AnalysisGeneral NewsSpeculation

Webb Has Value To 2013 Vikings

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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Adam Warwas

Adam Warwas (Founder) has been writing about the Vikings for a total of eight years. Five of those years have been here at Vikings Territory where he continues to surround himself with enough talented individuals that people keep coming back. As proud as he is of what Vikings Territory has become, his real treasures are in his home... a beautiful wife and three amazing children (and a dog named Percy).

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  1. Would you be suggesting that Webb be kept as the #3, Adam, and that the Vikes focus on a strong #2?

    1. #2 or #3… Whichever spot he earns. Interchangeable, really, but typically your #3 is running the scout team.

    1. Not sure what you mean, Bob. I would assume the “back-up” to be #2, but you are also saying he not be our number 3. So, you feel he should be gone, is that right?

  2. Well this is a weird decision just to have a guy on your team. So he can image opponents QB..
    that sure is a new

  3. Not going to argue that the Defense needs to improve, But I still don’t want to see him at Back up unless HE improves…

    1. Here’s an interesting way to pose the question…

      Would you prefer your #3 QB:

      A. Improve your first string defense


      B. Be an above average third string quarterback?

      1. Does he work against 1st team Defense, And if so how much?
        I don’t think Musgrave finds creative ways to use his skills…
        I,m not a Webb hater, Use him as other have said even in a different role…
        I just don’t see him as a come in and be productive Back up at this point.

  4. So I guess what you are saying Adam, is maybe we’ve finally found a use for Webb? As a Scout team QB to prepare our offense for the occasional RG3 or Kapernick type QB?
    We went ALL last season hurting badly for WR’s, so obviously Webb hasn’t impressed our coaching staff in that regard, even tho he was drafted as a WR. The fact he never saw the field in a regular season game last season as a WR tells me he sucks at WR, right? He obviously sucks at QB, as we all saw against Green Bay. And because you pointed it out again, WHY DID MUSGRAVE GO AWAY FROM THE “READ” OFFENSE?? That question has never been answered and until it is answered, I can only assume that Musgrave is an idiot.
    I guess at his salary level, we could keep him but I’d like to see him on the field more, like Malte said, KR, ST, something other than just a Scout team QB.

    1. I don’t think it’ll be “occasional” that we face a mobile QB next year, Fran. I think it is likely we play one in 10 of our 16 games. I’m sorry, but guys like Sage can’t do much to prepare our defense for these runners.

      I think Webb went from overrated to underrated very quickly.

    2. Or he could be a redzone package. – having him in there with AP in the backfield, that forces the defense to keep 1 guy at the backside accounting for Joe Webb, then let him either handoff or keep himself and let ponder get on the field right after. Would leave 1 guy less for peterson to juke out / run over

  5. Webb is still one of our most explosive playmakers and an asset to the team. He has all of the physical skills to be successful in the NFL as an emergency QB/WR/RB returner or as Adam shares, a scout teamer. No question in my mind Joe will be back with the Vikings in 2013 ready to work hard and willing to do what ever the coaches ask. Webb is a very unselfish team player that I have enjoyed watching and rooting for. As a matter of fact I wish I could watch him play more…

    Most Viking fans don’t know how good of a wide receiver Joe Webb really is. Most fans don’t know that Webb, as a sophomore at UAB, played six games in which he took more snaps at WR than at QB.

    Two of those games were against BCS competition. Webb had 6 reception for 98 yards and a TD verses Michigan State. Agianst Florida State Webb caught 6 for 89 yards and another TD.

    Webb caught 30 balls for 459 yards and 3 TDs as sophomore WR. 16 of those 30 receptions were big gainers that went for 15 yards or more. 1 TD every 10 times he caught the ball.

    The thing that really gets me worked up is when a kid like Josh Gordon, who has similar size/speed and college stats as a WR, gets drafted higher and gets more opportunities to play in the NFL.

    I just think it is crazy not to let Webb play multiple positions. Playing WR, returning kickoffs or taking a handoff on a sweep from time to time will not hurt him as a QB.

    I think it is a luxury to have a player like Webb that can play multiple positions…but the key to finding his value is to use him in different ways.

    Adam, thanks for thinking outside the box with Webb. I enjoyed the read!

    1. Thanks Carl. Not sure Webb has the hands to be an NFL receiver, but there might just be a josh cribbs type role for him if the coaching staff can get a little creative.

    2. the problem is, musgrave never really found a way to let him be succesfull on the field. Then when he is on the field he is faking handoffs to ponder? what kind of play is that to draw up?
      I really think we could use him in situation football as well. 3rd and short, have him under center and peterson in the backfield, either give the ball to peterson or fake handoff and let Joe Webb run. Atleast 1 guy has to account for joe webb on the backside

  6. sounds like a bit of a luxury to keep joe as a QB for practices, but if our coaches do that and he’s the third QB it’s not a huge loss of a roster spot because the three mostly doesn’t do much anyway, and reporters who’ve watched him say he’s no WR

  7. Hope you’re feeling better AK.

    Please put down the Nyquil. Sober up!

    Why don’t we sign Usain Bolt? If it doesn’t matter if he can throw, think, catch or have any applicable football skills, why not sign Usain? Guy has a nice pose already.

