What’s the old saying? If you have two quarterbacks, you don’t have any?
Well, what happens if you have three? Well, you’d be the Minnesota Vikings.
Who, at least aren’t the Giants. Or Steelers. Or Bucs. Or – heaven forbid — the Jaguars.
Why? Because they at least have a win.
And a growing glut of mediocrity at the QB position.
The Vikings are no stranger to the QB carousel. Since the crash and burn of the Daunte Culpepper Era, Minnesota has trotted out… Brad Johnson (14 games), Tavaris Jackson (19), Kelly Holcomb (3, remember him Browns fans?), Brooks Bollinger (1, are you shuddering yet? – sorry Minnesota), Gus Frerotte (11, proceed to bang your heads against a wall, Vikes fans), Brett Favre (29, a beacon of stability – yup, Favre), Joe Webb (2, Eagles fans remember him), Donovan McNabb (6, Vikes fans would rather forget), Christian Ponder (29, has it really been 29 starts?), and Matt Cassel (1, starting this week — perhaps you should do some NFL betting at TopBet.eu Sportsbook on the former Chiefs QB — goodness knows it could be his last start for a while, so he’ll probably be motivated).
That’s a greasy 10 different signal callers getting the uh, call, for the Vikings in the last 6 years and change. That’s rough.
So pardon the Vikes for probably hitting the QB panic switch by reaching for Bucs outcast Josh Freeman, who they signed on Sunday for the remainder of the season – presumably to start. Couple him with Cassel – signed in the off-season off the depressing QB retread heap – and the in over his head (and currently injured) Ponder and you have a whole lot of QB’s on one roster. None of whom really inspires much confidence.
But Minnesota was in the playoffs last year and Adrian Peterson can’t do it all forever on his own, so any play to improve the team is well, something. But the Vikings honestly appear lost. It’s okay: Miami, Cleveland, Arizona, Buffalo, shall I go on?… Jacksonville, all know the horrors of life without a franchise QB. It’s why teams constantly over-draft them (except this year where somehow another FSU QB – EJ Manuel – was the only one who went in the first round).
Perhaps teams are learning. More likely this year’s QB class was just weak.
Next year there figures to be a much deeper crop of strong-armed, mobile leaders who will look to replace the more vulnerable retreads and under-performing youngsters. But for now, it’s hard to find an upgrade. Unless one becomes available.
Is Freeman an upgrade? Meh. Maybe. He had a really good runner in his backfield in Doug Martin last year and the Bucs still did nothing. AP is better, but he’s just one man.
The NFC North is still within play, but it’s unlikely any of those guys will star in leading Minnesota’s resurgence.
More likely all of this spells the end of an error for the Vikings when it comes to (pick six) Ponder – who was maybe a second round caliber QB drafted 12th. Selecting a QB with a high pick is selling excitement to your frustrated fan-base, but it’s not always smart. Ponder was a massive reach. Then again, so was Blaine Gabbert.
There’s not much time to right ships in the NFL, so regimes are constantly under the microscope to find a star at the QB position or to roll over trying. That pressure inevitably drives stupidity and desperation and wallah: there-in lies a large pool of recently drafted QB’s way over their heads and teams who rue decisions they can’t undo.
For the Vikings, it remains to be seen what happens beyond this season. Chances are, they’ll go back to the drawing board. Like most teams without stars under center and a dearth of star-power set to hit market, it’s pretty much the only choice they have.
Unless Freeman wins. In which case, this whole article is rendered moot.