Vikings Fans Should Pump the Brakes on One Theory

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Folks want to know when Minnesota Vikings rookie quarterback J.J. McCarthy will see the field. It’s a fair ask.

Vikings Fans Should Pump the Brakes on One Theory

But assigning a date or speculating about a specific game isn’t necessarily wise.

new qb
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That’s the word out of Vikings headquarters as of late — the team doesn’t have an undercover time, game, or date for McCarthy to sniff the starting lineup. In fact, the coaching staff is rather content with letting Sam Darnold hold down the fort.

Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling joined KFAN last week and mentioned McCarthy’s progression, “We saw a lot of things in the offseason that tell you, hey, this guy’s got a lot of arm talent, he’s got a lot of potential, but he’s still got some things to refine at this level. And I think there’s a focus on doing that. I don’t think anybody’s saying, hey, we have to get him on the field by week five or something. It’s a lot about let’s make sure this thing is fully developed before we put him out there.”

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Those musings mimicked head coach Kevin O’Connell’s recent thoughts on McCarthy, too. He said on SKOR North last month about McCarthy’s development, “There’s no clock in the corner of the room that is ticking down to a specific date, or game, or things like that.”

Of course, McCarthy will take over the QB1 gig before too long, no matter what. O’Connell also said earlier this week that McCarthy is the quarterback of the future in Minnesota. Yet, generally speaking, the Vikings have a 2017 Kansas City Chiefs situation afoot, with Darnold as Alex Smith and McCarthy as Patrick Mahomes, though it’s unclear if McCarthy will morph into a true superstar. Stay tuned.

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O’Connell added, “It’s about our team, but also [J.J. McCarthy] is very important to me and very important to our organization, and my experiences tell me for a lot of reasons that our plan for him is in place for a reason and we feel really good about it.”

Because the Vikings haven’t selected a rookie quarterback early in the draft since Teddy Bridgewater — a decade ago — curious minds want to know when he’ll see the field. It’s a fair question and understandable.

However, Darnold and McCarthy shouldn’t be viewed through a lens of McCarthy’s imminent takeover. The evidence suggests McCarthy is indeed the guy for the long haul, but no one within the organization is chomping at the bit to insert him into the starting lineup. That’s Darnold’s job, at least for now.

Gets the CNN
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Overall, Darnold will be granted an honest-to-goodness trial at QB1. He’s a patchover quarterback in spirit but not in practice.

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).

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