"We really want to see Joe as a quarterback. He's a tremendous athlete and he can do some other things, but to be fair to Joe and our team, we need to let him concentrate on quarterback, not having it in the back of his mind: Am I going to be moved to receiver?" Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. "Who knows? He may end up being our No. 2 quarterback, and now you're one injury away from that guy being in the game. So we want to have the best guy in the No. 2 spot. If it's Joe, it's Joe. If it's Christian, it's Christian. But right now we want Joe focusing on being a good quarterback."
During his play at receiver, Webb ran a go route for the end zone and starting quarterback Donovan McNabb lofted a pass to him. Webb dropped the would-be touchdown, perhaps one of the reasons the Vikings don't appear all that interested in using him regularly at that position.
While Frazier downplayed the possibilities of using Webb in even a limited receiver role, Webb himself wasn't completely discounting the possibility.
"We'll just have to wait and see on that. Right now, just concentrating on being a quarterback but I'm sure as we get close to the season I'm pretty sure you never know what's up coach's sleeve," Webb said.
"I'm just all for doing whatever to help the team win. Wherever they need me to help improve this team, I'm there."
Frazier didn't dismiss the possibility that Webb could take some limited reps there at receiver in the future, but the head coach is far less inclined to go that route if Webb wins the backup quarterback spot behind Donovan McNabb.
"If he's our next-best option, I don't know if we want to jeopardize him running around and pulling a hamstring or whatever," Frazier said. "We'll see. We've got some time to let it play out."
A rules change this year will make it easier for the Vikings to use Webb on a part-time, as-needed basis. Game-day active rosters increase to 46 players and a third quarterback can enter the game with making the other two quarterbacks ineligible.
"The new rules will enable us to kind of have a Joe Webb-package ... so we're looking forward to finding out what Joe is all about," offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said last week. "If he proves to be one of our 11 best players at times, then we'll get him on the field."
Last year, despite ending his college career at Alabama-Birmingham as a quarterback, the Vikings drafted Webb with the intention of moving him to receiver. In 2007 at UAB, he caught 30 passes for 459 yards and three touchdowns, but was moved to quarterback for the 2008 and 2009 seasons. At the end of the Vikings' rookie minicamp, he made the switch back to quarterback and has been a quarterback ever since.
On Monday, he said he was further ahead in last year's offense than he is now in processing new coordinator Bill Musgrave's scheme because players weren't allow to work with coaches during the lockout.
"I wouldn't say I'm as advanced as last year because last year we had quite a bit more time to learn the offense. We had OTAs, we had all types of offseason practice," Webb said. "Right now just about to be in the first week, really to get in the groove of the offense, it just takes time – as we go through the preseason, just learning a little bit more before the regular season starts."
Webb indicated that if he were asked to make the move to receiver, it wouldn't take him long to learn the position because he knows all the routes from studying the complete offense as a quarterback.
Even if he isn't a receiver, his athleticism as a quarterback is an asset. On Monday, he had the play of the day when he avoided pressure in the pocket and scrambled to his left to buy time. He bought enough time to allow Emmanuel Arceneaux to get behind defensive back Chris Adingupu for about a 55-yard completion.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.