Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Tags Posts tagged with "joe webb"

joe webb

Joe Webb went from “too talented not to have on the field” to “get him out of here” as fast as any player not involved in a scandal that I can think of.

That will happen, of course, when you put up a stinker the way Webb did in the Wild Card round, against the Packers, that resulted in a 54.9 quarterback rating and a loss.  The quarterback rating doesn’t describe just how bad Webb’s performance was, however, as most of the good came after a whole ton of bad and when Green Bay’s defense had already declared victory.

Many assume that Webb’s inability to show up in the big game means he will be gone as soon as the Vikings can find a replacement.  I don’t think that is necessarily the case.

Besides having all of the same excuses that Christian Ponder has benefitted from this season, such as depleted receiver options and an offensive coordinator that inexplicably went away from his strengths, Webb presents unique value in 2013.

That value stems from a point that I plan on beating to death this offseason: the Vikings have a ton of mobile quarterbacks on their 2013 schedule, as I pointed out here.  All six of the Vikings losses in 2012 came against shifty quarterbacks and they project to play nine games against mobile quarterbacks next year, and that isn’t even counting what Chip Kelly manages to put together in Philadelphia.

That means the Vikings defense has to improve in this area.  Of course a big part of that will consist of offseason personnel moves such as upgrading at linebacker and keeping Antoine Winfield in the fold.  Other than putting the best players on the field to keep these quarterbacks from taking off, preparation in also going to be key.

Who better to prepare a defense, by running the scout team, than a fleet footed, option running quarterback like Webb?

Webb is sure to never be as good as Cam Newton or RGIII, but if he can at least be effective at pretending to be them then he may already have a role carved out for him that keeps him on the roster in 2013.

Besides, at a salary of $575,000, it is hard not justifying him sticking around as an asset to not the offense, but the defense.

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It took about a whole two, maybe three, hours before the disappointment from getting our butts handed to us via the Green Bay Packers vanished and the excitement for the offseason completely consumed me. Free agents? The draft?! Possible trades? Veterans leaving? New talent?

I love it.

Don’t get me wrong, I was as bummed about the loss as the next hardcore Vikings fan (well, maybe not as much as this guy…) but the postseason letdown didn’t feel as bad this time. Maybe it was because deep down I knew once it was announced Christian Ponder wouldn’t be starting that we would lose the game and then the next three to four hours was just a realization of that fact. Maybe it’s because nothing could have happened in the playoffs that would take away from what an amazing season 2012 was. (And, folks, it was an amazing football season.) Who knows, really.

What I do know is that I was, and am, at peace with what the Vikings did this year and what I think they’ll do in the near future.

There’s a lot to be excited about with this team. There’s a ton to look forward to this offseason and some great stories to look out for.

Here are five of the biggest stories headed into the offseason. Stories that we will be covering in [exhausting] detail here at Vikings Territory, I’m sure. Of course, there will always be a few (maybe more) developments that catch us all by surprise. You can be sure we’ll have those, too.

(Note: These do not include general things like “the draft” or “free agency.” It’s a given those will be huge. I tried to think of specific storylines that will provide intrigue, mystery and excitement.)

5. The New Stadium

I almost didn’t include the stadium on the list because it seems that, now that we’ve got our stadium, it’s more of a “I don’t care how it happens, just get it here” type thing. But, after Adam mentioned it to me when I queried the inner-workings of his very knowledgeable Vikings mind, I started to see why it could become something we talk about frequently during the offseason.

It shouldn’t be long until we start seeing a real design for this thing.  And that will be pretty dang cool. We’ll finally get to see what this thing will look like. What features it will have. Does it have a retractable roof? Seat warmers? Does it have a mammoth monitor floating eerily above the ant-sized players a hundred or so feet below? Who knows.

It will be something tangible at that point. Something we can look at and say, “Okay. So that’s going to be where I take my children to watch my Minnesota Vikings a few years from now.” (Maybe more if you’re me).

It’s been an idea up until this point. A finalized design that we can see is a big step to it becoming a real, real reality. (A real one.)

4. Backup Quarterback Backup Plan

Christian Ponder’s late season surge (and potentially even his absence from the playoff game at Lambeau) solidified his role as the Vikings starter at quarterback next season. Head coach Leslie Frazier has even already made it public. That’s all good and fine, but it doesn’t change the fact that the Vikings still need to figure some things out at the quarterback position during the offseason.

I’m not going to torch Joe Webb too much because I honestly feel like he’s better than what he showed Saturday in Green Bay. The guy was thrown into an incredibly difficult situation under an offensive coordinator who remained steadfast in his stubborn ways and refused to adjust his game plan to increase the likelihood of success for Webb. Nevertheless, I don’t think Joe Webb is somebody who can really threaten Ponder for the starting position and light a fire under his butt, so to speak.

I think Ponder is going to be a good quarterback with a little more development. I take a lot of heat for that position but I’ve held it since he was drafted and I still hold it today. But I’ll be the first one to tell you that it is not a sure thing. He is not a sure thing. And the Vikings need to have a Plan B just in case it doesn’t pan out with #7.

Personally, I’d like Spielman and Co. to do some superb scouting and find a quarterback in the middle rounds who has a lot of upside. It’s also possible the team could just to go the free agent route. (Also, let’s not kid ourselves, it’s entirely possible the Vikings could not address it at all…)

Nevertheless, I think how the roster shapes up behind Ponder is something to keep an eye on.

