Tag:Tarvaris Jackson
Posted on: November 27, 2010 8:58 pm

Hot Routes 11.27.10: Raiders fool us all

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

- So, it’s looking like Raiders QB Bruce Gradkowski will get the start this week in place of Jason Campbell. Which isn’t what we expected yesterday.

- Rams RB Steven Jackson has been using an altitude tent this week in preparation for facing the Broncos in Denver. Meanwhile, St. Louis CB Ronald Bartell tried his twice, and he’s not going to use it ever again. Read this St. Louis Post Dispatch story to find out why (ahem, he might have got himself stuck inside).

- It might not be rocket science, but Titans QB Rusty Smith likely will look to pass more to WR Randy Moss than his predecessors. Before they got injured, Vince Young and Kerry Collins targeted Moss a combined total of four times, and last week, Young looked his way just once. When Smith entered the game, by the way, he tried throwing to Moss three times.

- Watching the Chargers-Broncos game last week, I was struck by how often Denver QB Kyle Orton threw toward the receiver who was being covered by San Diego rookie CB Antoine Cason. And I was struck by how well Cason played. In actuality, Cason has been pretty good most of the season.

- What will happen to Tarvaris Jackson now? Maybe he should just get the hell out of Dodge.

- Once again, nobody has any idea if Antonio Gates’ foot will allow him to play this weekend. Plantar fasciitis sounds less than fun.

- Jake Delhomme will start Sunday for the Browns when he takes on his old team, the Panthers. But he understands who Cleveland’s quarterback of the future is. His name is Colt McCoy.

- Jimmy Clausen will start at QB this Sunday for the Panthers. Who backs him up is a little more complicated.

- The Redskins today waived WR Joey Galloway. In many fans' views, it's about freakin' time .

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Posted on: November 24, 2010 5:03 pm

Smart move: Favre to finish out season in Minny

Posted by Andy Benoit

Brett Favre told the media Wednesday that he intends to finish out the season in Minnesota. In other words, put another tally in the column for stories about “Brett Favre not retiring”.B. Favre (US Presswire)

Many believe that the 3-7 Vikings would be wise to spend the next six weeks building for next season. That’s true. But those who believe that “building for next season” means replacing Favre with Tarvaris Jackson are misguided.

If you bench Favre for Jackson, you might be helping Jackson’s development, but at the same time, you’d be compromising the development of other young players such as Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice, Toby Gerhardt, etc. At the end of the day, the best way to develop young talent is to let that young talent experience success.

The reason teams like the Patriots, Colts and Steelers always have young players emerging is because those young players have had an opportunity to play with veteran stars who naturally help them hone their craft. Pierre Garcon, for example, did not come to life in the playoffs last year because he had gotten hefty playing time during the regular season; rather, he came to life in the playoffs because he had gotten hefty playing time with Peyton Manning.

At the end of the day, Favre still makes his teammates better. Jackson, still raw (and, given this is his fifth season, it’s likely he’ll be raw forever), would presumably hinder his teammates.

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Posted on: November 2, 2010 1:18 am

Can Childress survive this?

Brad Childress released R. Moss, but apparently didn't clear it with ownership (US Presswire).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Brad Childress hasn’t been popular in the Vikings locker room for quite some time now.

Some in the organization believe Minnesota went to the NFC championship game last year in spite of Childress, not because of him. He came off looking awfully weak during the preseason when he traveled to Mississippi multiple times in an attempt to sweet-talk Brett Favre into returning for one more season. He’s made other people in the organization deal with his dirty work when talking to the media, and he’s made two of his top players (Favre and Randy Moss) look bad in recent press conferences.

There’s a faction of the locker room that wants to see Tarvaris Jackson as the starting quarterback. They can’t like the fact Childress starts Favre. There’s another faction of the locker room that is in Favre’s corner. They can’t like the fact that Childress basically called out his quarterback in his postgame news conference following the Packers loss last week (and oh yeah, Brad, Favre was playing on a fractured ankle. No matter what you think of Favre, the dude plays hurt. And you look small for bashing him.).

As a result, many of the Vikings don’t like playing for him, and worse yet, they don’t respect him as a coach. You can be a hardass if you’re Bill Belichick, and yeah, maybe some players despise playing for guys like that. But there’s no question Belichick has the respect of the locker room. Childress simply doesn’t.

That leads us to Childress’ performance today when he released Moss. A performance that could lead to Childress’ eventual firing.

After talking to people close to the Vikings organization, here’s what we know.

Stunningly, Childress, who can shape the 53-man roster as he sees fit, apparently didn’t consult ownership about his plans to release Moss. It’s stunning because of owner Zygi Wilf’s love for Moss. The first time the Vikings got rid of Moss, it was because ownership grew tired of his act. Wilf, who took over the team a few months later, said he never would have seen Moss go if he was in charge.

