Why not? Joe Webb's latest reps with Vikings come on punt returns
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Joe Webb's jack-of-all-trades athletic ability got another new test on Wednesday, when he worked as a punt returner during the Minnesota Vikings' organized team activity practice.
Webb, whose only NFL experience in the return game was on kickoffs as a rookie in 2010, was one of about a dozen players fielding punts from a machine, with special teams coordinator Mike Priefer watching closely and offering pointers.
"This was the first time," Webb said. "It worked out good. Main part is catching the ball and securing it. You got all eyes on you and the ball is in the air. You just catch it and let your football instincts take over."
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said Webb was fielding punts to simply help him get reps catching the ball -- not to experiment with another possible job for the converted quarterback.
"We were thinking more wide receiver, potentially kickoff return guy," Frazier said. "Not so much punt return."
Marcus Sherels, the Vikings' primary punt returner last season, scored on a 77-yard punt return at Detroit but muffed two punts, including one in the playoff loss at Green Bay.
Others catching punts on Wednesday included Cordarrelle Patterson, Stephen Burton, Jarius Wright, Josh Robinson, Bobby Felder, Marcus Sherels, Greg McCoy, Jerodis Williams, Adam Thielen and Bradley Randle.
Webb, who played only three snaps in the 2012 regular season before starting the playoff game and struggling in place of injured starter Christian Ponder, said he's willing to play any position to get onto the field.
"It's just football, man," Webb said. "I look at it like that than more of a psychological thing."
And Frazier half-jokingly left open the door a crack when it comes to Webb's football coming on punt returns.
"We'll see," Frazier said. "For some reason, if he pops one in the preseason for 60 yards, we'll have to rethink it."