LIVE › 4-5 a.m. Mike Tirico's Weekend Blitz College
NEXT › 5:05 a.m. Race Day
6:05 a.m. Financial Fortitude
6:05 a.m. The Sporting Life
7:05 a.m. Minnesota Home Talk
8:05 a.m. Cover Your Assets
9:05 a.m. Tee Time
Updated: July 28th, 2013 7:46pm
Vikings' Joe Webb continues to work on his craft at wide receiver

Vikings' Joe Webb continues to work on his craft at wide receiver

by Andrew Krammer
1500ESPN.com
Email | Twitter
SportsWire Daily

Get the 1500 ESPN SportsWire delivered to your inbox daily, and keep up with all the news in Twin Cities Sports

Signup!

MANKATO, Minn. -- After the Minnesota Vikings' January playoff loss at Green Bay, there was speculation that backup quarterback Joe Webb would see competition as second fiddle to Christian Ponder.

Seven months later, Webb will once again make the switch from quarterback and work his way back up the ladder as one of 12 wide receivers on the team to start training camp.

"It's going good," Webb said after Saturday's practice. "Each day is getting better and better, getting more comfortable. It's just about getting your routes down pat, coming in and out of your breaks, most importantly catching the ball."

Webb made a few impressive grabs from Ponder and reserve quarterback Matt Cassel in various drills on Saturday, but, like everyone, saw limited downfield throws because of another very windy day in Mankato.

The Vikings' top tier of receivers includes the guys who have proven their worth somewhat on the field: Jerome Simpson, Greg Jennings, Jarius Wright along with first-round pick Cordarrelle Patterson, who will make it on potential.

After that, Webb has as much of a chance as anyone to make the 53-man roster as a receiver even though he's currently on the third team, working behind receivers Stephen Burton and LaMark Brown.

"Joe [Webb] is working on his trade, which is now a wide receiver," offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said after Saturday morning's walkthrough. "I smile when you ask about Joe [Webb] because there's another team player."

If Webb doesn't impress in preseason games at receiver, they will need Webb to be a team player as a different kind of specialist.

"He's a freak of nature, he's a different kind of athlete," special teams coordinator Mike Priefer said. "He can run, he can jump, he can move. He's not as quick as a Josh Robinson but he doesn't have to be because he's taller and stronger. There are some things he can do, he can play some gunner, he can play on punt return, kickoff returner for us and we're going to try him out in the preseason and see what he can do."

Webb played wide receiver at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, but found his stride as a running quarterback.

But as coaches, teammates and fans marvel over his athletic talent, Webb needs to make significant progress in 2013 to live up to any hype.

In three seasons, Webb has three career starts at quarterback (1-2) and has one reception in the NFL for 9 yards during a 45-7 dismantling at the hands of Green Bay in 2011.

Newcomer and fellow receiver Greg Jennings spoke highly of Webb and said his progress is already evident.

"The more experience he gets, the better you'll see him become," Jennings said. "I've seen him evolve from a very raw route runner to starting to polish himself, to noticing the little things without someone telling him. Which lets me know he's willing to improve and hone in to perform at a high level in this position."

Andrew Krammer covers the Minnesota Vikings for 1500ESPN.com. He previously covered the Gophers men's basketball team for the Minnesota Daily.
Email Andrew | @andrew_krammer
7819