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The Vikings, led by backup quarterback Joe Webb, got their asses kicked at Lambeau Field in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.

There really is no nicer way to put it than that without being dishonest.  The game was a debacle in all phases of the game.  Embarrassing production on offense, deadly mistakes on defense, turnovers coming from the special teams, and a coaching staff that seemed outmatched nearly the whole time.

With that being said, Saturday night’s letdown is just one black mark in what was otherwise a very pleasant surprise of a season, with the Vikings netting 10 wins after getting just three the season prior.

The Vikings accomplished many of their stated goals in 2012.  They kept Ponder upright for 16 games in an effort to gauge his progression.   The offensive line improved with players that never once had to miss a start.  The running game was one of the best that the world has ever seen, with Adrian Peterson making a very convincing bid to be the NFL’s MVP.

On defense, Alan Williams put together one of the better looking secondaries, albeit lacking depth, that Vikings fans have seen in years and years.  The pass rush was fairly consistent and the run defense was usually fairly stout, with only a select few exceptions in each area.

The special teams unit was overall one of the best in the NFL.

Following a phenomenal Draft from Rick Spielman, and Eric Sugarman earning every penny of his salary in keeping this squad relatively healthy, the Vikings are certainly a lot further along in their rebuilding process than almost anybody expected.

With that being said, there is not a position on this roster that couldn’t stand to be improved, other than kicker, and the Vikings now have another offseason full of opportunity to get even better.  They have an offseason to evaluate the coaching staff, search for free agents, prepare for the NFL Draft, and continue to develop their current talent.

While I was hoping not to be starting this for a few more weeks, the offseason unfortunately does begin today, and we here at VT are excited to do you the favor of filling it full of analysis, irresponsible speculation, rumor mongering, and discussion.

The Packers got the ball to start the second half and once again looked calm and efficient against a Vikings defense that appeared to have no answers for either Aaron Rodgers and DuJuan Harris.  An Everson Griffen sack on the drive wasn’t enough to derail the Packers completely but they did manage to hold the Packers to a field goal on a beautifully defended pass from Harrison Smith.

However, a 12-men penalty (Jasper Brinkley) unbelievably kept the Packers on the field inside the 10 yard line which of course is not good.  A quick checkdown to John Kuhn put the Packers up by three touchdowns.

The Packers, with a comfortable lead, were then able to key in on Adrian Peterson and contain him but a few nice passes to Kyle Rudolph and Jarius Wright gave the Vikings some life.  It wasn’t enough to keep them out of a 4th down scenario, however, and that play ended up being the nail in the coffin.  Joe Webb was stripped by Clay Matthews for the games first turnover.

On a great run stop from Fred Evans and Harrison Smith, Smith looked to be seriously hurt, proving that even when things go right for the Vikings they go wrong.  At least that seems to be the way of it tonight.  The Vikings did, however, succeed in getting the Packers offense off the field one play later.

The third quarter ended following a Joe Webb interception.

The fourth quarter has to be really, really, really, really, really, really good if the Vikings are going to pull this one off.

The second quarter began with the final play of the first quarter being reversed, giving Green Bay a touchdown and the lead, while Mason Crosby booted the kickoff through the endzone for a touchback.

Then the second quarter got underway officially.

Then disaster struck.  Joe Webb tripped over a completely beat Clay Matthews for a sack and then got obliterated, once again tossing the ball up to nowhere, on third down putting the Packers offense back on the field.

Harrison getting a good lick on DuJuan Harris, Jared Allen getting a coverage sack, and then another solid tackle from Smith on a Greg Jennings completion allowed the Vikings defense to escape without allowing any more damage to be done.

The Vikings offense then had a fairly uneventful three and out, ending with a Jerome Simpson completion where he was short of the first down marker, a problem that has plagued the Vikings all season.

The Packers were then able to dink and dunk their way down the field, but stalled out just short of field goal range, and decided to go for it on a 4th and five situation.  Of course, Greg Jennings converted a pass and beat Chris Cook after the catch before being shoved out of bounds at the two.  A stop of John Kuhn followed by a Jermichael Finley drop followed by yet another stop of Kuhn resulted in another 4th down situation.

This time, the Packers opted for the chip shot field goal, which extended the Packers lead to seven full points.

The next drive got started off by a nice return from Marcus Sherels, but a Marvin Mitchell penalty set the Vikings back, and Joe Webb once again took the field who immediately overthrew Jerome Simpson on a deep shot by about 10 yards and then was sacked.  Kluwe had to punt out of the Vikings endzone.

At the two minute warning, momentum sure seemed to be going the opposite directions than what the Vikings would have preferred.

With a two minute drill underway, Aaron Rodgers looked to be at his finest as he drove down the field with big gains from Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings putting them inside the five yard line.  Once again the Vikings tried to make a stand near the goalline, except this time fullback John Kuhn was successful in running one in.  This score put the Packers up by two touchdowns and left only 38 seconds on the clock for the Vikings to work with.

A penalty on the short kickoff gave the Vikings decent field position.  A checkdown to Adrian Peterson, an overthrown deep ball, and then a short run from Peterson kept the Vikings offense alive but a long ways away from the end zone.  Then three very poor passes in a row ended the half with the Packers leading 17-3.

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