As much as the Vikings might have liked Tarvaris Jackson to win the starting quarterback job for 2007, he didn't completely seize his opportunity in the last two games of the season. That leaves the position up for speculation in the coming months.
Will Tarvaris Jackson
be the Vikings' starting quarterback in 2007?
It's too early to make that call right now, but coach Brad Childress did say after his team's 41-21 loss to the Rams on Sunday that quarterback is maybe the only spot he will not consider upgrading during the offseason.
"I'm OK with that right now," Childress said following the regular-season finale for his 6-10 club.
The Vikings could release veteran quarterback Brad Johnson
in the coming months, and the feeling has been the team might pursue a veteran so Jackson isn't rushed into the starting role.
Assuming Johnson is let go, the quarterbacks on the Vikings roster will include Jackson, Brooks Bollinger
and practice squad member Drew Henson
"I would anticipate right now that there's competition," Childress said. "We want competition at all those positions, so I'm not crowning anybody king right now."
Jackson, a surprise second-round selection by Minnesota last April, replaced Johnson during the Vikings' loss to the Jets on Dec. 17. Jackson then started the final two regular-season games, losing to Green Bay and St. Louis.
Jackson completed 47 of 81 passes this season for 475 yards and had two touchdowns and four interceptions. His passer rating was a less-than stellar 62.5.
"I've learned the things that I really needed (to be) a quarterback," Jackson said. "The best way to learn is to go out there and play. And it's also good just to let my teammates get a good feel for me and me get a good feel for them."
In 16 games this season, Minnesota had four interceptions and two fumbles returned for touchdowns.
Vikings coach Brad Childress on his team's poor finish and what needs to be done: "The fun in this business is winning, and that's always been it. It's not the practicing; it's not the meetings. It's the winning. That's what those guys are in it for, and make no mistake, you start every year with your goal as the Super Bowl. We just talked briefly about what are they going to do to put themselves in a position to better the Minnesota Vikings."
DT Kevin Williams gave Rams RB Steven Jackson credit for his 142-yard rushing day Sunday but also placed blame on his team. "This guy ran the ball hard, and then on top of that ... guys I don't think were ready to play today," he said. "We missed some tackles, he was running hard, and then you pile on the fact that you're already halfway out the door when the game starts. Stuff like that can happen."
DE Darrion Scott, a restricted free agent, said the Vikings have approached him about beginning contract talks.
C Matt Birk reflected on the season after Sunday's loss. "There's a million changes coming into this year, and we're all excited and fired up at the beginning of the year," he said. "Unfortunately, the transition was a little tougher than we thought. So that's just the way it is. You have got to look long term. You have got to have everybody on board believing in what you're doing. You can't win a Super Bowl if everybody's not on board and believes in the staff and the staff believes in the players and everyone believes in each other."
WR Travis Taylor was arrested early Monday morning in downtown Minneapolis after not obeying a police officer's order to move along from in front of a nightclub. Taylor "forcibly" put his hands on the officer before being arrested, according to a spokesman from the police department. Taylor faces three misdemeanor charges. The veteran, whose team finished its season Sunday with a 41-21 loss to St. Louis at the Metrodome, was charged with disorderly conduct, fifth-degree assault and interference with pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
FB Jeff Dugan and LB Ben Leber both suffered bruised knees Sunday, and coach Brad Childress described Dugan's as "a pretty good" injury.