Vikings make Webb a full-time receiver

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Drafted in the sixth round three years ago as a receiver, Joe Webb has returned to that position.

According to Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Vikings made the move after signing quarterback Matt Cassel and drafting receiver Cordarrelle Patterson and

“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.

91 responses to “Vikings make Webb a full-time receiver

  1. He should try to go to a team like Washington or Carolina. He might do well there. Hell of an athlete but is he a football player. Sounds like a great teammate.

  2. It’s about time! He was never NFL QB material but this kid is a heck of an athlete. I can’t wait to see what he does after having an entire off-season working at the receiver position. Prediction – 85 catches 1,075 yards.

  3. Common sense finally prevails. I hope Webb can run a route and catch at the NFL level. After the Green Bay game, he’s a punchline, but he’s 6’4″, 220, with 4.4 speed and serious jumping ability. Hopefully the Vikes can find a way to use that talent.

  4. Aside from triggering fundie-gasms everywhere he publicly appears, Webb is in much the same boat as Tim Tebow.

    Both are athletically gifted athletes who happened to play QB in college, yet made as many plays with their legs as their arms.

    Sadly, both have learned the hard way that NFL football is not college football, and everyone they play against is as good or better an athlete as they are.

    They need to rapidly read defenses. They need to quickly adapt when their reads are incorrect. They need to digest very limited information, extremely fast, and use it to make good decisions. And they need to do all of this consistently, or be demonized.

    As such, both Webb and Tebow will be far better off as non-quarterback NFL players.

  5. Idk where everyone is getting this “raw” crap. They didn’t take him in the first round to sit on the bench. He’s starting day 1 opposite Jennings with Wright in the slot and Webb being a gimmick that won’t work. Patterson is better than anything we had last year regardless of how uncooked he is.

  6. Thank god. To say that watching him attempt to play quarterback in the playoff game against the Packers was painful would be putting it lightly. Guy made Christian Ponder look like Johnny U.

  7. This is it, Webb. Show us Viking fans that you deserve to stay after 2013. Learn that playbook, learn the routes, learn to catch the football, and learn to seperate yourself from the defender.

    This is your last chance. Don’t blow it.

  8. I’m sure at this point he’s just happy that he’ll get the chance to play regularly. I don’t think anyone would be knocking down his door next year looking for him to be their backup QB.

  9. 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.


    Playing > not playing.

  10. Huge mistake, first he should have been starting the whole time and Ponder should have never been drafted. Ponder was a HUGE reach at #12, and the Vikings had more important holes to fill on defense and WR.
    Had Webb been handed the ball and told it’s your team, your the QB, and built the offense around his strengths, Webb and the Vikings would be better off today. He is not a WR and he will not succeed at that position, he’ll be released in training camp. Just watch, and the Vikings will be drafting a QB come next spring, Johnny Football here we come.

  11. Relying on Cassel as your back up QB is like relying on Obama to ever balance a budget.

    Neither are a good idea.

  12. Nice kid, can’t play.

    Desparation move to try and keep him on the roster but it won’t work.

    There is a reason they move you to receiver from quartback at the senior bowl!

    Oh, but he can’t catch or run routes.

  13. “The link to the arrival of Cassel is obvious; the connection to the arrival of Patterson is less clear.”

    If Patterson is taking over for Sherels at punt returns, in addition to kick returns, Sherels is probably gone. Perhaps Webb may be replacing Sherels for the dirty work of special teams, on the kick coverage team.

  14. Good luck. He’s got three months to learn WR, and never learned a dang thing about QB in three years. Webb will be catching passes next year – in the CFL, from Tebow.

  15. Sigh…just cut the guy now so he can find a team. He’s not going to beat out Jennings, Patterson, Wright, Simpson or Childs/Rodney Smith/Burton/whoever else is competing for that fifth spot

  16. Maybe the connection to Patterson’s arrival is that they only selected one receiver in the draft and the position could use more help. Or maybe with having two raw, but extremely gifted athletes at WR, the Vikings are hoping Patterson and Webb will push each other to improve at a faster rate.

