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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Vikings go with weak Plan B at QB

    Posted on Mon, Jul. 24, 2006

    [size=18px]Vikings go with weak Plan B at QB[/size]

    With Culpepper gone, the unproven and untested will back up starter Brad Johnson

    BY DON SEEHOLZER
    Pioneer Press


    A year ago, the big question heading into training camp was how much the Vikings would miss receiver Randy Moss.

    This time around, the same could be asked of quarterback Daunte Culpepper and whether the trade on March 14 that sent him to Miami has left the team precariously thin at quarterback.

    As horrendously as Culpepper played last season before shredding his right knee on Oct. 30 at Carolina, he had more highs than lows during his seven seasons in Minnesota. After Moss, Culpepper was the one player opposing defensive coordinators feared most.

    Brad Johnson was dependable and efficient as Culpepper's replacement, but a weak schedule and revived defense obviously were major factors in a 7-2 finish to last season.

    Throw in Johnson's age — he turns 38 two days after the season opener Sept. 11 at Washington — and a suspect or unproven backup corps, and the Vikings have to be crossing their fingers that Johnson makes it through the season in one piece.

    If not, it could get ugly.

    Johnson could be the NFC North's oldest starting quarterback — by one year over Green Bay's Brett Favre. Even so, the drop-off is obviously huge from him to No. 2 quarterback Mike McMahon, who was signed in March after being released by Philadelphia.

    Vikings coach Brad Childress, the former Eagles offensive coordinator, considered McMahon a good fit because of McMahon's extensive experience in the West Coast offense, including his four seasons in Detroit.

    "At least I have a little book on him," Childress said last week. "Systemwise, he's up to speed. Every one of those quarterbacks has done a good job of assimilating this offseason so far."

    The bad news is that McMahon is 3-11 as an NFL starter, including 2-5 with the Eagles last season after replacing an injured Donovan McNabb. The Vikings turned to him as their backup plan only after first choice Craig Nall of Green Bay decided to sign with Buffalo.

    Still, McMahon will open training camp as the first line of defense behind Johnson, with journeyman J.T. O'Sullivan and rookie project Tarvaris Jackson the other quarterbacks on the roster.

    Jackson, a second-round draft choice from Division I-AA Alabama State, demonstrated enough physical skills and athletic ability during offseason practices to suggest that he could develop into the Vikings' quarterback of the future.

    For the present, though, the No. 1 job is firmly in the hands of Johnson, who hasn't missed a game because of injury since the 2002 season. But Johnson has started just 13 games in the past two seasons.

    If the Vikings can keep him healthy, they have a starting quarterback who completed 62.6 percent of his passes for 12 touchdowns and four interceptions last season. Johnson could benefit from an improved offensive line and running game.

    In Johnson, the Vikings also have a 15-year veteran who has led all three of his NFL teams to the playoffs, and who won Super Bowl XXXVII with Tampa Bay. Those Buccaneers ran a West Coast offense similar to the one Childress is installing.

    As Childress said on the day he was hired: "Brad Johnson is a talented guy who won a lot of games this year. I'm familiar with him, and he knows this system."

    After last season, the players know they can win with Johnson, who owns the one thing — a Super Bowl ring — that carries instant credibility in every NFL locker room.

    "To win a Super Bowl as a starting quarterback in this league is something that is very hard to do," tight end Jermaine Wiggins said, "so the confidence in Brad has always been there."

    As for the guys behind him, that's something the Vikings hope won't be put to the test.

    Don Seeholzer can be reached at [email protected]

    Vikings go with weak Plan B at QB

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    nephilimstorm's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings go with weak Plan B at QB

    ummm hmm...i dont know who to take at number 2

  3. #3
    digital420's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings go with weak Plan B at QB

    it seems to come over and over again.. though it's getting more and more decided then just thought of.

    we keep rereading the same things with different words. I can't wait till the offseason ends and we can begin seeing real decisions being made instead of speculation...

    DiGiTaL

    "We tried to stick with it, but there was a point where we were beating our head against a wall," Seattle Coach Mora talking about running at the Williams Wall

  4. #4
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Vikings go with weak Plan B at QB

    :shock:, I guess it took Seeholzer a little longer than most to figure this one out.

