VikesCentric is written by Twin Cities football writers Bo Mitchell of SportsData, Arif Hasan of Vikings Territory, Aj Mansour, who hosts Minnesota Vikings Overtime on KFAN, and Joe Oberle a long-time Minnesota based writer. The VikesCentric crew crunches numbers, watches video and isn't shy about saying what's on their minds.

VikesCentric: Moving Joe Webb to wide receiver is worth a shot

Posted by: Bo Mitchell Updated: May 20, 2013 - 1:48 PM

I like the Vikings new uniforms for the most part. I really like the look of their new Fortress of Solitude, er… I mean, stadium. I think they did a bang-up job in the draft. And I think they are making a wise move with Joe Webb.

 
Webb is not an NFL quarterback. This much has been clear for quite some time – certainly long before the Vikings fell to the Packers in their playoff game at Lambeau that featured an overmatched Webb filling in for Christian Ponder.
 
Webb has neither the accuracy nor decision-making skills required to be a signal caller at the highest level. And when it comes to playing quarterback I'd rank those two attributes first and second in importance. You can get by with marginal arm strength and size or lackluster mobility – none of which are a problem for Webb – but if you can't decide quickly what to do with the ball and get it precisely where you need to get it, you simply can't succeed as an NFL quarterback.
 
In drafting Webb (a quarterback from UAB) in 2010 the Vikings saw a gifted athlete with plus running and jumping ability – a real threat in the open field. Their hunch was that he might have what it takes to play wide receiver – a position he played in 2007 – in the NFL. The wide receiver experiment was short-lived, however, and Joe was transitioned back to quarterback. The Vikings subsequently dabbled with him in the blazer package and, in short, really weren't sure what to do with him.
 
To his credit, Webb has maintained an "I'll do whatever the coaches want me to do, play wherever they want me to play-attitude" throughout the positional back-and-forth.
 
When the Vikings signed Matt Cassel in March, the writing on the wall was clear for Webb: he was no longer a Vikings quarterback. The poorly-kept secret was recently confirmed by Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier. Webb is now working full-time on becoming a wideout, to which I say: why not?
 
The Vikings might as well give it one last shot with Webb. He's not a quarterback so the only thing they could do besides trying wide receiver would be release him. I say give him one more shot at wide receiver or kick returner or something – see what he can do with all that running ability. If it doesn't work out during training camp, so be it. At least the possibility was investigated.
 
While I'm not expecting big things from Webb as a wide receiver, he has a better chance of making a career for himself as a wideout than he does a quarterback. He definitely knows how to run and make people miss when he has the ball in his hands. Of course, that's where the tricky part comes in: getting the ball is his giant hands.
 
During his first go-round at playing wide receiver, Webb displayed average hands at best and questionable route-running skills – two rather significant issues. However, I would argue that it is easier to improve on catching and route-running than it is to improve on the skills requisite of becoming an NFL quarterback. Thus, I like what the Vikings are doing here.
 
There will be times where Webb runs a poor route or drops a ball that should have been caught, but those will be easier to stomach and less damaging than errant throws and poor quarterbacking decisions. I know; it's the lesser of two evils argument, which is kind of sad. But it works in this instance.
 
If in the end Webb develops into a fourth or fifth wide receiver and/or kick returner capable of occasionally busting a big play, it will have been worth it. The Vikings need all the receivers and big plays in the passing game that they can get. And if it doesn't work out for Webb at wide receiver this summer, they Vikings can part ways with him knowing full-well they tried everything to tap into his substantial athletic ability.
 
 
Bo Mitchell is the VP of Content at SportsData
You can follow Bo on Twitter at @Bo_Mitchell

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco 4 Top 4th Inning
Pittsburgh 0
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 1 3rd Prd 7:01
Buffalo 6
Carolina 3 3rd Prd 8:00
Columbus 5
Pittsburgh 1 3rd Prd
Detroit 0
Montreal 0 2nd Prd
Chicago 0
Arizona 0 1st Prd 16:10
Edmonton 0
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
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 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings do Thursday in Green Bay?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT