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.