10 things to ponder about Vikings QB Webb
Vikings rookie Joe Webb is expected to make his first career start at quarterback on Sunday night. Not bad for a guy who began the month as a kick returner. Here are some other things you might not know about him:
1. He was born in Birmingham, Ala., on Nov. 13, 1986. Webb attended the University of Alabama-Birmingham and earned a degree in criminal justice last December.
2. Began his career at UAB as a wide receiver before moving to quarterback his junior year.
3. Was drafted as a wide receiver with the 199th overall pick and was selected one spot before the Eagles took forgettable running back Charles Scott. The Eagles traded Scott during training camp for kick returner Jorrick Calvin.
4. Impressed former Vikings coach Brad Childress enough to move him back to quarterback shortly after the draft.
"I was glad that Brad left him at the quarterback position," said Eagles coach Andy Reid. "They were contemplating moving him to wide receiver and those types of things. I think he has a lot of talent and want-to to be a good football player at this level."
5. Webb has never been to the city of Philadelphia.
"I'm expecting a hostile crowd," he said. "I've heard a lot about Eagles fans and how their crowd gets pretty loud and tries to get in your head a little bit. My job is to stay focused on the game and ignore the crowd."
6. Webb made his NFL debut in Week 13 when he returned a kickoff 30 yards in a win against Buffalo. He's played the last 2 weeks at quarterback after injuries knocked out Brett Favre and Tarvaris Jackson. Webb had a 13-yard rushing touchdown in Monday's 40-14 loss to the Bears. Favre hasn't been ruled out this week, but Webb almost certainly will start.
"We don't really care who is playing quarterback," Eagles safety Quintin Mikell said. "We'll go out there and do our thing."
7. Last year, Webb became the first player in NCAA history to pass for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons. His counterpart this week passed for 1,234 yards and ran for 617 in his only season (2000) at Virginia Tech.
"When [Webb] was our scout-team quarterback," said Frazier, the Vikings coach, "there were moments when he was Michael Vick-like; just moving around and running around and making people miss. He has those qualities."
8. The Eagles have not allowed a rushing touchdown to a quarterback this season and the most yards they've given up is 39 to Donovan McNabb in the Week 4 loss.
9. Webb was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, yet still became the ninth player in UAB history to be drafted. Atlanta wide receiver Roddy White, a first-round pick in 2005, had been the most recent.
10. Webb's last start at quarterback on the road was a loss at East Carolina on Nov. 21, 2009. The crowd was 43,056. The Linc holds 69,144.
Frazier was asked what he expects from Webb on Sunday. "There are going to be some growing pains," he said. "There are going to be some moments where you go, 'Oh boy, what did he see?' At the same time, there are going to be some moments where you say, 'Wow. That was a great play by Joe Webb.' But you've got to live with that." *