Suffice to say, Wilf must have been extremely happy when Moss returned to Minnesota from New England. For Childress not to know that – or for him to willfully ignore that – is the height of arrogance or stupidity.

For now, it looks like Childress has won this power struggle (if there was a struggle in the first place), because for a few hours Monday evening, we weren’t sure if the ownership would veto the Moss waiver and, instead, fire Childress.

“If they really are all-in (for the Super Bowl), who gives the team a better chance to make the playoffs right now – Moss or Brad Childress?” Vikings Rapid Reporter Dana Wessel told me earlier tonight before the Vikings released a statement unofficially confirming that Moss had been waived. “It’s Randy Moss, no question.”

Knowing that, you have to know that if the Vikings don’t quickly turn around their season, Childress is a prime candidate to be let go.

The reasons: 1) Everything I wrote above.

2) When the trio of Jared Allen, Ryan Longwell and Steve Hutchinson flew to Mississippi basically to beg for Favre to return, Childress let offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and special teams coach Brian Murphy answer to the media for him. Basically, not knowing what to do, the coaches lied. Childress apologized later for putting his assistants in that awkward position. Today, after not telling the media about his plans during the presser, a stunned LB Ben Leber had to answer a media horde’s question after the Moss news broke. Childress did not talk to the media again, though he did release a one-paragraph statement.

In effect, others have to clean up his dirty work.

3) There’s a hot assistant coach waiting in the wings. His name is defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. He very obviously wants a head coaching job, and one of these days, somebody is going to give him one. From what I understand, Wilf might not want to risk losing him like the team lost Mike Tomlin to the Steelers after the 2006 season. If you’re choosing between Childress and Frazier, who do you go with? You already know what you've got with Childress.

4) The Vikings are trying to get a new stadium built. Childress isn’t well-liked in the city, doesn’t really excite anybody. If he’s lost his locker room, he’s lost his city, and if he’s lost his city and his locker room, does Wilf have any other choice but to fire him?

A better question: can the future of the organization count on a coach like Childress? I say no.

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Posted on: October 29, 2010 8:23 pm

Whatever happens, Tarvaris Jackson has his family

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

When reporters approached Vikings backup QB Tarvaris Jackson today to ask about his mindset – will Brett Favre start or will coach Brad Childress, instead, go with Jackson? – and how he’s dealing with the unknown of Sunday’s game vs. the Patriots, Jackson gave himself a nice plug.

“You can check my blog out on my web site," he said.

So, we did by clicking this link right here.

In a post published Thursday entitled “Keeping it in perspective,” Jackson talked about how his football life used to bleed into his personal life, keeping him unhappy all the time if he happened to be playing poorly. Now, though, he’s got a different mindset.

Jackson writes:

Having kids puts everything in perspective for me. … I’m to the point now where I still love football, but having kids puts things in perspective and lets you know the things in life that are really important.

Once you get used to it, you can find a happy medium.

You can read on and learn Jackson’s take on what life is like for an NFL player and his family when the cameras aren’t rolling on Sundays. But if you’re looking for a specific comment about Favre and this week, I have a spoiler alert: you’re going to be disappointed.

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Posted on: October 29, 2010 8:48 am
Edited on: October 29, 2010 11:17 am

Childress leaning toward Jackson over Favre?

Posted by Andy Benoit

There are reports out of Minnesota that the unthinkable could happen: Brad Childress could choose Tarvaris Jackson over Brett Favre this Sunday. Judd Zulgad and Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune write that Favre intends to play on his fractured ankle, but that he’s told a few people close to him that he isn’t sure Childress will give him the green light. B. Favre (US Presswire)

Favre was held out of practice Thursday. If he’s kept on the bench Sunday, his NFL record 291 consecutive starts streak would be snapped.

Neither Childress nor Favre said anything definitive Thursday.

"He's doing a little better every day," Childress told the media. "Whether it's good enough to play in an NFL football game remains to be seen. Just taking it a day at a time."

Favre, who no longer has a walking boot but is still showing a noticeable limp, was asked if he would practice Friday. "I wouldn't put anything past me to be honest with you," he said. Childress would not say whether Favre needed to work on Friday in order to play on Sunday.

Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell has a much better relationship with Favre than does Childress. (Bevell coached Favre in Green Bay.)

"Surprising would probably be a good word," Bevell said regarding the possibility that Jackson might play ahead of Favre. "[Brett has] never not been out there, so it would probably be a surprise."

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Posted on: October 25, 2010 9:41 am

Childress nearly benched Favre

Posted by Andy BenoitB. Favre (US Presswire)

What is Brad Childress thinking? It’s one thing to even consider something as outlandish as benching Brett Favre for Tarvaris Jackson. It’s another to publicly admit you considered it afterward.

Favre made several mistakes Sunday night. You could see coaches on the Vikings sideline react with fury to his second half pick-six to Desmond Bishop.

"I was going to give him that next series and he took us and moved us down the field," Childress said, referring to his team’s last touchdown drive.

