Childress Sticks By ‘Developing' Jackson

Tarvaris Jackson's lackluster performances this year aren't enough to get Brad Childress to make a change at quarterback, the coach said Monday. See what Childress had to say and the documentation to support his references of past quarterbacks who have developed.

Vikings coach Brad Childress said he will continue to "develop" quarterback Tarvaris Jackson. As long as a fractured index finger on his Jackson's throwing (right) hand allows him to function enough during the week, he will remain the team's starting quarterback, the head coach confirmed early Monday afternoon, "if he can do all the things he needs to do physically and mentally."

Jackson is coming off a dismal performance in Dallas, where he completed 6 of 16 passes for 72 yards and a 44.2 rating.

On Monday, Jackson was wearing a splint on his finger.

"(He's) a little bit sore, a little bit swollen. We'll just see how handles the football (on Tuesday) and see where that goes," Childress said.

Childress said Jackson did not indicate that his avulsion fracture – in which the ligament pulls a piece of the bone off – affected his throwing during the game. The Vikings were never close to putting backup Kelly Holcomb in the game, Childress said. "I thought it was just a short – we only had 49 plays and I thought (Jackson) was into the rhythm of the game and doing a decent job with the checks he was making on the line of scrimmage," Childress said.

Last week, Childress said Jackson was 14 of 15 in making checks at the line of scrimmage. This week, there were no specific numbers offered by Childress, but he did say there is a time to consider whether or not keeping a young quarterback in the game while he is struggling is something to consider.

"It is a fine line and we talk about that all the time. Our team needs to have confidence in the guy that's playing underneath the center," Childress said. "He needs to get those looks, but by the same token you don't want to sacrifice those wins."

He added later: "I think those guys (his teammates) have confidence in him. He's the leader. He directs the huddle, he directs the show. Do they want more production? Sure they do, but they want to make sure he doesn't throw it to the other team as well. Coming with that, he needs to make some plays with both his arms and his feet – maybe not both his arms, but one arm."

As a starter, Jackson is 2-4.

Childress referenced the development of Peyton Manning while defending the organization's patience with Jackson.

In Manning's first six starts with the Indianapolis Colts in 1998, he threw seven touchdowns and 17 interceptions with a 1-5 record. Manning had passer ratings of 58.6, 51.1, 39.3, 63.2, 66.8 and 62.6 in those first six games. Jackson had ratings of 35.4 and 62.5 in his two starts last year and this year they were 75.1, 26.4 and 73.8 and 44.2.

Jackson had one touchdown and three interceptions last year in his starts and this year he has two touchdowns and five interceptions.

"If you're going to develop somebody, the word kind of speaks for itself. We're currently in that process. I believe we'll know a lot more about Tarvaris at the end of this year than we do right now," Childress said. "We always talk about making the routine plays routinely. We're not talking about throwing it through the eye of the needle."

Childress said Jackson is showing he can handle things in practice, but that isn't always translating into games.

"One of the things they did with Joe Montana is they had a checkdown day, where you never throw to the primary guy. You're always throwing to the threes and fours. … That's where you'd like to be quarterback-wise, but some of that other stuff doesn't get ingrained immediately," Childress said.

"Obviously, we feel like he still gives us the best chance to win."


  • While Cowboys QB Tony Romo was 4-for-4 on third-down conversions in Dallas' opening drive, the Vikings limited his success to 3 of 11 from that point forward.

  • Childress said he would continue to evaluate the hamstring injury to safety Dwight Smith this week, saying he just "wanted to make sure that thing is on the strong side."

  • On special teams, Childress said Tony Richardson, Ronyell Whitaker and Mewelde Moore did a nice job filling in for Vinny Ciurciu, Dwight Smith and Naufahu Tahi on special teams, but he was disappointed that Bobby Wade didn't field or pick up a punt that landed on the 29-yard line in the fourth quarter and rolled to the 9-yard line.

  • Childress said tackle Ryan Cook "must have lost his head" when he wasn't on the field on time for a field goal attempt. The Vikings had to call a timeout, and after that the kick was blocked and returned for a touchdown, a potential 10-point swing in a 24-14 loss.

  • Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe and head coach Brad Childress talked about his lack of use. "I would love to get him more involved," Childress said, but noted that the Vikings only threw the ball 16 times and that a play that was stopped because of a false start was supposed to have Shiancoe as the primary target. "Visanthe didn't want to come here and become a drive blocker."

  • Childress said he is taking heart that 6 of the team's next 10 games are at home and that they are playing against an NFC team (Philadelphia Eagles) this week.

  • The Vikings claimed rookie S Eric Frampton off waivers from Detroit on Monday. To make room for Frampton on the roster, the team waived rookie G Brian Daniels. Frampton was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the fifth round (165th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft out of Washington State. He was released by the Raiders in their final roster cutdown and was then claimed by the Detroit Lions. Frampton played in the first five games of the season for Detroit and posted seven tackles on special teams. If Daniels clears waivers, the Vikings could re-sign him to their practice Tuesday afternoon, but they would then have to release a practice-squad player.

  • Viking Update Top Stories