Joe Webb showed his shortcomings as a traditional quarterback in the Minnesota Vikings’ playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers, and now he has been replaced as Christian Ponder’s backup by Matt Cassel. Signing Cassel is the right move, even if it brings a potential quarterback controversy if Ponder struggles like he did at times last season.
With no room for Webb to play quarterback, it seems reasonable for the Vikings to look at using him at other positions. But Tom Pelissero of 1500 ESPN-Twin Cities has reported that head coach Leslie Frazier dismissed the possibility on Wednesday, and Frazier added that he anticipates taking four quarterbacks to training camp. McLeod Bethel-Thompson would theoretically compete with Webb to be Minnesota’s No. 3 quarterback in that scenario.
Webb may have some trade value, since his athleticism makes him a good fit for the read-option offense that has become prevalent in the NFL. But Frazier’s assertion about having four quarterbacks makes that look unlikely, though that could obviously change as the offseason goes on.
My main criticism of the Vikings’ coaching staff has been an unwillingness to use players in roles they can’t envision. Keeping Webb solely at quarterback is not only doing him a disservice, but the team is also missing out on a player that may have something more to offer in a role that might fit him better.
I don’t necessarily think Webb has difference-making talent right now, but the Vikings still have a need at wide receiver and he played the position some in college. He also has intriguing size (6’4″, 220 lbs.) and could be used as a kickoff returner with Percy Harvin now gone. The opportunity to get Webb some work at wide receiver and perhaps as a kick returner would be there during OTAs, but that does not look like part of the Vikings’ plan.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.