Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Questions for Thought

So...the expensive O-Line isn't meeting expectations, the defense is almost hapless against the pass, and our offense is, well, offensive to its own fans.

Do you think it's time to see what the kid's bringing to the team?

The entire NFL knows that Brad Johnson's typical pass play has him look deep briefly, then check down to his "safety valves" which are easier on his arm. It's not all his fault, though, as our "lead" receiver can't catch even perfectly-thrown balls and the others are easily covered by a single defender.

We have a workhorse running back that's wearing down from being too much of our offense. We have a pair of proven tight ends that are under utilized.

As the season falls away from under the Vikes' feet, is it time to shake up the offense? Tarvaris Jackson, the 2nd-round pick that looked so poised in the preseason, does he have a shot in the arm for a struggling team needing just that?

During Tarvaris Jackson's three-year career at Alabama State, he passed for 7,849 yards and 67 touchdowns, while rushing for 982 yards and 11 scores. He led the Hornets to two Southwestern Athletic Conference championship games, helping ASU win the title in 2004. He played in 36 games during that span, compiling a 24-12 record.

Jackson is a thick-bodied quarterback with the ability to get rid of the ball quickly. When he strides into and follows through on throws, he can make strong and accurate throws all over the field. He does a very good job of looking off the defender (especially the deep safety) and coming back to the receiver he wants to throw to at the last possible moment. He is a tough quarterback who has consistently shown a willingness to stand strong and take hard hits in the pocket to complete important passes. He has the athleticism to get out of the pocket and can make plays with his feet.

Tarvaris is a little short for a quarterback at just over 6-2, but at over 220 pounds, he is definitely well-built for his height. He was a tough and durable player at Alabama State, but any time a player makes the jump from a small school to the NFL, his NFL durability is definitely a question mark. He is an explosive runner when he takes off with the ball -- he bursts out of the pocket and can make big plays with his feet. However, the ball does not burst out of his hand often, because he does not throw with good technique/follow-through consistently. He has very good playing strength for a quarterback -- he can pull free from potential tacklers/sacks surprisingly well and has shown the strength to run through low arm/grab tackles when scrambling.

As I was looking at some comments posted throughout the Internet on Jackson in the preseason, there was much speculation about whom he reminded people of from the present and the past. He was compared to the likes of Michael Vick, Randall Cunningham, Daunte Culpepper, Terry Bradshaw and the great Steve Young. Well, the jury is still out and I believe that Jackson will hope to become a household name all of his own. Will the young man that transferred out of Arkansas to a Division II school, ASU, become the best move for a team in 2006? Is it too soon for him to be named the starter?

The way I look at it, Childress is in a "Catch 22". He starts Jackson, he's not ready, fans boo......he starts Johnson and the receivers aren't supportive, the team can't score, the fans boo......the only way out of the pickle? Jackson starts, is amazing, has a great game and wins next week, does Brad Johnson boo? I don't think so, he has class! I just wish that more Viking fans would pay him the same respect. After all, if Jackson is amazing.....Brad will have had a hand in him coming so far to learn the Vikings offense in six short months.

Viking Meshell