Vikings head coach Brad Childress has tried to be vague about who he will start at quarterback all week, but all signs point to, and logic dictates, that Tarvaris Jackson will resume his starting role and continue his growth as an NFL quarterback. Or so we would hope.
By moving up in the draft in a move that many thought was a reach, Childress indicated clearly that he considered Jackson the future franchise quarterback. Forced to face the fire in his second year despite sparse NFL experience because the team refused to add a viable veteran signal caller to the roster, Jackson must develop whether he’s ready or not.
There have been some promising signs during Jackson’s short exposure to pro football: He’s obviously very athletic and can make things happen with his feet; he’s got an extremely strong arm; he has shown composure at his position; and for the most part he has not tried to force the ball where it shouldn’t go.
On the other hand, during his past two games, Jackson’s looked like a deer in the headlights: He’s looked panicky in the pocket and he’s tried to make plays that weren’t there, resulting in turnovers. And he’s still got to prove he can win a game. He’s taken steps backwards.
If the Vikings beat the Bears today, there’s still a faint hope that they can salvage their season. If we lose, we’ll have to consider it another rebuilding year and hopefully Jackson will blossom in the absence of the pressure of playoff hopes. Only time will tell if Jackson is the answer.
Aside from all the problems you typically get with a young, inexperienced quarterback, the most maddening thing about Jackson is that for a guy who’s got a rocket arm, he appears to have absolutely no feel for the long pass. He’s consistently missed deep receivers, even when they’ve been wide open.
Kelly Holcomb has had the same problem, which is pretty inexcusable for a guy with ten years experience. Worse, though, is Holcomb’s crybaby attitude. The most indelible image I have of Holcomb is him rolling his eyes or yelling at his teammates. That’s not just a lack of leadership, that’s poisonous.
0 for 4 At Quarterback
Jackson, Mike McMahon, Brooks Bollinger, Kelly Holcomb; thus far, Brad Childress is zip for four on his quarterback choices. We won’t know whether Tyler Thigpen was a wise personnel evaluation for quite some time, as he is buried on the Chief’s depth chart and it is too soon to fairly judge whether Jackson is the real deal. But it is clear th McMahon was incompetent and Holcomb looks little better. Bollinger has all the look of a career backup.
Considering all of the Vikings quarterback problems under the current regime, you have to question their ability to evaluate talent. McMahon and Holcomb are the most glaring indictments of said weakness because they came from Philadelphia, so presumably Childress was much more familiar with them than he would be with a player that came from elsewhere.
Worse still, is the apparent lack of development of any of our quarterbacks.
That tells me that they are either 1) not being taught well, 2) they are being forced into the system and asked to do things of which they are not capable, or 3) both.
If the problem is the first, then, well, what can you say? The big selling point with Childress was his ability to develop talent: See Donovan McNabb. Maybe the coach ain’t all that. If the problem is that the QBs are being forced to do things they are not good at, there’s plenty of supporting evidence in that regard: all of last season was an example of that.