Brett Favre is back. For now. He had off season surgery on his ankle. He is 40 years old. Last year he was sacked the third most times in a season in his career. The year before that the fifth most times. Can the Iron Man of the NFL keep his amazing streak going? Can he help the Vikings win all season long?
These questions are rattling around in the back of every Vikings fans mind. Or at least they should be.
Say the horrible happens and Favre goes down. He is down for the season and the Vikings are left with Tarvaris Jackson and 6th round draft pick Joe Webb.
Jackson has a career 58.7 completion percentage. He has 21 touchdowns to 18 interceptions. He has fumbled the ball 13 times and lost 7 of them. Those numbers do not bode well for the young quarterback from Alabama State.
But here is a novel idea. Could the Vikings use the option offense if Favre went down?
It almost seems like a good idea. Jackson has good speed, agility, and acceleration. Adrian Peterson is regarded as one of the games best running backs.
Remember what Michael Vick was doing in Atlanta from 2004-2007? In those three seasons he rushed for 902 yards, 597 yards and 1039 yards, respectively, while throwing the ball at a completion percent of 56.4, 55.3, and 52.6. And Vick has averaged below 6 yards per carry only once during his time with the Falcons.
Why couldn't Jackson do that? Given the threat with Peterson it is not unfathomable to think that the Vikings could run a very efficient and threatening option offense. How would a defense game plan for it? Do you run a 3-4 and have one middle line backer spy Jackson while the other spies Peterson? Or do you run a 4-3 and hope your defensive end can contain the outside?
Add in Toby Gerhart, the battering ram running back from Stanford and Albert Young, the young speedster from Iowa and you can have some very interesting packages.
What about Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe? He has proven to be a very reliable short to medium yard receiving end. He can run small flair patterns five to six yards from the line of scrimmage in the direction Jackson and Peterson go to keep the linebackers from immediately charging the backfield and cutting off the option. If the linebackers come in too deep, just toss it over the top to Shiancoe. If they stay home with him, Jackson can take off or pitch it to Peterson.
The idea works, but would the application?