Coach Leslie Frazier said Joe Webb will be the No. 2 quarterback in Saturday night's third preseason game against the Cowboys. With Donovan McNabb and the rest of the starters expected to play into the third quarter, Webb most likely will finish up the third and possibly begin the fourth quarter, while rookie Christian Ponder would finish up the game.
Frazier then said, "maybe we'll do something different in the last preseason game." Later in the press conference, I asked if that means the team is thinking of resting McNabb and starting either Webb or Ponder (after about 21 years of covering preseason football, you tend to notice trends).
Frazier smiled and said, "You been in our staff meetings? Something like that."
Webb was the No. 2 QB in the preseason opener. Ponder was No. 2 in the second preseason game. A winner for the regular season probably won't be determined until after the final preseason game a week from today.
The Vikings would like Ponder to win the No. 2 job so that Webb would be freed up to use his athleticism some at receiver and in Wild Cat formations. The Vikings ran a few Wild Cat plays in practice today.
Asked if it the team can use Webb in a Wild Cat if he's the No. 2 quarterback, Frazier said, "Sure can. It's not the most ideal. If he becomes our clear-cut No. 2, then you may not want to risk it as much. But we'll see."
Frazier also was asked about Webb showing up every now and then as a receiver in practice.
"It's more experimental at this point, just seeing what he looks like and whether it's something we want to do down the road," Frazier said.
Frazier's predecessor, Brad Childress, wasn't a fan of the Wild Cat. Frazier likes it. Asked if it was a perfect attack for a guy like Webb, Frazier said, "I agree. It's perfectly made for Joe. He's such an all-around athlete and multi-dimensional guy. That's set up for him, without question."
Other highlights from today:
- Right guard Anthony Herrera spoke to the media for the first time this summer. It lasted less than a minute and was terse. Herrera clearly isn't happy with reporters questioning whether he'd be able to come back from his torn left ACL and return to the starting lineup. Asked if he was concerned that he might not back it back in time for the regular season opener, Herrera said, "I didn't have any concerns. You guys were the ones that were out there speculating or whatever. I had no concerns. Neither did the coaches or the training staff." Frazier was asked if he thinks Herrera is playing with a chip on his shoulder. "Oh yeah," Frazier said. "He has something to prove, and he wants to prove something to everybody, including us as coaches, whether or not he can do it or not. We're all excited to see him come back and play, and we're all pulling for him. He's a tremendous competitor, a leader for our offensive line and for our team."
- Running back Toby Gerhart ran some pass patterns at the start of practice, but then stopped when the soreness in his ankle and Achilles' tendon didn't go away. He won't play on Saturday night. Also not playing are Kevin Williams (plantar fasciitis), Ross Homan (concussion), Asher Allen (toe), Visanthe Shiancoe (hamstring), Jasper Brinkley (hip), Mark Washington (shoulder) and Heath Farwell (hamstring). Farwell had returned to practice earlier this week, but wasn't on the field today.
- Chad Greenway had an interception against Ponder in a 7 on 7 goal-line drill. The players didn't wear pads today, but practiced for about an hour and 45 minutes.
- Naturally, Marcus Sherels had an interception in practice. He picked off Webb. Sherels has had a number of picks in practice this summer.
- NFL teams must cut from 90 players to 80 on Tuesday.