In the midst of what has to be relatively frustrating season for Greg Jennings, he had "a little humor" on a Friday afternoon.
Asked if he ever thought he would have played for three quarterbacks in six weeks – worse yet, it's actually three quarterbacks in four games – Jennings replied, "If somebody would have told me that, I don't know if I would have came. No. … A little humor. A little humor."
When Jennings signed a five-year, $45 million contract with the Vikings in March, he was being sold the positive possibilities with QB Christian Ponder entering his third season in the NFL. The Vikings were pounding home the four-game uptick in which Ponder ended the 2012 season.
Ponder's three-game downward spiral to start 2013 ended with a rib injury and Matt Cassel starting the next two games. But with the acquisition of QB Josh Freeman early last week, the Vikings are taking the "next man up" mantra to another level. It's the next quarterback up, this time the one that has, to this point, less than two weeks immersed in the Vikings offense.
"You have to fight through adversity. You got to be able to adjust when we're making midseason adjustments. We've been making changes at the quarterback position and we have to rhythm up," Jennings said. "We talk about rhythm with whichever quarterback is back there, and we got another one back there this week. We got to rhythm up with him."
With Ponder starting the first three games this season, Jennings was targeted 21 times, catching 11 passes for 160 yards and no touchdowns. With Cassel starting the last two games, Jennings was targeted 14 times, catching nine passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns.
It remains to be seen what impact Freeman's insertion as the starter has on Jennings, but there is a possibility for an improved deep ball.
"You guys see the arm strength. It's like a flick of the wrist and the ball is 50 yards in the air, no problem. It's exciting to see what he can do. It's just all about us putting him to use on Monday night and showcasing him," Jennings said.
"… He throws kind of a windup and it's a heavier ball. There's a lot more velocity. That's really good. It sneaks up on you. It honestly does. But it's one of those balls that when you turn around, the ball's right there."
Jennings said he is "awed" by the speed at which Freeman is picking up the offense. Like the coaching staff and other players, Jennings said Freeman is spending an inordinate amount of time at Winter Park trying to speed his acclimation to the offense.
"Smart quarterback. Nothing different from the other guys. He's very smart. He's learning the system. He's picking it up really, really quick," Jennings said. "He's in the building day and night. You like to see that in a quarterback. He's rhythming up with us and we're trying to build his confidence in the offense and make him look good while he makes us look good."
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.
Jennings trying to ‘rhythm up' with Freeman
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