In 2010, TarVar Jackson knew he would become a household name. Last Saturday night, he was out to prove it again with a one series, stellar performance against possibly the worst defense in the NFL.
After that quick series on Saturday night, Minnesota Vikings Oh-My-God-He's-Already-Been-Here-Five-Years quarterback TarVar Jackson left the field feeling pretty good about his accomplishments. He had just gone two for four on passing opportunities and wracked up an impressive 11 yards passing. Sure, it was only one series where he failed to lead his team to a score, but TarVar is on pace to complete 50% of his passes for the year. It couldn't be better for him! TarVar was all smiles.
Until of course he saw Joe Webb take the field, and complete a pass without jumping. Quickly, that smile was replaced with a downward turn and squinty eyes at TarVar's newest competition.
TarVar Jackson has had competition before during his time with the Vikings. When he was a rookie in 2006, he quietly waited his turn while veteran Brad Johnson maneuvered his HoverRound across the Metrodome turf. In 2007, the reigns were handed to him to take over the team, but between Jackson's own smugness and belief that 50% passing was effective enough, veteran's Kelly Holcomb and Brooks Bollinger saw some playing time as well. In 2008, Jackson smiled all the while he collected his paycheck and learned more football details from savvy vet Gus Frerotte, and even told coach Childress
before the playoff game that year, "Come on, cooch, I'm so much more ... athletic! Let me play!", and play he did.
2009 was no different. Another veteran, Sage Rosnefels, was brought in to compete with TarVar. Eventually, it was another veteran who could not oust TarVar. That is, until the most veteran of veteran's came flying from the south and controlled the team from the onset, the unmistakeable Land Baron. This was competition TarVar had never seen before. Sure, he was old, which usually meant that the player was breaking down and unable to compete with TarVar when it came to longevity, but with the Land Baron, TarVar wasn't too sure. The new veteran was already 40 years old, and by the end of the season, just had statistically one of his best yet. Surely in the offseason the Vikings would once again forgo the Senior Citizen and put their faith in the stability of the youthful Jackson, right?
Everything seemed to be going according to plan. The Land Baron was nowhere to be seen late in to the summer. Sage Rosenfels was playing himself out of his roster spot, sure to be traded. The only other competition for TarVar was a wide receiver who was converted to quarterback by the Vikings in offseason minicamp play, simply to fill out numbers. What could this rookie, this inexperienced TarVar, show the team that he hadn't? Would he be able to float a pass to Naufahu Tahi so exquisitely? Could he mumble through interviews with embarrassing ease? Would he look lost amongst the veteran practice squad members when running the scout team in practice?
The answer was a resounding no.
For the first time in his professional career, TarVar's blood went ice cold, and it wasn't because of inactivity. No, it was because this new, fresh, supple young quarterback could do all the things TarVar didn't do, and better! In his short time on the field Saturday night, this virgin quarterback manned the pocket with conviction. He exploded his athleticism with sharp runs for first downs, and flashed his pure speed around defenders. He showed deft touch and Bounty fresh softness on his short passes, and purpose and accuracy on his intermediate throws. This Joe Webb, this baby born yesterday, was quickly turning into a QUARTERBACKING MAN.
TarVar was shocked. He licked his lips in a nervous reflex. He looked over to his bench of starters and offered them a crooked smile, trying to show them everything would be ok. "It's just the third stringers, man" he would say, not believing his own words. "He's probably too stupid to know he's got to throw from his back foot to get it over the defensive linemen" he'd rationalize. But all the while, for the first time in his career, TarVar felt something he'd never experienced before. No, not success. That's never happened. No, not fear either. He was mightily frightened when he got upended and nearly killed by a Chris Clemons tackle. No ... this was something different.
He sensed it to be the end for him, and the beginning for this Mr. Webb. So something ... SOMETHING ... would need to be done ...
(To be continued!! ... At some point ... When I feel like it ... Maybe ...)