On Wednesday, Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson responded to comments that Vikings defensive tackle Pat Williams made during an interview with Alex Marvez on Sirius NFL Radio, in which Williams questioned Jackson's work ethic.
During the interview, Williams said that Jackson could be a good quarterback if he puts in the time necessary.
“I talk to Tarvaris all the time and tell him you have to put in the time," Williams said Tuesday. "This ain’t college no more. This is the NFL. You have to put in more time than you are used to putting in. If you are putting in four hours, you have to put in eight. You have to put in more time than what he’s doing. I think if he puts the right time in, he will be a great quarterback in the league.”
Jackson replied to the comment Wednesday at a community event, saying that he thought he had been working hard to prepare for the quarterback competition this summer between Sage Rosenfels and himself.
“If we’re friends we’re going to keep it between us,” Jackson said. “He’s an older guy, he wants to win. I guess he went through his times growing up and [you] have to figure it out yourself. My first year, I had to figure it out. Now, I’ve pretty much figured it out. I’m studying more."
"I feel like I’m doing what I’ve got to do and that’s pretty much all I’ve got to say. I’ve put the time in, like he said, maybe I do have to put extra time in. I guess when you’re not doing as well you’ve got to put the extra time in. But I feel like I’m working hard. I’ve always been a hard worker.”
After all the criticism Jackson has received for his play the past couple of seasons, his work ethic has never been questioned by teammates or coaches.
The third-year quarterback was also asked if Williams had talked to him about anything specific he should be working on.
“No, not really,” Jackson said. “Defensive guys, it’s a lot different than the quarterback. You’ve got to do a lot more. You’ve got to be lifting weights, you’ve got to go on the field, you’ve got to watch the extra film and stuff like that. But I’m fine, I’m doing that, so I’m not really worried about that.”
Vikings defensive tackle Ray Edwards, who was also at the community event, thinks the starting job is Jackson's to lose.
“I believe he’s the better quarterback,” Edwards said. “He’s proven himself in the league. Sage has proven himself also, but to me Tarvaris is the more mobile quarterback that can make plays happen.”
Jackson remained positive talking about his love of football and how improving can stop comments similar to Williams'.
”This is my life right now and I love my life,” he said. “I love my job and I’ve just got to go out here and try to get better. If I play better, I won’t have to answer all these questions all the time.”
Jackson will be busy this weekend competing against Rosenfels at a Vikings mandatory mini-camp. This session starts Friday and runs until Sunday.