Webb feeling more comfortable already

Despite learning a new offense without the assistance of full-team practices, Vikings quarterback Joe Webb is feeling much more comfortable as an NFL quarterback this time around. Webb talked about all the adjustments he went through in his rookie season and where his progression is at now.

This year, the adjustments are coming more easily for Vikings quarterback Joe Webb.

He doesn't have to worry about being switched back to receiver any time soon and he doesn't have as complicated an offense to learn. While that learning isn't coming at the Vikings' Winter Park practice facility, Webb is learning the playbook nonetheless – from the director of football at IMG Academies, former NFL quarterback Chris Weinke.

"It's a lot simpler. I see that Coach Musgrave, he has the mentality that he wants us to play fast and not do a lot of thinking," Webb said. "He's got the offense set up, it's not that hard to learn, even though the last offense wasn't that hard to learn with Coach [Darrell] Bevell. This offense allows you to do more playing and less thinking."

For the last three weeks he has spent working with Weinke at IMG, Webb said he has been getting as much or more of a benefit mentally as he is physically. Given the weight and speed training players at IMG in Bradenton are put through, that's saying something.

Webb and the other Vikings quarterbacks attending IMG are put through an hour or two session in classroom, where they go through new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave's playbook one play at a time. While first-round draft pick Christian Ponder has the advantage of playing in a similar offense at Florida State, Webb holds his own with play identification and naming keys to the concepts and adjustments.

Last year, everything was new for Webb – working again NFL defenses, working with new receivers, and even simple things like getting under center and making his drops.

"The biggest thing for me was, coming from [the University of Alabama-Birmingham], it was a spread offense. I was in the shotgun pretty much the whole time," Webb said. "When I entered the league last year, I had to learn how to come up from under the center, say the cadence – I pretty much didn't say no cadence at UAB. We do things in the huddle because we didn't huddle at UAB, so it was pretty much a whole different mindset."

Getting comfortable with everything took time. It was a gradual and steady progress. But it wasn't until sometime around November that he got comfortable.

"[Organized team activities] helped me out a lot. All through the OTAs I would get more and more comfortable. By the time training camp rolled around, things where still a little bit fast for me, so I was still working," Webb said. "I would say about midseason or a little bit before … I started to get a little more comfortable with the offense or started to understand exactly what the coaches were trying to do."
Whenever the NFL returns to normal and players can start working out in front of coaches again, there will be more for the quarterbacks to learn. How will the coaches want to use their individual talents? How will they approach the nuances of the offense? What will they want Webb to work on?

They are all legitimate questions, but at least this time around Webb has some familiarity as he battles for a starting spot. He is more comfortable with the requirements of quarterback play in the NFL, knows how to read defenses better and knows most of his playmakers now.

"You know that guys like Percy [Harvin], you know what Percy can do. You know what Adrian Peterson can do – stuff like that," Webb said. "The coaches, some of them are familiar with what players will do. But you have the free-agent guys [still to sign], the drafted guys, guys that they picked up from the Canada league, they want to be able to see what you can do before you can really say if this is going to be a running team, a passing team or things like that."

At least this time around, Webb has a year of experience under his belt.


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.



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Given the weight and speed training players at IMG in Bradenton are put through, that's saying something. Webb and the other Vikings quarterbacks attending IMG are put through an hour or two session in classroom, where they go through new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave's playbook one play at a time. While first-round draft pick Christian Ponder has the advantage of playing in a similar offense at Florida State, Webb holds his own with play identification and naming keys to the concepts and adjustments. Last year, everything was new for Webb – working again NFL defenses, working with new receivers, and even simple things like getting under center and making his drops. \"The biggest thing for me was, coming from [the University of Alabama-Birmingham], it was a spread offense. 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By the time training camp rolled around, things where still a little bit fast for me, so I was still working,\" Webb said. \"I would say about midseason or a little bit before … I started to get a little more comfortable with the offense or started to understand exactly what the coaches were trying to do.\" Whenever the NFL returns to normal and players can start working out in front of coaches again, there will be more for the quarterbacks to learn. How will the coaches want to use their individual talents? How will they approach the nuances of the offense? What will they want Webb to work on? They are all legitimate questions, but at least this time around Webb has some familiarity as he battles for a starting spot. He is more comfortable with the requirements of quarterback play in the NFL, knows how to read defenses better and knows most of his playmakers now. \"You know that guys like Percy [Harvin], you know what Percy can do. 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