During his three years in the league, Joe Webb has been called upon a few times to make spot starts at quarterback for Minnesota, and during those moments, he's actually performed pretty well (excluding, of course, last year's playoff game vs. the Packers). Well enough to make the Vikings consider making him the full-time starter at some points.
Those days, however, are over, as the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Sid Hartman notes the Vikings will move Webb to receiver on a full-time basis. Coach Leslie Frazier said the decision was made after Minnesota brought in Matt Cassel to back up Christian Ponder at quarterback and after the drafting of Cordarrelle Patterson in the first round last month.
The move isn't a huge surprise, considering we wrote last month that Frazier was thinking about making this change. “[Webb] is such a talented athlete that we want to make sure that we're doing the right thing by him and our team, as well,” Frazier said then. “That's something we'll continue to discuss as we go forward.”
Webb was told about the move on the first day of offseason workouts, and now he hopes he can remember back to college when he was a full-time receiver as a sophomore to help ease his transition away from the quarterback room.
“It's going to be very interesting,” Webb said. “I haven't played it since my rookie minicamp, but I think I can adjust to it pretty good. You just have to put in a lot of work. Coach Stew [wide receivers coach George Stewart] will do a lot of that with me, so we'll see what happens.”
Webb has caught one pass for nine yards in the NFL. That was in 2011. But the team is hoping Webb can use his extraordinary speed to make life difficult for other defenses. Plus, he'll still have those quarterback smarts.
“You have a whole different world at quarterback, but I think that's going to help me out there at receiver, having been at quarterback and knowing the coverage and how DBs run their plays,” Webb said. “I think that's going to be a big advantage for me. I always relate things that I see on the field to quarterbacks -- to Christian, to Matt Cassel, to [McLeod] Bethel-Thompson, I can tell those guys what I see out there. That will help them out a lot, my quarterback experience.
“Also, it will help the receivers out -- for instance if they see a safety rotating down, different coverages that teams prepare and things like that. I think it's going to be a big help.”