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Simpson and Webb Win The Big Hit Award

One of my finer pleasures in life is listening to KFAN’s Paul Allen call the play-by-play for a Minnesota Vikings football game. Sunday night’s preseason game against the 49ers was nationally televised, so I thought I would multi-task by keeping one eye on the TV, one eye on the VT live chat, and an ear on the voice of the Vikings, Mr. Paul Allen. More is better right? In this case that turned out to be true. The big hits by Jerome Simpson and Joe Webb to my knowledge were not captured by the national TV cameras, but the action didn’t go unnoticed by the Vikings’ radio coverage personalities.

 You won’t find Simpson’s tackle as part of the official game stats, but as a crazy fan was running around on the field untouched by the security guards; Simpson stepped up and knocked him to the turf. Ok, so the big hit was more like a trip or a push, but that non-play play in the closing minutes of the game was surely worth the price of admission.

 Joe Webb might be listed as a 3rd string wide receiver at the moment, but he is also trying to land a starting job on the kickoff return team. Yes, he has one NFL kickoff return for 30 yards to his credit, but this preseason he is getting reps and showing value as a front line blocker on the return unit. That’s right, Joe Webb a  front line blocker.  According to Paul Allen, Webb the QB turned WR, absolutely leveled Perrish Cox on a block during one of the Vikings first half kickoff returns.


 Webb also caught a 3 yard TD pass from Christian Ponder in the 3rd quarter to cut the score to 14-20. Webb went up high and caught the jump ball in traffic as he fought a defender that was draped all over his face mask.  

 Joe Webb is working hard and moving in the right direction as he transitions away from being a quarterback. Don’t be surprised to see him get extended action on Thursday against the Titans in the final preseason game. The 5th wide receiver position battle between Stephen Burton and Joe Webb is heating up as we come down to the wire. Both players have had a great camp and preseason, and both are working hard on special teams to win a spot on the 53 man roster.

I am not sure what to expect from Webb this week, but the versatile play-maker will certainly see more snaps at wide receiver and on the kick return team. Webb could also get a snap or two as a gunner on the punt team as well as a vise hold up safety person on the punt return unit.

I don’t expect to see Webb throw a pass… but I do have my fingers crossed that Joe might get an opportunity to take a handoff on a reverse or sweep. If he is truly on the bubble as many people say, this would be the game to get creative and let Joe be Joe.

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Carl Knowles

Carl Knowles (Contributor) is a former member of the Professional Bowler Association and an avid lifelong Vikings fan. When he is not bowling you can find him on websites and forum pages sharing his creative insight and enthusiasm for the Minnesota Vikings any chance he gets. Carl was a Phoenix Institute of Technology and Purdue University standout who currently enjoys the challenge of being a graphic director in the printing business. You can follow him on twitter @carlknowles_vt.

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  1. I agree that if Joe is on the bubble it is absolutely worth getting creative this week. It bothers me when I hear arguments that Webb has not “flashed” in preseason or made any big plays which would earn himself a spot. For one thing he has had fewer snaps in general. Beyond that when he has been in he’s been asked to run mostly slants and other short routes out of the slot position. In doing so he has shown very good hands which was supposed to be the biggest issue with him making the transition. If he can run short routes and make the catch in traffic as he has done so far in camp and in preseason, which was supposed to be the element that limited him the most I believe that is quite impressive given he only switched back this offseason. Then if they factor what he could do if they utilized his strengths by getting him the ball in space with the use of a screen or a reverse or even using him in the backfield occassionally like the direct snaps to Percy Harvin that were used in the past I think he could be a big play guy who is used in a limited number of snaps but still has a significant impact over the course of the season. Either these should already be enough to push Webb over the edge of the cut bubble and they don’t want to reveal these plays in preseason or I believe that Musgrave and Leslie owe it to Joe and the team to throw a play or two of this type in the final preseason game and see if Joe can make a big play with the ball in his hands. Webb is too versatile to be judged entirely on the routes he has been asked to run so far in my opinion. If you want to see Webb flash then as the article said you have to “let Joe be Joe.”

