Posted by Josh Katzowitz
I was on the Around the League video segment with Lauren Shehadi this afternoon, and we talked about what would happen if the Vikings had to play with Tarvaris Jackson as their quarterback.
I said I thought he was a decent-enough player but the fact that Minnesota was trying so hard to woo Brett Favre back to the team was a pretty good indication of what the front office thinks about Jackson (upon reflection, this might not be a completely fair statement. After all, Favre is a first-ballot Hall of Famer coming off an amazing season. Of course , the Vikings would do all they can to get Favre back on the field.)
Yet, the Vikings have shown they don’t fully trust Jackson. True, he led the squad to an 8-4 record when he started during the 2007 season, but he didn’t look particularly impressive while doing it (he completed about 58 percent of his passes, threw for less than 2,000 yards and completed 12 interceptions against nine touchdowns).
I don’t think Jackson is a great solution, though my impression was formed during 2007. Jackson tells KFAN in Minneapolis (via sportsradiointerviews.com ), though, he’s a different player now than he was three seasons ago.
“I know I have grown a lot since then,” he said. “I feel like whenever I get my chance to go out there and play, I will prove it. It is easy for me to say it, I just got to go out there and show everyone. I understand the situation with everyone (who doesn’t) think I can do it, but it don’t really bother me a lot. As long as my teammates believe in me, I believe in myself. That is the big thing. If I believe in myself and stay confident and even-keel like I am, I will be fine.”
What works in Jackson’s favor is the number of outstanding skill players he has around him now. In 2007, he could count on running back Adrian Peterson, who rushed for 1,341 yards and 12 touchdowns that season, but his best receiver was Bobby Wade. This year, the Vikings boast one of the best WR trios in the NFL with Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin and Bernard Berrian. That’s quite a large difference in talent from three years ago.
“I feel like our offense has grown and we have just grown as a team,” Jackson said. “Our offense is together now and I feel like if I get a chance to go out there and play now, I feel like I would be a lot better.”
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