In the 53 years of Vikings football, hundreds of men have donned the horns. Most are forgotten, some stood out and a few became legends. While Joe Webb likely will not end up in the franchise’s Ring of Honor, he has carved out a unique place in Vikings history.
A dual threat quarterback at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, scouts projected Webb as a wide receiver in the NFL. So, when the Vikings selected him in the 6th round of the 2010 NFL Draft, many were surprised when Brad Childress quickly decided to keep the raw rookie at QB. Since then Webb has thrown for 853 yards and 3 TDs, ran for 273 and 4 more, caught a pass, returned a kick and, of course, infamously started last year’s playoff loss in Green Bay.
Coming into this season, the Vikings determined the 26-year-old didn’t have a future under center and converted the 6-4, 220 lb. Webb into a full time wide receiver. Having come full circle, I caught up the Vikings most versatile player recently at Winter Park.
DZ: It’s your 4th year, but you are in a new position. Do you feel like a rookie at all; what is that experience been like?
WEBB: No, I don’t feel like a rookie. I have been here before and know my teammates and everything is familiar to me. It’s a new position, it’s a new challenge.
DZ: Do you ever catch yourself heading towards the wrong meeting room or heading towards the quarterbacks during practice?
WEBB: No, not really man. I still mess with the quarterbacks, mess with the quarterbacks coach. I will joke here and there with them, but pretty much set as a receiver right now.
DZ: How much did being a quarterback help you transition to receiver?
WEBB: It helped me a lot. I can read coverages on the run. I see some things that quarterbacks see. When I come off the field, we talk about the same things. It helped me a lot.
DZ: You have a veteran receiver here in Greg Jennings, a guy who’s had a lot of success, how much has he helped you learn the position?
WEBB: He’s helped me out a lot. Everybody has been helping me out a lot. Coach George Stewart, Greg, all the other receivers…have been doing a great job of helping me out. The transition has been coming along pretty smooth.
DZ: Last year (you had) the playoff loss. The year didn’t end real well for you guys and you in particular. How long did it take you to get over that?
WEBB: The next day. Once you watch film, you put it in the past just like every week of football. You watch film the next day and then you move onto the next opponent. We didn’t have a next opponent of next week, but that was it – just moved past it the day after.
DZ: You’ve been through a lot here and it seems like the fans have always supported you a lot, what does that mean to you; have you picked up on that much?
WEBB: It means a lot knowing that you have a good fan base. The fans are real good with the Vikings they support us 100%, always having sold out games. I am very thankful to be on a team with a good fan base.
DZ: One last thing, I know you and Tarvaris Jackson were pretty good friends when he was here, do you guys still keep in touch?
WEBB: Yeah, of course we are both busy – I have a family, he has a family – we try to stay as close as possible.