    Other than that I got nothin’.

  17. Its about time they moved him receiver. He is capable of making big plays. He just was not consintant enough at quarterback. Hopefully by moving him to receiver they will be able to take advantage of his athletic ability.

  18. End-arounds, WR screens, and short slants. Maybe some lining up in the backfield and trick plays to use his arm. Ironically, he will likely be used in much the same way that Harvin was, albeit probably less effectively.

  19. I have said it a dozen times, that I didn’t like the Patterson pick. I think the fact that they feel Webb is a better option right now than Patterson speaks to that a bit.

    I will be bashed again for saying it. They had other options that would have been better pure receivers. It would have gone farther in helping Ponder as a QB.

    Instead they got a player that if he reaches his potential will be Harvin with a better attitude.

    Webb was drafted as a project too, at least they waited until the 6th round to take him.

  20. After watching him as a “QB” in the playoffs I think the world knew a change had to be coming. Ponder looked like Johnny U in comparison

  21. About time… I’ve been saying he’s whole career that he wasn’t a QB, but we kept him there. After he’s playoff performance last year, it was a no brainer to move him to a deferent position, or release him. He will be the 4th or 5th receiver on the roster but will still get some plays called for him. I imagine a little wildcat also.

  22. brought in as a receiver, saw he could throw a nice deep ball, switched him to QB.

    He’s a great athlete who wasn’t going to get a WR job on a team that had minimum WR talent at the time. He had some surprise wins against teams that had no film and watched him run around everywhere. As a QB he was the poor mans Tavaris Jackson. I just hope his raw ability can secure him a spot as a WR because time and lack of training for it certainly have not.

  23. So…these guys portend that they were evaluating Webb’s receiving skills all along the way (which is how they justified not playing him at WR ever), yet Webb himself says he hasn’t played any receiver since his rookie year.

  24. Sad & funny. Roster spots are hard to come by in a lot of towns. I think the Vikes are in the right track sometimes, but then they convert their backup quarterback to receiver to allow the maturation process of a kid they traded MOST of the rest of their draft for.

    #2 all time rushing yardage seasons come once & only once per career.

    I say sub .500 record for the Vikes, & the whole staff gets blowed up.

  25. Breaking news: Packer games this year will be televised on the History channel due to the fact that their fans live in the DISTANT past!

  26. Great move, especially considering Webb sucks as a NFL starting (or backup for that matter) QB.
    Too bad though the Vikings still have little Mr. Ponder-Steel as their starting QB.
    They’ll never win a super bowl (or the division) with that candy ass, weak armed, scared, career backup Mr. Ponder-Steele as their starting QB.
    And before all you Viking fans jump all over this, I’m a Vikings fan myself….I’m just not blinded by purple colored glasses.

  27. I’m glad they finally did this. It should have been done 2 years ago in my opinion. I would imagine Webb will be the 4th WR when all is said and done. The year will most likely start:


    I’d also like to see Webb return some kicks. I think Patterson may be the main KR but throw Webb in there in the second level. If teams try to keep it away from Patterson then Webb will be there.

  28. And so it goes that 2012’s #1 and #2 on the QB depth chart are about to have “make it or brake it” years.

    It didn’t matter who Webb played on that fateful playoff game, he would have been frazzled either way – the guy has never had what it takes to complete as QB on the NFL level, and a great deal of us saw that. Only fanboys wanted him instead of Ponder.

  29. It’s about time! Webb is 6-4, 220 lbs, and runs a 4.4 40.

    The Vikings need to get the ball in his hands more often, and this move will make it happen. What’s more, this will hopefully end the Jerome Simpson experiment once and for all.

  30. As a Vikes fan this is nice to see. Seems like Spielman is really making some good decisions since taking over. Something I haven’t seen as long as I can remember. Just wish this move would’ve taken place 2, 3 years ago.

