FINAL
Coppin State 51
Mercer 59 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 72
NC A&T 43 FINAL
Chattanooga 58
Princeton 84 FINAL
Monmouth 53
Eastern Illinois 69 FINAL
Lehigh 72
Rider 67 FINAL
Binghamton 72
SC State 57 FINAL
Clemson 66
Fairfield 63 FINAL
Iowa State 76
Richmond 70 FINAL
Eastern Kentucky 56
Cleveland State 80 FINAL
Morehead St 72
Kent State 62 FINAL
Colgate 61
South Alabama 43 FINAL
UAB 73
Saint Peters 35 FINAL
Navy 71
Youngstown St 52 FINAL
Pittsburgh 78
NJIT 50 FINAL
Lafayette 66
Davidson 51 FINAL
Charlotte 86
Indiana State 73 FINAL
St Johns 67
Southern U 49 FINAL
Florida 78
Wright State 46 FINAL
Purdue 70
(19) Oklahoma St 66 FINAL
USC 62
Houston 54 FINAL
Texas Tech 60
Ark-Little Rock 66 FINAL
Tulsa 59
Dayton 71 FINAL
Vanderbilt 67
Northern Ariz 37 FINAL
New Mexico 56
UNC-Asheville 60 FINAL
USC Upstate 67
North Dakota 81 FINAL
South Dakota 86
Western Ill 57 FINAL
Marquette 65
Elon 67 FINAL
(6) North Carolina 85
Ball State 59 FINAL
Western Ky 84
(8) Kentucky 67 FINAL
(13) Duke 89
New Orleans 58 FINAL
Alabama 87
Chicago State 47 FINAL
Milwaukee 69
Bowling Green 61 FINAL
Bradley 47
Ill-Springfield 56 FINAL
SE Missouri St 73
Northern Ill 42 FINAL
Northern Iowa 51
(23) Iowa 100 FINAL
Drake 98
Central Michigan 64 FINAL
Minnesota 67
Western Carolina 45 FINAL
North Florida 62
Wyoming 71 FINAL
Colorado 76
Portland 58 FINAL
Boise State 94
Cal Poly 63 FINAL
Colorado State 65
No Dakota State 54 FINAL
Grand Canyon 69
Albany 71 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 49
Oklahoma 64 FINAL
Arkansas 71
Idaho State 63 FINAL
Seattle 55
(18) Michigan State 89 FINAL
(19) Syracuse 76
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Arizona State 88
TX-Arlington 46 FINAL
North Texas 38
Fresno State 68 FINAL
Oregon 59
UNLV 71 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 74
UCLA 50 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 86
St Francis-PA 71 2nd Half 3:11
Coastal Carolina 66
(10) Louisville 66 2nd Half 2:54
(24) California 56
Howard 21 2nd Half
Virginia 35
Miami-Ohio 0 1st Half 20:00
(21) Miss State 0
Illinois-Chicago 8:30 PM
Old Dominion
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 Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close