Who's No. 2?

The Vikings went into their season opener at Washington with a rookie as their backup quarterback. Will that be the case the rest of the season? See what head coach Brad Childress and quarterbacks Tarvaris Jackson and Brooks Bollinger had to say about the situation.

Rookie Tarvaris Jackson was the Vikings' backup quarterback in Monday night's season-opening win over Washington, but his status as the No. 2 quarterback – and Brooks Bollinger's status as the No. 3 – will be evaluated on a weekly basis, head coach Brad Childress said Wednesday.

"I just think we'll end up going week to week," Childress said.

The Vikings signed Bollinger just days before the regular season started. He learned the offensive system quickly, Childress said, and did as good of a job as he possibly could to put himself in a good position, but there wasn't enough time to become fully acclimated.

"I've been in a lot of situations and every one of them is different," Bollinger said. "Whether I'm No. 2 or No. 3 is the coach's decision. He has to see how I'm developing. I just have to put down my head and work hard and see how things develop."

Keeping Jackson as the backup for Monday's game was a matter of fairness. "Let's face it, Tarvaris had the most reps in training camp in this offense," Childress said.

Jackson, the Vikings' second-round draft pick from Alabama State, completed 22 of 34 passes during the preseason for 249 yards with two touchdowns, no interceptions, and an impressive 106.1 quarterback rating. He said he was prepared Monday night if Johnson would have suffered an injury, but he has noticed his practice repetitions greatly reduced now that the regular season has started.

Jackson started the preseason as the third quarterback behind Johnson and Mike McMahon. But McMahon's struggles, which led to his eventual release, combined with an impressive preseason for Jackson led to his promotion. Then, about a week before the opener, the Vikings signed Bollinger.

But Jackson refuses to get involved in speculation over when Bollinger will move up to the No. 2 quarterback.

"That's not in my control," Jackson said. "I'll do my part and do what I can do. I'm a team player. I'm all for whatever the coaches decide. It really doesn't matter much because basically, I know my role as a rookie and that's to work hard and learn everything I can."

Training camp and the ensuing preseason allowed Jackson myriad practice time on the field to learn. But now that the Vikings are in regular season mode – where the starting quarterback usually gets about 80 percent of the reps – Jackson is playing the role of student.

"All I can do now is sit and watch and learn," Jackson said. "I can get better by watching and getting mental reps. Learning is still possible without getting reps. So now I just watch and listen to (Johnson)."

This isn't the first time Jackson played the watch-and-learn role. In his freshman and sophomore years at in college, Jackson played the role of understudy. "Getting ready for a game as a backup is a lot different than getting ready as a starter," he said.

Jackson knows that as long as he remains Johnson's backup, he is only one play away from running the Vikings offense.

"Obviously, I'm not as ready as (Johnson) is, but if I got the chance I would do my best," Jackson said. "It's a great thing that he's staying healthy and he's the best man for the job. I just pray that he stays healthy."


Viking Update Top Stories