Drafted in the sixth round three years ago as a receiver, Joe Webb has returned to that position.
“We had been talking about it for a while, and we made the decision that this was the way to go after we had our draft,” coach Leslie Frazier said.
Webb also is expected to contribute on special teams.
“It’s going to be very interesting,” Webb said. “I haven’t played it since my rookie minicamp, but I think I can adjust to it pretty good. You just have to put in a lot of work. [Receivers coach George Stewart] will do a lot of that with me, so we’ll see what happens.”
The link to the arrival of Cassel is obvious; the connection to the arrival of Patterson is less clear. It could be that, with Patterson considered to be a longer-term project, the Vikings decided that they need Webb to contribute now while Patterson is working to realize his potential.
For Webb, the stakes are high. He enters his contract year with Minnesota after three full seasons as a quarterback. Webb now will be playing a less lucrative position, and he’ll have only a year to make an impact before hitting the open market.
Still, it sounds like he wants to stay with the Vikings. “I love Minnesota,” Webb said. “They’ve welcomed me like a son to a father, and it’s a great city. I love playing for the fans, and I think it’s a great fan base here, great atmosphere, great place to play.”
Webb arguably can’t be too upset about the move. He finally got a chance to show what he could do at quarterback during the 2012 playoffs, and he failed badly. It’s arguably overdue for the Vikings to realize that he’s one of the better athletes on the team, and that he should be on the field as much as possible, in some capacity.