  2. Old JJ Jumpin’ Joe Webb will get plenty of time this week. It will be fun to watch him. Freds expects Joe to catch a few, run a few and pass at least one. This is the type of game where Joe can make his mark, there will be no starters on the field and he can show the coaches why he should be kept on the team, he’s a great athlete, a good guy, he works hard and is handsome.

    Unleash the athlete!

  3. joe can catch and run TDs all game long, that’s fine with me, but it’s all about QB play for our vikes, so this game might be of more interest in regards to seeing what MBT can do at QB. i wanna see him throw more accurately and consistently than he has in the past, as that’s been his weak area. this game can be his audition for being used later in the season, cuz i just don’t see our first two QBs gettin the job done yet

    1. Cal, I agree too; We need to see someone throw the ball accurately and consistently, something we haven’t seen for the past several YEARS! I am so hoping that the reason we’ve seen nothing along those lines so far in Pre season is our coaching staff is just being cagey and not letting the rest of the league know that Ponder has improved dramatically. Yeah, right. . .

  4. I am really pulling for Spider to make the team. He is just too good of an athlete no to use him. If they scheme for him properly, he could really be a lethal red zone target just like we saw against the 49er’s.

  5. Carl, I had no idea what an entertaining dude ‘ol Paul was untill I heard him announce the 2nd preseason game. The guy is good!

  6. Cal-
    Did you know the parents of McLeod John Baltazar Bethel-Thompson waited until he was 6 months old to officially name him? His name was worth the wait!

    MBT only completed 53% of his passes at UCLA and Sacramento State. 10 TD to 15 ints.
    In the Las Vegas bowl he was 11-27 for 154 1 TD and 1 int as UCLA lost to BYU.

    Accuracy and consistency has not exactly been his calling card in the past. I hope the Vikings don’t rush his development… he does have a big arm and some upside. I think the Vikings will pass with Cassel in the game and show a more balanced attach with MBT in the game. I look for Joe Banyard and Zach Line to get some touches in the second half.

  7. “Did you know the parents of McLeod John Baltazar Bethel-Thompson waited until he was 6 months old to officially name him?”

    Mom and Dad waiting 6 months to name their kid? And….. they chose John? Nothing wrong with John, but why did it take 6 months? Carl, you made that fact up? Admit it! Nobody contemplates for 6 months and comes up with the name John.

    IF you’re going to wait 6 months, hell give Freds some, Barkevious, or Twisha, or Cursoe… or even Jedi. John?

    Carl….Freds thinks you made up this facts.

  8. At least we will have a qb playing that has an NFL caliber arm. They need to get the damn ball down the field and the o-line needs to protect for more than 2 seconds. So let it rip Bif!

    1. You hit on the most important thing Johnny, If the O-line doesn’t block better, then it really doesn’t make any difference who the QB is. I hope Frazier called out some people on the o-line when they reviewed the tapes for this preseason.

      1. Norse, I’m really having serious doubts about the o-line coach. Maybe he needs to be replaced?

        1. I don’t know if that is the way to go for right now since it is preseason. However, if they do not crank it up a few notches when the season starts, then I would absolutely be on board with that or benching a couple to send a message to other players to get their act together.

  9. The O-Line took some nice steps in the right direction last year. Lets give Coach Davidson another year.
    I don’t believe we have seen the best effort from the Oline… 3 reasons why:

    #1. When the coach doesn’t play the best offensive player (AD) during preseason, that sends a very strong message to the starter that winning and scoring points is not as important as staying healthy.

    #2. None of the Oline starters are fighting for a starting job… so they aren’t really putting it all on the line right now.

    #3. The defense usually has the advantage in preseason because of the lack of game planning.

  10. $765 million concussion lawsuit settlement. 3/4 of a billion dollars! and J6P funds it