Jackson expected QB competition

Tarvaris Jackson didn't know in what form his competition would come, but he fully expected the Vikings to give him a challenge for the starting job in 2009. He got that challenge with the addition of Sage Rosenfels.

Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson knew he'd have to compete for the starting job, he just wasn't sure who would be his competition.

In an interview with Sirius NFL Radio on Thursday, Jackson said he just needs to take care of his job first. The trade for Sage Rosenfels is just the means to that competition.

"(The trade) wasn't really a big surprise. I kind of figured they were going to make a move somewhere. I really didn't know exactly if it was going to be in the draft or wherever, but I knew I was going to have to compete with somebody sometime this year," Jackson said. "So it really doesn't matter exactly. I just know the only thing I can do is just take care of my part and that's what I'll try to do."

Jackson didn't say who the starting quarterback would be – reflecting the company line that it will be a competition between him and Rosenfels.

"Year in and year out Coach (Brad) Childress always tells me we're going to compete. So I'm taking that same approach this year. I'm competing for the starting job and that's the approach I'm taking," he said. "I'm just going to go do my best and prepare hard this offseason and do what I normally do, take it up a notch and try to get better. So whatever coach decides, that's his decision but I'm going to make sure I do my part."

Last year, Jackson entered training camp as the starter with Gus Frerotte as the backup, but the Vikings made the switch from Jackson to Frerotte after only two games. Following the next 11 games with Frerotte going 8-3 as the starter, Jackson got another opportunity and looked improved.

However, when Jackson began facing blitz-happy teams like the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles, his passer rating dipped to 88.5 and 45.4, respectively, to end the season.

Even so, Jackson told Sirius that he was able to relax more last year compared to his work in 2007.

"Just loosening up and just playing. Just doing what I've been coached to do and not being robotic and just being myself. And that was pretty much it. I was a little tight out there trying not to make mistakes instead of going out there and just trying to make plays," he said. "So that's a big difference and I just understood that I ain't really got to do everything by myself.

"At first, in the beginning of the season I knew I stood there, OK, I got a lot of (players) behind me and around me, but I still put a lot of pressure on myself because I knew the big question was the quarterback situation. So I know now that the added pressure that I put on myself really was good to a certain point but it was too much for me to perform well."

Viking Update Top Stories