QB Controversy in Minnesota!

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a quarterback controversy in Minnesota!Tarvaris Jackson was clearly not ready to open the season as starting quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings, despite all the happy talk last summer and through the pre-season about how his knowledge of the offense and his comfortability with his reads had improved. The 0-2 start was evidence enough.

Viking head coach Brad Childress benched T-Jack after two games, saying that the grizzled veteran Gus Frerotte would absolutely be his starter for the rest of the season. This surprised some people and sparked some talk, but not a lot of controversy. (Again, think 0-2.) My thought at the time was that Chilly just meant “I don’t want no stinkin’ QB controversy every time I talk to the press.”

Any fan knows that with 14 games remaining, it was pretty unlikely that Frerotte would last the season without being sidelined by injury for a series, a quarter, a game or even the remainder of the season. Based on this and the fact that the 3rd string QB is a raw rookie, it has been intuitively obvious to even the casual fan that we would see Tarvaris would get some more playing time.

If you look at the time Green Bay was able to groom Rodgers while Brett Favre tantalized the Packers on whether he would “retire” or not. Tarvaris has done pretty darn well without the opportunity to sit at the feet of a master for a couple of years. How many QB’s have a winning record in their first full season?

Childress and his offensive brain trust of offensive coordinator Darell Bevell and QB coach Kevin Rogers have been saying all along (and essentially staking their careers on it) that Tarvaris has all the physical tools to be a top quarterback in the NFL. In this year’s pre-season, T-Jack demonstrated the confidence and maturity needed to assume the mantle of QB and team leader. Unfortunately, when the season started, the first two opponents were able to show the young QB some defensive wrinkles that rattled him.

Just as it should have e been no surprise that Jackson would be benched to give him his first chance to sit back, relax and watch what the defenses were doing without having defensive linemen and blitzers getting in his face, it should also be no surprise that when an opportunity arose, he would come out ready to play. Tarvaris says that the coaches have told him every week to make sure he was ready, knew the game plan and was mentally prepared.

Since Chilly benched Jackson so unequivocally, the fans and the press have, for the most part, left the head coach alone until now. But as I write, things are a-changin’ for the head coach. Jackson has led the Vikes to a 28-0 first half lead over Phoenix. This follows leading the Vikings to a win over Detroit after being thrust into the game when Frerotte left with a back injury. Both Troy Aikman and Terry Bradshaw have used the words “perfect” and “beautiful” to describe plays by Tarvaris. Will Frerotte be the starter when (if?) his back allows him to play again? If this doesn’t become a “cause celebre”, I don’t know sportswriters, sportscasters or fans. Look out Chilly, here it comes.

Make no mistake about it: Tarvaris Jackson is the quarterback of the future for the Minnesota Vikings. Brad Childress staked his career on it and his management of this year’s situation has made it a reality.

P.S. The game ended 35-14, with Tarvaris going 11-17 for 160-odd yards and a career record FOUR TD’s.


2 Responses to “QB Controversy in Minnesota!”

  1. 1 LOTGK December 16, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    I don’t see a controversy. Frerotte is hurt, a fracture in his back. Reports said two weeks maybe three he would be out. Jackson wins the starter position by default. At least for now he does.

  2. 2 dcsugg December 16, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    Did not realized this. Last thing I saw was that Chilly was mum on the subject of who would be his starting quarterback. Anyway, when/if Frerotte returns, the controversy ensues – unless Tarvaris makes it a moot point. (Let’s hope.)

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