The head coach also said, "It still goes back to taking care of the football. You can't throw it to them. You've got to play within the confines of our system. Sometimes, it's OK to punt the football, and you can't give seven points going the other way. Not in a game like this."

Childress isn’t saying anything that isn’t plainly true. But why even say it at all? Favre played hurt and nearly pulled out a victory. And, pure X’s- and O’s-wise, he was the reason the Packers couldn’t load the box on every play against Adrian Peterson. Considering that opponents would not show Jackson any near that much respect, Favre classifies as “unbenchable”.

Can you imagine if Childress had indeed benched the legend in his final game at Lambeau? Not only would he tarnish his already-ailing relationship with his quarterback, he’d risk losing the respect of the locker room. Let’s hope he hasn’t done that already.

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Posted on: September 1, 2010 5:27 pm
Edited on: September 1, 2010 5:27 pm

Webb should be in Vikings design

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Brett Favre’s return to the Vikings sealed the fate of one of Minnesota’s backup quarterbacks. Somebody has to go.

Coach Brad Childress has said Tarvaris Jackson will be the No. 2 quarterback , meaning Sage Rosenfels and Joe Webb will battle for the final job.

Minnesota had planned to insert Webb – a college quarterback at UAB who was drafted in the sixth round – into the receiving corps, but he surprised the coaching staff with his abilities at QB. And why not? After all, he’s the only player in NCAA history to pass for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons.

He’s been pretty good in the preseason as well, completing 12 of 21 passes for 91 yards, two TDs and zero INTs while rushing for 78 yards.

Plus, you know, Webb can jump really high (see video below). Which is pretty cool.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press writes Webb is pretty confident he has a future with the club, but he also realizes the team’s preseason game against the Broncos on Thursday is kind of a big deal.

"You can't get comfortable," Webb told the paper. "You have to continue to play your best game."

Rosenfels actually has looked very impressive this preseason, going 30 of 47 for 392 yards, four touchdowns, zero interceptions and a monster 118.4 QB rating. But let’s face it, he’s an eight-year veteran with only 32 games played and with only 12 games started, and he’s nothing more than a below-average starting quarterback. 

I expect the Vikings to release Rosenfels (or try to trade him, I suppose), but they could keep Rosenfels and try to slip Webb onto the practice squad. I wouldn’t expect him to pass through waivers, though, and then, he’d be lost to Minnesota.

And honestly, who would you rather have? Rosenfels or a guy who can jump over seven bags?

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Posted on: August 31, 2010 9:59 am

Hot Routes 8.31.10: No retractions here

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Lawyers for Chargers WR Vincent Jackson are demanding a retraction from the San Diego Union-Tribune after publishing a story in which it claimed Jackson was receiving financial support from his agents while he’s not in training camp. Pro Football Talk has the story. I’ll refrain from saying anything more, because I certainly don’t want to receive any kind of correspondence from Jackson’s lawyers.

- Buccaneers starting QB Josh Freeman had the cast from his thumb removed , and Tampa Bay says he’s right on schedule to return for the season opener. When your backups are Josh Johnson and Rudy Carpenter, that’s a pretty good piece of news.

- Browns rookie RB Montario Hardesty finally will make his preseason debut Thursday, and to say his teammates are interested in seeing how he produces is a bit of an understatement. Though Jerome Harrison downplays it in this story, I’m sure he’s more interested than just about anybody.

- Former Bengals LB Rashad Jeanty, who was released by Cincinnati on Monday after failing a physical, is known as a good dude in the locker room and a great teammate. But man, his agents are pissed with the team’s training staff. This does not make Cincinnati’s trainers look very good, especially coming on the heels of the Antonio Bryant disaster.

- Before I read this story, I didn’t give credence to the thought that Vikings backup QB Tarvaris Jackson’s No. 2 job might be in jeopardy to Sage Rosenfels. Apparently, coach Brad Childress agrees. He says nothing most likely will change on his depth chart at the QB spot.

- Raiders QB Jason Campbell participated in Oakland’s walk-through on Monday and he performed the same drills as all other quarterbacks. Campbell suffered a “stinger” and a wrist injury during last Saturday’s game against San Francisco.

- Former Cardinals QB Kurt Warner is officially a member of the next season of “Dancing with the Stars.” I don’t think he’ll be the odds-on favorite to win the competition, though. After all, Jennifer Grey from “Dirty Dancing” also is competing.

-Packets OLB Brad Jones likely only will play in one preseason game because the shoulder he injured Aug. 19 still is giving him problems. But despite the fact he’s been fitted with a shoulder harness, he says he feels great about where he stands. In fact, he said his new piece of equipment makes him look a little like Robocop. And as we all know, Robocop was pretty badass.

- It’s a big day for former Ohio State star RB Maurice Clarett, as he’s signed with the UFL’s Omaha Nighthawks . The NFL dream lives on. Not bad for a guy who spent more than three years in prison.

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