Vikings HC Gives One Hint about Next Starting QB

Giants DC Has Hilarious Comp for Kevin O'Connell
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If you’re deciphering the identity of the Minnesota Vikings’ starting quarterback for Week 14, a major hint is available.

Minnesota has a week off and will then travel to Las Vegas for a meeting with Antonio Pierce’s Raiders.

Vikings HC Gives One Hint about Next Starting QB

And to set the table, head coach Kevin O’Connell told reporters on Tuesday, “I think the quarterback position needs to be evaluated to see what gives us the best chance to win. I don’t think there’s any particular timeline.”

HC Gives One Hint
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What does this mean? Well, the Vikings have an evolving quarterback controversy, or if you don’t prefer the word controversy, it’s an impending decision. O’Connell had the opportunity to name Joshua Dobbs the starter henceforth, and he did not. Consider that evidence.

O’Connell will use the next week or so to choose a QB1 for the crucial Raiders contest, and he offered a hint this week to vivify the eventual starter — in a nutshell, the next QB1 will be the man who can best feed Justin Jefferson the pigskin.

Vikings Make Final Call
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Jefferson will return from a hamstring injury on December 10th after a seven-game IR stint. Minnesota finished 5-2 without the Offensive Player of the Year, a marvelous record, but one sullied by back-to-back losses to the Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears.

For O’Connell, though, the litmus test is straightforward. The QB1 will be the passer who can feed Jefferson.

“Justin’s role in our offense, really from Day 1 since we arrived here, has always been very, very significant. Anytime you can infuse the best receiver in football back into your offense, there’s going to be ways to not only get Justin going and make sure he has a critical impact on the football game, and the quarterback position absolutely plays into that,” O’Connell said Tuesday.

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Vikings wide receivers haven’t seen quite as many targets in the last few games with Dobbs at the helm, instead leaning on T.J. Hockenson to the utmost.

O’Connell continued, “We’re going to make sure that whoever is playing quarterback is aware and understands the intent behind plays where either Justin is the primary target, or based upon coverage, based upon the defensive look, how to quickly and efficiently get to the right place to go with the football. In the end, that’s what the NFL passing game is about: rhythm, timing, understanding that the defense can and will take some things away, but progressing in rhythm.”

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Minnesota is a pass-first franchise on offense, so it makes sense that O’Connell’s bottom line involves Jefferson’s targets. In fact, during the last two games — both losses — it seemed like the first time since Jefferson’s departure that offense sorely needed his presence. The Vikings might’ve authored a game-winning drive with Jefferson on the field at Denver or perhaps moved the rock downfield against the Bears with Jefferson’s smooth skillset.

Who can deliver the ball most efficiently to Jefferson is assuredly debatable, but based on career resumes, the choice, on paper, is probably Nick Mullens.

Mullens has a career completion percentage of 65.3% and is a pure pocket passer.

The Vikings will likely wait a week or so to name the QB1 in Week 14.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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