MBT ends strong, contemplates two-QB theory

McLeod Bethel-Thompson had a solid preseason, but he believes keeping only two QBs is a possibility, which wouldn't be good for him. He talked about that possibility, his preseason finale and his preseason was a whole.

McLeod Bethel-Thompson said he "absolutely" thinks the Vikings keeping two quarterbacks is a possibility.

Even after a solid performance in the preseason finale, in which he completed 19 of 26 passes for 187 yards, a touchdown and interception in his final action of the preseason.

"You always have a concern about (keeping two quarterbacks), but I try to worry about what I can control. That's something that I have absolutely zero control over," he said. "What I can control is the playing time and being with the guys. It was fun (Thursday) night and I just want to cherish that."

He should. He finished as the Vikings' highest rated passer (85.4) of the preseason, completing 33 of 52 passes for 320 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

"It was good. It's my second year in the NFL and I'm blessed to be here. I'm just trying to take every rep and get a little better," he said. "I felt like I did that this training camp and this preseason. … It's just a building process."

Of course, roster decisions aren't simply made based off the preseason numbers. If they were, Bethel-Thompson would have been out last year and Sage Rosenfels – who led the team with a 122.9 preseason rating – would have been in. Instead, the Vikings gave the nod to the younger, stronger arm.

A year of seasoning appears to have paid dividends for Bethel-Thompson. Last preseason, he completed only 50 percent of his passes, had one touchdown against two interceptions and had the worst passer rating on the team (57.9).

The extended time Thursday night, when he entered midway through the second quarter and finished the game, helped him establish a rhythm.

"Absolutely. It's invaluable. I thank the coaches for giving me that extended time," he said.

"It was great. I tell you, when the O-line blocks like they did and Joe Banyard runs the ball as hard as he did and the receivers get open and catch the ball, it makes my job extremely, extremely easy, so thank you to those guys."

One theory being floated is that the Vikings would feel better about the possibility of keeping only two quarterbacks – Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel – on the roster if they keep Joe Webb as a sixth receiver because of Webb's previous experience at quarterback. Judging from the reaction of offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave when asked about Webb at quarterback in a pinch, that doesn't seem likely.

Instead, it would appear after a strong preseason, Bethel-Thompson is worth developing. But he had received no inclination one way or another from Vikings coaches after his preseason finale.

"I have no idea. You can't control that. That's for the coaches and the front office," he said. "You just try to put a good product on the field and let the chips fall where they may."

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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