The Minnesota Vikings are more than likely to hold true to their plan of having Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels compete for the starting quarterback position for the 2009 season.
Though the offseason and free agency period began as a bustling rumor mill of talk fantasizing about Brett Favre, Matt Cassel, or Jeff Garcia among others possibly taking the helm of the Vikings 2009 offense, fans were dismayed, to say the least, at the acquisition of their Super Bowl bound saviour: Poppa Sage.
Fans and analysts alike have expressed their surprise and dissatisfaction at the lackluster efforts of Vikings management and coaching staff to acquire a stable, if not star-studded, quarterback in an offseason where it appears the greatest, if not only missing link to a Super Bowl caliber team is the man taking the snaps.
Now, I personally will be the first to express my blatant disapproval of the Jackson/Rosenfels tandem.
In fact, I figured if anyone was deserving of the starting job, it would have been the guy the Vikings kicked to the curb after salvaging a seemingly hopeless situation by leading the team on an 8-3 streak after starting 0-2: Gus Frerotte.
But all that aside, I cannot help but entertain the idea that maybe, just maybe, the Vikings have some logic or method behind their QB madness.
It is no secret that Brad Childress has shown considerable favoritism toward Tarvaris Jackson, despite his lack of consistency and inability to make plays when they really count.
Perhaps it is nothing more than an educated hunch, but I believe at the end of the day, Jackson will remain the starting quarterback for the Vikings. I do not think Brad Childress could honestly be content pulling in an unproven, yet older quarterback like Sage Rosenfels and expect him to play substantially better in Minnesota than anywhere he has been prior (though that does happen from time to time).
Put simply: the trade for Sage could possibly be nothing more than a scare tactic to get some production out of Jackson.
As the final games neared last season, Gus Frerotte went down with a lower back injury that kept him out half a game against Detroit, and the whole game that followed the next week in Arizona, during which Tarvaris Jackson played with a reckless abandon that in no way resembled the kind of timid and indecisive play we saw in weeks one and two.
During those games, he rallied the Vikings from a near-fatal losing scenario against, statistically, the worst team in NFL history, and threw for a career-high four-touchdown passes against the soon-to-be NFC Champion Cardinals.
It could very well be that Jackson's surprising superior showing while filling in for Gus and the two games finishing the season, for that matter, was a result of nothing more than good ol' fashioned heat-under-the-seat.
When Tarvaris Jackson felt the urgency of production-or-bust, what do you know? He produced. It could easily be this end that Brad Childress seeks in signing Sage Rosenfels.
Regardless of all personal opinions surrounding the the position of quarterback, it is apparent that the Vikings feel no sense of urgency in changing the personnel at this time.
I can only speculate—well, and pray—that the confidence in Quarterback Land displayed by the coaching staff and management is not born out of naive optimism. The best case scenario—one which I would presume the Vikings anticipate—is a lot of extra cap room and a successful draft in which the quarterback will be aided as much as possible.
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