Last week ESPN bloggers Tom Pelissero and Kevin Seifert weighed in on how the Minnesota Vikings had to find a way to make use of backup quarterback Joe Webb's athletic gifts (You can read both posts here and here.)
It's a difficult situation for the Vikings. The "Blazer" package designed to showcase Webb's talents has been a colossal bust – partly because the Vikings offence isn't good enough to sustain drives and give the team more opportunities to run it.
But it's mostly been a failure because the team isn't committed to it like Miami was with the Wildcat a few seasons ago. The Dolphins got good at the Wildcat because they ran it all the time and the system's occasional negative plays were more than balanced out by the positive ones. But the Vikings only dabble in the Blazer package. It isn't their offensive philosophy. And most of the time Webb only gets one or two plays per game to run the thing. When the Blazer predictably gains minimal yardage, the Vikings abandon it, and Webb heads back to the sidelines.
In last Sunday's loss to New Orleans, offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave looked like he was intent on giving Webb more opportunities to play than usual. Unfortunately, the Vikings were more incompetent than usual on offence, so that didn't work out very well.
But the Vikings have two games left in the season and neither of them mean much. It's time to do some unorthodox stuff. You don't want to jerk around rookie starter Christian Ponder and disrupt his rhythm after two lousy games, but would it kill Musgrave to experiment with giving Webb at least one offensive series each half, just to see how much it screws up the Washington and Chicago defensive units in the final two games?
Maybe a little game of rotating quarterbacks would work. If it does it could give the Vikings some ideas or concepts on how to make Webb an effective weapon rather than the novelty act he is now.
If you had to list the best athletes on the Vikings, Webb would probably beat out Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin for top spot. As has been written previously by Seifert and Pelissero, it's in the team's best interest to find a way to make use of Webb.
Here are some of the more interesting Vikings-related stories I found on the Internet today.
* Pelissero gives his weekly grades for the Vikings, after reviewing the game tape from Sunday's 42-20 loss to New Orleans. It's painful reading.
* ESPN 1500 colleague Judd Zulgad has the first story on cornerback Chris Cook in a while. The theme of this piece – the handling of Cook has created more discord among the Viking players.
* The National Football Post's Andrew Brandt has an interesting article on what it takes to build a successful NFL organization. While you are reading this, ask yourself where the Vikings fit under Brandt's criteria.
* Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier still insists his team's offence will revolve around the running game, but Access Vikings writer Mark Craig doesn't think that's a wise idea.