Vikings Insider: T-Jack a forgotten QB no more

  • Article by: JUDD ZULGAD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 20, 2008 - 5:24 PM

Tarvaris Jackson's recent play has made the Vikings re-evaluate their future plans at quarterback.

hide

Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson could in fact still be in the team's plans for beyond 2008 after all.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Admit it. You had almost forgotten about Tarvaris Jackson. The two interceptions in the penultimate game of last season, a 30-21 loss to Washington that pretty much eliminated the Vikings from the NFC playoff race. The subpar start that got him benched only two games into this season. Even the offseason hype that might have led one to believe the Vikings had found their quarterback of the future.

All of it a distant memory ... until 15 days ago. That's when Jackson stepped in for the injured Gus Frerotte late in the first half at Detroit, rallied the Vikings to a 20-16 victory and threw a curveball into how the team might approach its quarterback situation.

Any previous talk of Jackson had centered on whether he had a future with this franchise. It was Frerotte who led the Vikings to the top of the NFC North, and beyond 2008 all indications seemed to point to an offseason quarterback search.

But in the six quarters since replacing Frerotte, Jackson has thrown five touchdowns and no interceptions, and is responsible for two victories. Jackson's play will keep a now-healthy Frerotte on the bench today, and coach Brad Childress will continue to ride Jackson as long as he performs at a high level.

How long will it last?

The Vikings brain trust isn't going to go into any detail about the future as long as the team is in the playoff hunt, but internally they are going to have to decide if Jackson really has turned a corner.

"We talked about that a couple of weeks ago," Childress said. "We really don't go that far ahead until we get to the end of the year and kind of make an overall analysis of things. I'm just kind of week-to-week, day-to-day here."

In the excitement of how things are going, it might be easy to lose sight of the big picture. But the Jackson decision is going to be crucial if this franchise wants to achieve the type of lasting success that owner Zygi Wilf often talks about.

The Vikings could return to Mankato next summer with the quarterback trio of Jackson, Frerotte and John David Booty, and Frerotte could again emerge as the starter. Frerotte, though, will be 38 next July and is a year-to-year type of guy.

Wilf has shown a willingness to invest heavily in this product, and there is little doubt he would go for making a significant addition at quarterback, if that's what Childress and VP of player personnel Rick Spielman advise him to do.

The market won't be flooded with top-flight quarterbacks in free agency. Kerry Collins, Jeff Garcia and Kurt Warner are in the golden years of their careers, and names like J.P. Losman, Dan Orlovsky and Chris Simms don't create much excitement. The one significant free agent will be New England's Matt Cassel.

The most likely scenario, until Jackson's re-emergence, was that the Vikings would explore what it would take to pry Donovan McNabb away from the Eagles. McNabb is under contract through 2010, but after being benched in a November loss it appeared his run in Philadelphia might be near an end.

Childress was McNabb's position coach and then coordinator for seven seasons with the Eagles. But just as important, or perhaps more so, is that McNabb is extremely close with Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Rogers. Rogers was the offensive coordinator at Syracuse when McNabb was playing at the school, and McNabb endorsed Rogers for the Orange's then-vacant head coaching job this month.

Assuming McNabb can be obtained, his addition would not only create a buzz that would exceed that of the trade-and-sign for Pro Bowl defensive end Jared Allen last spring, but it also would end the game of hot potato the Vikings have been playing at the quarterback position since Childress came on board in 2006.

Jackson, though, is trying to make the case that the answer at the quarterback position already is on the roster.

Judd Zulgad • jzulgad@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 4
Houston - WP: T. Sipp 5 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Allen 1
San Francisco - WP: T. Hudson 10 FINAL
Washington - LP: D. Fister 3
St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright 4 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: K. Kendrick 5
Chicago WSox - LP: D. Webb 3 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: D. Robertson 4
Tampa Bay - WP: D. Smyly 8 FINAL
Toronto - LP: M. Stroman 0
Atlanta - WP: D. Hale 3 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: M. Parra 1
Seattle - WP: D. Leone 5 FINAL
Boston - LP: K. Uehara 3
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 6 FINAL
Texas - LP: C. Lewis 3
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Locke 8 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: Y. Gallardo 3
Detroit - LP: R. Ray 6 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: R. Pressly 20
Miami - WP: H. Alvarez 13 FINAL
Colorado - LP: F. Morales 5
San Diego - LP: O. Despaigne 1 FINAL
Arizona - WP: J. Collmenter 5
LA Angels - LP: J. Grilli 3 FINAL
Oakland - WP: S. Gray 5
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 2 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: D. Haren 6
Carolina 7 FINAL
New England 30
NY Giants 35 FINAL
NY Jets 24
Jacksonville 12 FINAL
Detroit 13
Oakland 21 FINAL
Green Bay 31
Chicago 6 FINAL
Seattle 34
Tampa Bay 3:30 PM
Buffalo
Tennessee 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8:00 PM
Denver
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Jacksonville
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Dallas
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tennessee
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Oakland
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
UCF 8/30/14 7:30 AM
Penn State
Real Salt Lake 1 FINAL
FC Dallas 2
Montreal 16 FINAL
Winnipeg 24
Toronto 3:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 2:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Chicago 80 FINAL
Atlanta 77
Los Angeles 72 FINAL
Phoenix 75
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 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
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: Who would you rather have on your team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close