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Finally, the Tavaris Jackson Era Has Begun ?
Posted By Sean Neumann On Aug 10 2009 @ 11:09 am In Minnesota Vikings | No Comments
With this Favre drama out of the way, the Vikings have moved on to … Joy at quarterback.
Even though the Vikings would have been better off had Favre gotten off the tractor and come to Mankato, they can at least move on to the business of figuring out who is going to play quarterback. Anyone thinking that either Sage Rosenfels or Tavaris Jackson were seriously set back by Brad Childress' flirtation with Favre needs to consider that neither guy was guaranteed the starting job anyway. Of the two, Jackson has far more athleticism and raw talent going for him along with a nice little win streak at the back end of last season possibly making him the slimmest of front-runners in camp. I wouldn't be too worried about his ability to run so much as his needing to throw the ball in the air as opposed to skipping it on the turf. Rosenfels may have a decent grasp of the West Coast offense, but when you get down to it, talent and ability trump that. Only thing is that Jackson, as everyone knows, is limping around on a gimpy left knee that he re-aggravated on August 7 hampering one of the most appealing aspects of his game: his speed and mobility, shiftiness outside of the pocket, running instincts, and ability to improvise on broken plays. This doesn't bode well because Rosenfels is a statue in the pocket, worked under Gary Kubiak's version of the West Coast Offense (which is markedly different than what Minnesota runs) and has been a career backup. I have zero confidence in the Vikings seriously pulling this situation together. They might get something serviceable, but their quarterback situation has been a disaster for years.
There are more questions on the offensive line where John Sullivan is the de facto starter at center. Trusting a rookie in the middle where all the pass and run protection schemes are called out is risky, but he also needs to prove very quickly he can handle the load. The kid's got talent, but he is a big question mark at what is the most important position on the offensive line. If this turns into a problem, it will be much harder to rely on Adrian Peterson to carry the load and take the pressure off whomever it is that ends up playing quarterback and will force the defense to spend way more time on the field than it should. If Sullivan takes to the league quickly and can handle the load the Vikings could control games at the line of scrimmage and not have to rely too much on their passing game.
I'm not so sure they can, but they have a few weeks to work things out. The sky is not going to fall, but there are enough problems at those two positions to essentially fill a notebook.
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