  31. So in consecutive weeks, the Packers defense took out Viking QB’s. In week 17, the Packers D ended Ponder’s season. And in week 18, the Packers D ended Webb’s QB career.

  32. First off, he’s a bum. Cut him now and save everyone the pointless discussions about how great an athlete he is. It’s obvious he isn’t a good football player. Those of you who were calling for him to be the starting qb were full of it and some of us have told you the whole time you were stoooooooopid.

    Now you’re saying he will make a great receiver and you’re just as stooooooooopid.

    Time for Webb to go and he will be gone during camp.

    Now if only reporters and analysts could be cut for writing what a great athlete he is…

  33. Webb ended his own QB career filthy. He didn’t make those terrible throws because he’s inaccurate, not because your team has some overly-threatening defense, because it doesn’t.

  34. They should have just cut him loose, either way Frazier comes out of this looking bad. If he succeeds, trolls will say they should have gone this 2 years ago. If he fails, they’ll say why has he been on the roster this whole time?

  35. Guy is HELL of a kick returner too. Run him AND Patterson like Harvin used to…..a lot of good athletes on the Vikings offense.

  36. Honestly Webb is going to have a hard time making this team. If they even keep 5 receivers, you are looking at the following:

    Locks: Wright, Jennings, Patterson
    Inside track: Jerome Simpson
    Battling for it: Steven Burton, Webb, that FSU UDFA, the Mankato kid, some other guy they’ll inevitably bring in, the possibility they only keep 4 WR’s, Greg Childs, that tall Green Bay practice squad guy they grabbed, and likely some geek off the street.

    I don’t know, barring any injuries I would say Burton has a better shot at that last spot because Burton is also a good special teams player. Webb was a 6th round pick and I’m guessing they wouldn’t have moved him to QB if he was showing mad WR skills.

  37. Good move. Webb can be successful as a WR.

    I’d like to see the Vikings use Webb as a red-zone specialist WR, running corner end-zone routes. Ponder can throw a high ball into the corner that only Webb could catch with his height and huge vertical. Unstoppable if executed well.

  38. The Vikings should use Webb against the packers. But throw in the Read Option playbook and see what happens.Let him use his running ability.

  39. I’ll just come out and say it, Joe Webb is a better QB than Matt Cassel.

    Watch out what you wish for.

  40. Great guy, great in the community, but I don’t think he’ll make the team unless they have room for a purely special teams player. He would be a good kick returner but I’m sure they’re planning on having Patterson do that.

  41. fwippel says:May 16, 2013 8:20 AM

    It’s about time! Webb is 6-4, 220 lbs, and runs a 4.4 40.

    The Vikings need to get the ball in his hands more often, and this move will make it happen. What’s more, this will hopefully end the Jerome Simpson experiment once and for all.

    Jerome Simpson is 6-2, 190, and runs a 4.4 40. He also has a slight advantage over Webb in that he has played wide receiver his whole life. Webb is the experiment, not Simpson.

  42. vikings’ reporters who’ve watched him practice say webb can’t catch. experiment ova

  43. Man, I hate auto-correction! *His not he’s on my previous post!

  44. Hope it works out.

    If he gets cut a team with a running QB option might pick him up (49’s) as a 3rd QB and with a better coaching staff and a play calling to fit his skills, he could succeed.

    One of Ponder’s best games was his last and people forget all the sub 100 games and all the games were he survived becasue of bubble scrrens to Harvin. WEBB’s last game was his worst (he has had good and OK games) and he did not have the Harvin bail out and no easy passes or screens plays called either.

    I get it that when you are a # 2 QB and you get your chance you need to shine and he did not.

    At the beginning of the year the QB coach said all WEBB and Ponder needed to improves was to have more reps. Ponder had a season’s worth (when several times he should have been benched) and WEBB had none. Now after one horrid game poorly called he is done? Matt C has never had a horrid game?

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