My lonely Tarvaris road

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Interesting article here from si.com re Tarvaris Jackson and Minnesota. Obviously, this guy doesn’t like T-Jack or the Vikings approach – which it’s safe to say, is the consensus opinion.

As many of you know, I think Tarvaris Jackson is good with the potential to be, yes, great. And while I think Brad Childress sucks as a coach, I do agree with his decision to give T-Jack a chance (though I don’t agree with him having a publicly fluctuating confidence in him – you either believe in your guy or you don’t). Now, I can admit, T-Jack’s start to 2008 was weak and he was less than impressive against Philly in the playoffs. But he turned it around later in the season when he got the opportunity. T-Jack finished the year, despite having to average in a weak QB rating in his first three games, with the 5th highest QB rating in the NFL at 95.4. He also finished with 9TDs and only 2 INTs. It’s not a stretch to say he was a key factor in GETTING the Vikes to the playoffs last year with his big games against Arizona and Detroit. (And he did this all with what I still regard as a weak WR group to throw to.)

When Gus Frerotte took over after the 3rd game of the year, he did go 8-3 as the article points out, but that is a statistical anomaly because Frerotte did everything he could possibly do to try to lose games for the Vikes – ending up with 12TDs and 15INTs and a dismal 73.6 rating (which was some 22 points lower than T-Jack’s 2008 rating).

Look, I’m not stubborn enough to say that T-Jack should be the unquestioned starter every year until he retires. He needs to improve and he especially needs to work on his consistency and accuracy if he is going to merit the starter nod going forward. But he should be the starter this year for sure as Sage Rosenfels is not a great alternative. (Sage was brought in for the same reason Mike Sherman often brought people to Green Bay – he played well in one game against the Vikes last year …otherwise, he has been a mediocre-at-best fill-in guy throughout his career.)

I do think one major issue for Tarvaris is not only that his coach is bad, but that his coach just doesn’t have the stones to declare that T-Jack’s THE Man – like Holmgren did with Favre years ago. Now, no, I’m not saying T-Jack is the next Favre, I don’t want to get silly. But I do want to point out that early in Favre’s career, a fair number of Packer faithful were asking for him to be benched due to the interception problem. In Favre’s second year, he had 24 picks to 19 TDS, and a weak 72.2 QB rating. There were lots of people concerned about whether he was good enough to be the QB on an otherwise quality team. But Holmgren, who is/was a stubborn man, stuck with Favre. I think for Favre and the rest of the team, knowing that Holmgren had Favre’s back ended up being a significant psychological factor in Favre eventually leading the team to a Super Bowl victory.

If I were the Minnesota coach (thank God I’m not), I would declare T-Jack the unquestioned starter this year and let him play out the 2009 season. It’s a better approach for T-Jack and for the team too. If he plays like crap, Chilly will lose his job – but Chilly has to know the odds are against Sage Rosenfels coming in and saving the day. What I bet will happen though, is that Tarvaris will play reasonably well but have a bad game or two and Chilly will bench him because he coaches scared and then Sage will come in and have one good game and everyone will think he’s the bomb only to have Sage puke up the rest of his starts leading the Vikes right out of the playoff chase and Chilly right out of a job anyway.

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5 Responses to “My lonely Tarvaris road”

  1. DaveK Says:

    Man, you are stubborn about this. Childress pretty much stuck with Jackson most of 2007 despite some fairly shoddy play. He named him his starter for 2008 mid-summer. The signed a bunch of FA talent. They had the leagues best RB who averages 5 yards a carry behind a really good offensive line. They have a really stout defense that gives them decent field position. They needed Jackson to be average last year. Yet, Jackson played SO bad the first two games that Childress had little choice but to dump him. He was awful and cost them both those games. He had a few better games late in the year but his playoff game: a 45.4 passer rating, 15-for-35, one Int, no touchdowns, and lost a fumble. I hope Childress names him the starter in July again!

    He does flash some potential which I think have you and Childress caught in the head-lights but it is always sporadic. Jackson just doesn’t make consistently good decisions and is not a smart football player. He has no poise and he doesn’t react well to the blitz because he can’t quickly diagnose what the defense is doing. His happy feet in the pocket cause him to fumble way too much. His deep ball is often off the mark which really hurts when you have safeties playing up to stop the run. He has thrown way to many INT’s for such a run heavy offense. They need an average QB but Jackson will never even be that especially with Childress as his coach.

  2. awhayes Says:

    I know DaveK, I am stubborn about this (and bored today too, frankly). But I don’t agree when you contend that he has thrown more picks or fumbled any more than other QBs – run heavy offense or not. In fact, his 9td/2int ratio last year was significantly better than Gus Frerotte’s 12/15 ratio…and lots of other QBs for that matter. His biggest problem, and I can freely admit this, is accuracy at only 58.4%. We’ll see, either way, this year will be the make or break year for Tarvaris and Childress.

  3. jimmysmith Says:

    I am not a pro football scout but to my layman’s eyes, T Jack is a joke. He does have some running ablility but as a QB, he has shown me next to nothing and I don’t believe he will ever be an even average QB.

    but it is to our advantage that Childress thinks overwise. I hope Childress sticks with Jackson in 09, at least that way they wouldn’t make the playoffs. The question is, will the Packers.

  4. joshywoshybigfatposhy Says:

    i’ll let this anonymous comment from a forum subtly titled “Tarvaris Jackson Sucks Forum” sum up what I would think if I had been born a … gulp… Vikings fan. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

    “Allowing TJ and Sage to “compete” for the starting QB position is like letting 2 random passengers on a plane compete for the pilot’s position. This is a situation where the lessor of evils still sucks, regardless of which one you believe that is. This is not how a professional team legitimately adresses a bad QB situation. Childress needs to leave, and he needs to take TJ with him. This team needs a good coach and a good QB while it still has many of the other necessary ingredients to be a real contender.”

    the bears are not necessarily in a position to win now with cutler. i think few would disagree that minnesota would have been frustratingly good with him. i would despise nearly every player i could name from their roster (not exactly quality character guys, even years after culpepper and moss’ exits), but they’d be impressive on paper. sagevaris jackenfels is not impressive – yet.

    i think there is a chance that tarvaris will get better, but despite some decent numbers, i just don’t feel nervous when he’s on the field (as a packer fan). that means something to me. he has some things going for him – athleticism, patience, and it seems humility. i also think childress has been Tavy’s worst enemy parading as his best friend. Major Dad has been about as steady with the starting qb role as a moonshiner on a unicycle.

  5. DJ Says:

    Packer fans can only hope that both chilly and TJ are rewarded with long term contracts.

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