    Joe Webb’s poor performance in the playoffs wasn’t a fluke. He has shown no signs of providing any ability. If your hope is to emulate a scrambling QB for the defense, draft someone deep in the draft who MIGHT have potential. Let’s not keep Tavaris Webb when he has proven he is not capable. Players on the roster should either be capable of playing now or showing promise of playing at a future date. Taking a roster spot just for a practice slappie is just not good.

    1. Am finally feeling better, Freds, thanks. It took a week, though, haha… that was one lengthy bout with the crud!

      There is something to be said for the Vikings copy catting the Seahawks… keeping Ponder, signing a promising young free agent (there isn’t really one though) and drafting a mid-round kid… and then putting their best guy on the field. I wouldn’t be opposed to that at all, but I don’t know if they’d be willing to be that aggressive… they seem awful concerned with not hurting Mr. Steele’s feelings and confidence.

      Any suggestions for whom should take Webb’s spot?

      1. We really need a veteran. With all my teasing, I do think Fitzpatrick would be great as a back up on this team. I don’t know if the third stringer they currently have now has promise or not, but if so, keep him. If they think not, draft late and hope someday he turns out.

        It’s a tough fix at QB when there are still questions about the starter.

  8. Questions about our starting QB? There’s a new topic to discuss.

    Guess the Ravens will re-sign Flacco, huh. Interesting list of QB’s not in the Superbowl: Rodgers, P.Manning, E. Manning, Brady.

    1. Bud,
      Not so much for McKinnie, But I would like to see Matt Birk wearing a Ring this year…
      i believe Johnny feels the same way.

      1. As do I, Charlie. And, in spite of McKinnie being so many things that I dislike, if he has contributed to their success, then I guess he gets part of the reward. So be it.

          1. Cal,
            I’ve liked those color -stealing birds since the year they kicked the crap out of the Giants when we couldn’t…
            Vikings 1st Colts 2nd Ravens 3rd 🙂

            1. son, you must learn the error of your ways

              i used to think, a very long time ago, at one misguided time in my life, that i could, in some small way, root for another team, but i just couldn’t do it. there was no connection, the emotion wasn’t there. a hollow love is no love at all

              tell your wife you love her, but tell her you just gotta send her colts, and that other brown-stained fraud team, a ‘dear john letter’. in return, she will love and respect you like never before, for you will be forsaking all others

                1. you need only consult your heart
                  turn away from the dark side
                  there is good in you
                  search your feelings
                  you know it to be true

                2. Cal speak with fork tongue, Keemo Saaby. He cheer FOR Patriot team yesterday, and FOR 49er team week before. Tonto see deceitful spirit in his heart. Cheer for team of your squaw to keep peace in your tepee, O great fan of Viking.

                  1. O Great one,
                    Thanks for your wisdom, I knew i would be well pleased in your answer.
                    And Cal lol,
                    You are the Snake of Deceit! You Rascally Rabbitt.
                    I put the Patriots up there with the Cowboys on the Dislike list…

                    1. ol bud must be off his meds if he thinks saying things like ‘atl can rot in hell’ is a cheer

                      they never taught us that kind of illogical thinking at my high school, ‘lady of unholy tap water’

  9. I think the value he brings will be whatever late round draft they get for him when they trade him before the final cuts. I like Joe Webb and think he could be a great playmaker, but Musgrave isn’t going to find successful ways to get him on the field. The blazer package was a complete failure, and we saw how long he was willing to stick with the zone read stuff against the Packers. I don’t think that is going to change. That means Joe Webb the playmaker is basically just a pipe dream, so I really think his only value to this team is for preparing the defense, and while I agree that the Vikings and every other team in the league better have a guy to do that, I don’t think they should stick with someone who seems to have hit his ceiling as a third string QB. Webb didn’t take the next step as either a QB or a Receiver in his third year, he’s likely not going to get light years better in the coming seasons and he’s on the last year of his contract. If the Vikings can get even a 6th or 7th round pick in 2014 for him, they should move him at the final roster cuts and go in a different direction before they lose him without any compensation. The other thing to consider is that the guy that plays that option QB role on the scout team doesn’t need to be a QB. Several teams use WR’s, RB’s, or even defensive players that at one point in their football history played QB to fill that role. One of my favorite players in the upcoming draft is the former Gophers QB Marquise Gray. He profiles as a TE/WR type in the NFL, but I would rather have them developing a guy like Gray, who could turn into a starter down the road at one of those positions, running the option on the scout team this year than continue to use a roster spot on Webb who likely won’t be on the team afterhe finishes his rookie contract.

    1. Well ya, anyone who you’re actually intending to be a QB on your roster better be able to throw the ball, but if you just need a guy to duplicate the zone read/option plays you have on tape from your opponent that week then he doesn’t need to be able to do anything special throwing it. The point is you could have three classic drop back passers on your roster and still have someone available to fill that practice role of option style QB. Adams link to the Patriots article is about Ryan Mallett immitating Peyton Manning. I can guarantee you that the speed challenged Mallett isn’t giving the Patriots defense a good taste of what RGIII would bring to the table, but what the article doesn’t tell you is that backup WR/Return man Julian Edelman, a former D2 QB would likely take that role on if the Pats were going to play the Redskins or any other team with that type of offense. The bonus is that Edelman actually contributes on game day as a receiver and return man instead of just holding a clip board as an inactive player (and yes, Edelman is on IR so this is hypothetical at the moment).