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Updated: December 22nd, 2010 4:32pm
Notebook: Rhett Bomar finally gets chance to be on Vikings' side

Notebook: Rhett Bomar finally gets chance to be on Vikings' side

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Rhett Bomar's early path through the NFL has crossed the Minnesota Vikings' at seemingly every turn.

He spoke extensively with the Vikings before the 2009 draft and thought they might take him before the Giants did in the fifth round (151st overall).

Cut at the end of training camp as a rookie, Bomar was promoted from the Giants' practice squad last New Year's Eve and dressed for a blowout loss to the Vikings on Jan. 3.

The 25-year-old appeared to be for the backup quarterback job behind Eli Manning this year, before the Vikings traded Sage Rosenfels to the Giants on Sept. 3.

Then, on Monday morning, Bomar got the call that the Vikings planned to sign him off the Giants' practice squad -- and suit him up as their No. 3 quarterback on Sunday against Philadelphia.

"You get there for two years and you get comfortable," Bomar said on Wednesday, shortly before making his Vikings practice debut. "Everybody gets comfortable, and you like that. But it's good to have a fresh start. I'm just trying to relate what happened there to this offense. It's not going to be easy in two weeks."

A Texas native who began his college career in Adrian Peterson's class at the University of Oklahoma, Bomar was dismissed from by Sooners coach Bob Stoops in August 2006 for violating NCAA rules. He wound up at Sam Houston State and threw for a school-record 5,564 yards in only 19 games.

Bomar's only NFL action so far has come in the preseason, including extensive action this year -- 40-of-77 passing for 545 yards with three touchdowns, two interceptions and a 77.0 rating -- that apparently didn't sell the Giants on his readiness to be the No. 2.

But the Vikings are in dire straits at the position both short- and long-term, with only one quarterback -- rookie sixth-round draft pick Joe Webb, who is expected to make his first NFL start on Sunday unless Brett Favre (concussion) makes another miraculous recovery -- under contract for next season.

"It's a totally different situation, there's no doubt about that," Bomar said. "Eli's going to be there forever and he's our franchise guy."

For now, Bomar is facing a cram session on the West Coast offense, which he's never played, while also playing the part of Eagles quarterback Michael Vick on the scout team.

The Vikings cut undrafted rookie R.J. Archer on Wednesday to make room for him on the 53-man roster, so if something happens to Webb and backup Patrick Ramsey, Bomar would have to step in and do his best.

"Very strong arm -- that jumps out at you right away," Vikings interim coach Leslie Frazier said. "He has very good intellect, and he really understands the passing game and the little time we spent with him (Tuesday) and even (Wednesday) morning. He's done a good job of grasping some of the concepts that we have on offense. We knew of his intelligence, so to see how he's responded has been a boost for us. We'll just see how much we can give him as the week goes on."

DeGeare's progress

On a night the Vikings' offensive line was a mess, rookie left guard Chris DeGeare took a step forward on Monday against Chicago in his third NFL start.

A massive presence at 6-foot-4 and 335 pounds, DeGeare got manhandled in his first start Dec. 5 against Buffalo and scuffled again with the Giants, giving up five quarterback pressures and a piece of two sacks.

He spent extra time after practice last week working on his footwork and hand placement, among other things, and ended up with the most mistake-free performance of anyone along the line.

"You get more comfortable week to week, and I had a pretty good week of preparation," DeGeare said. "So, I was always prepared. I got a little better technique-wise in my pass pro and stuff like that from the Giant game (on Dec. 13). Really, that's the goal, is just get better week to week."

The Vikings have several decisions to make along the offensive before next season, and starting guards Anthony Herrera (knee reconstruction) and Steve Hutchinson (broken thumb) will be coming off season-ending injuries. That could open the door for DeGeare to push for a starting job in 2011, provided he progresses in the coming offseason.

"There have been some moments where he's struggled, which we thought he would, being a young guy and playing as much as he's had to play," Frazier said. "Overall, we've seen some consistency. We've seen him not back down to some situations, and we need him to just get better as time has gone by."

Quick hits

• WLB Ben Leber was selected the Korey Stringer Good Guy Award winner for the second time. The award, which honors a player who is most cooperative with and has the best attitude toward the media, is awarded by the Twin Cities chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America. Leber also won in 2007.

• Bomar will wear No. 3.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Tom | @TomPelissero | Tom Pelissero
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