  5. #5
    PsychoViking is offline Training Camp
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    Re: Vikings go with weak Plan B at QB

    I am a little worried about the back up spot at QB....but if Brad can stay healthy all season (BIG if) the VIKINGS will be allright....and I think I am the only one who things T.J. is going to be a pretty good QB in the future.
    The World is Full Of Kings & Queens..Who Will Blind Your Eyes..Then Steal Your Dreams..Its Heaven & Hell

  6. #6
    COJOMAY is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Vikings go with weak Plan B at QB

    I get so sick and tired of hearing this same old drivel about BJ's age. The might LordFavre will be 37 in October. Just a year yonger than BJ and you NEVER hear a word about his age. If I was a sportswriter, I'd be doing pieces like this on Favre.
    Kentucky Vikes Fan

    When you require nothing, you get nothing; when you expect nothing, you will find nothing; when you embrace nothing, all you will have is nothing.

  7. #7
    Big C is offline Coordinator
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    Re: Vikings go with weak Plan B at QB

    I'm a little more optimistic about McMahon than most. I have seen a few games of his and they are "unpredictable". There are some drives that he looks really good in and some that you wonder what the heck he is doing.

    I always thought he was better QB than Harrington in Detroit but Millen couldn't bring himself to bench Joey. His season last year with the Eagles was pretty decsent for a backup. I base these facts on:
    - McNabb won games while TO was still being nice
    - The only valid reciever McMahon had was Reggie Brown - a rookie!
    - They refused to run the ball. That's stupid when your backup QB is at the helm and you have an elite running back.
    - Reid forced his backup QB to pass 60%+ of the time! With only one legitimate reciever!

    McMahon is no Matt Schaub (that man's a starter) but he is good enough for a backup. He knows the playbook. He will have legitimate recievers, a running game and a formidable offensive line. If Childress calls smart plays McMahon could possibly have a 50-50 record if forced to start.

    I'm not too worried.
    Halo 4. Start another fight.

  8. #8
    boognish's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings go with weak Plan B at QB

    "Big C" wrote:
    I'm a little more optimistic about McMahon than most. I have seen a few games of his and they are "unpredictable". There are some drives that he looks really good in and some that you wonder what the heck he is doing.

    I always thought he was better QB than Harrington in Detroit but Millen couldn't bring himself to bench Joey. His season last year with the Eagles was pretty decsent for a backup. I base these facts on:
    - McNabb won games while TO was still being nice
    - The only valid reciever McMahon had was Reggie Brown - a rookie!
    - They refused to run the ball. That's stupid when your backup QB is at the helm and you have an elite running back.
    - Reid forced his backup QB to pass 60%+ of the time! With only one legitimate reciever!

    McMahon is no Matt Schaub (that man's a starter) but he is good enough for a backup. He knows the playbook. He will have legitimate recievers, a running game and a formidable offensive line. If Childress calls smart plays McMahon could possibly have a 50-50 record if forced to start.

    I'm not too worried.
    I'm with you, man. I think McMahon is much better than most people give him credit for. He was a beast in college and showed flashes while playing in Detroit. This team is by far the best he's played on and if Brad Johnson goes down, God forbid, then I think he'll come in and do just fine.

    I can't wait until training camp begins, so we can stop reading the same, tired, rehashed stories over and over again.
    I am a dipshit!!!

  9. #9
    Mr. Purple's Avatar
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    Re: Vikings go with weak Plan B at QB

    Our QB situation has me nervous. I'd rather throw Tarvaris in for Brad instead of McMahon and J.T..With McMahon, you know what your getting, same with J.T..

    Theres NOTHING greater then a Florida Gator!
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  10. #10
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    Re: Vikings go with weak Plan B at QB

    "COJOMAY" wrote:
    I get so sick and tired of hearing this same old drivel about BJ's age. The might LordFavre will be 37 in October. Just a year yonger than BJ and you NEVER hear a word about his age. If I was a sportswriter, I'd be doing pieces like this on Favre.
    when did farve miss his last game?
    "There is good and there is evil. And evil must be punished. Even in the face of Armageddon I will not compromise."

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