Childress switches to Frerotte

Gus Frerotte is the Vikings' new starter at quarterback, head coach Brad Childress announced Wednesday at his press conference.

Vikings coach Brad Childress didn't just back off his comments after Sunday's game, saying that Tarvaris Jackson is his quarterback, he completely reversed field and named Gus Frerotte as his starter for this weekend's game against the Carolina Panthers.

"I know full well that one position is not responsible and that everyone needs to step up," Childress said. "I'm just not seeing right now the aggressiveness from Tarvaris that I saw throughout the offseason, training camp, the two preseason games that he played in. Part of that may be experience and I know (Gus will) give us that," Childress said.

Jackson has completed 30 of 59 passes in his two games – both losses – this season for 308 yards, one touchdown, one interception and a 64.8 passer rating.

Childress said he saw signs of Jackson progressing throughout the offseason and in the preseason before he sprained the medial collateral ligament in his knee in the second preseason game, "but I just haven't seen that aggressiveness re-appear. Since then it hasn't been at full throttle and that's what I expect at that position and he knows exactly where he's at. It does not need to be a death knell for Tarvaris Jackson. There are many quarterbacks in this league that have experienced bumps in the road."

"When I go back through and look at the tape and the decision-making, you have milliseconds to pull the trigger and the overall aggressiveness of being able to pull it out and snap something off with an extremely quick decision. Obviously, I always talk about making the routine plays routinely."

Childress said he made the decision on Tuesday and talked it over with Jackson and got a chance to talk with Frerotte last night.

"He's been in this situation before," Childress said of Frerotte, "the starter, removed as the starter, the backup, it's been cast forward. There's not been a lot of things that he hasn't seen in his 15 years in this league."

For his career, Frerotte has a 54.2 completion percentage with 19,134 yards passing, 102 touchdowns and 91 interceptions with a 74.3 rating.

Childress said Jackson doesn't like the decision but will make the most of it and said he could be a few snaps away from being back in if an injury would occur.

The coach still sees the skills in Jackson that say he can be a quarterback "in this league at a high level. Obviously, the skills have not been commensurate with the growth."

Asked what changed his mind from his backing of Jackson Sunday after the Colts loss, Childress said, "Most importantly, to be able to sit across from the young man and want to be able to verify what you're seeing, it's kind of like looking in your kids eyes. … Tarvaris is a man of few words, so it's not fair to really talk about that discussion."

Childress said it won't be a checkers game where he is switching back and forth, so the Vikings move forward with Frerotte as their new starter.

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