Joe Webb gets shot to run No. 2 offense as QB evaluation continues
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Rookie Joe Webb ran the second-team offense in Saturday's minicamp practices as Minnesota Vikings coaches continued to take a long look at their sixth-round draft pick as a quarterback.
Webb -- who spent rookie minicamp at receiver before moving back to his natural position -- has shown off a strong arm and mobility in the pocket throughout the offseason. But it remains unclear if he can progress quickly enough for coaches to feel comfortable giving him the No. 3 job over Sage Rosenfels.
"He's very raw at this point," offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said of Webb. "There's a lot of things that he can continue and improve on, from his footwork to his decision-making and just learning our offense."
Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson have split time with the No. 1 offense in starter Brett Favre's absence this summer. But Jackson remains the clear No. 2 -- the spot he held throughout last season -- and Webb received far more work on Saturday than Rosenfels, who split limited third-team snaps with undrafted rookie R.J. Archer.
"That was one of the things we went over (Saturday) morning with Coach (Brad Childress)," Bevell said. "We wanted to get Joe just a few more reps to make sure that he has a good accounting for himself before we take off."
Saturday's morning practice showed both sides of Webb. He finished 8-for-12 passing in team (11-on-11) drills, unloading one beautiful deep ball that traveled more than 50 yards in the air -- Jaymar Johnson dropped it -- and later throwing a bad interception to fellow rookie Marcus Sherels.
"The more reps you get, the more you see and the more you learn," Webb said. "I just go in and watch film and learn from my mistakes and try to get better. I'm glad they're giving me a lot of reps so I just get more confident and get more feel of the offense and what Coach Bevell's trying to do."
Assuming Favre returns for a 20th NFL season, the Vikings have plenty of reason to develop a young No. 3 quarterback, rather than carrying three veterans. Favre is the most durable quarterback in NFL history, Jackson threw only 21 passes last season and Rosenfels would have to be the highest-paid clipboard holder in the league, with a base salary of $2.6 million in 2010.
An impressive physical specimen at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, Webb also has participated in special-teams drills and may be best suited for a multi-position role as a rookie. He said he's under the impression he'll remain at quarterback in training camp, though, and feels more comfortable by the day.
"Right now, they say I have all the physical tools," Webb said. "Now it's that mental game."
• LG Steve Hutchinson (shoulder surgery), CB Cedric Griffin (ACL), CB Chris Cook (undisclosed) and LB Chad Greenway (undisclosed) continued to sit out. DT Pat Williams (elbow) remains sidelined for team drills.
• Final stats for the other quarterbacks in team drills: Jackson 7-for-11, Rosenfels 1-for-3, Archer 2-for-2.
• KOS Rhys Lloyd kicked during a team field-goal drill. Like PK Longwell on Friday, Lloyd hooked one attempt wide left from 48 yards.
• Practice started in the Winter Park fieldhouse, moved outdoors for warm-ups and special-teams drills and then returned indoors as rain began to fall.