Frazier sees need to solidify No. 2 QB

Joe Webb (Jonathan Daniel/Getty)

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier talked about what kind of veteran backup he is looking for to compete with Joe Webb, with plenty of options expected to be available.

Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said bringing in a veteran quarterback to compete for the No. 2 spot on the Vikings is a possibility. On Friday, head coach Leslie Frazier said finding the right guy would create "a perfect fit."

So what are the Vikings looking for in their exploration of a veteran backup to Christian Ponder?

"It's got to be a guy that comes in and understands that Christian is our starting quarterback. But, yeah, he's got to be ready to play at any given time. That's just the nature of being the backup quarterback," Frazier said.

"He'd have to understand his role. That would be the key. If the guy comes in and has the mindset that I'm going to create a problem in the locker room because he feels he should be the starter, that would not be a good fit. It needs to be a guy that understands his role and could fit our team and be ready to go at a moment's notice."

The Vikings have had Christian Ponder as their starter since Week 7 of the 2011 season with Joe Webb backing him up. Frazier made it clear the Vikings haven't completely given up on Webb, but they are exploring options for someone to compete with him behind Ponder.

"I'm not so sure Joe is not a good NFL quarterback. He's shown at times – you go back and look at the season he did have, the Philly game, the game he had against Detroit, the way he finished against Chicago – he's done some things that show you he can play," Frazier said. "Even the Washington game, he stepped in. He's shown that he can play the quarterback position. It's just, you hate for that one game against Green Bay to be the defining moment for Joe. You see all these athletic quarterbacks that are playing today, it was a tough spot for him."

Webb started the Vikings' first playoff game since the 2009 season when Christian Ponder had a deep contusion on his throwing arm that limited his range of motion for the wild card game against the Green Bay Packers. Webb completed only 36.7 percent of his passes for 180 yards, one touchdown, one interception and took three sacks in that playoff loss.

Over his three-year career, Webb has played in 17 games, starting three. He has completed 57.9 percent of his 152 passes for 853 yards, three touchdowns and five interceptions.

While Webb would likely compete for the No. 2 job, Frazier and Spielman have both discussed the possibilities of adding a veteran.

"It depends on who he is and what he's accomplished," Frazier said of the potential veteran addition. "I still have confidence in Joe. I just feel like he had a tough situation to go into. I'd like to see him compete with whatever we end up doing, whether it be a veteran guy, or we draft a guy. But we definitely need to solidify that backup position, so we all go into the season feeling pretty good about whoever has to step in if something were to happen to Christian."

When Ponder was struggling during the 2012 season and Frazier was asked about the possibility of having Ponder take a step back and watch Webb, Frazier said he wasn't sure there was much Ponder could learn, another indication that the idea of a veteran backup could be appealing.

There are plenty of pending free-agent quarterbacks – Derek Anderson, Jason Campbell, Kellen Clemens, Chase Daniel, Bruce Gradkoski, Brady Quinn, Tyler Thigpen and Matt Leinart to name a few – but the Vikings aren't at the point of narrowing in on specifics just yet. That will wait until they return home from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

"There's a list of free agents that we are going through, and we're going to talk about again next week when we get back in the office," Frazier said. "We'll have to make a determination that that's the route we want to go, or if we want to draft a guy. So we've got some decisions that we'll have to make."

If a veteran does unseat Webb, they might look to move him to another position, but Frazier didn't seem like he thought that was the best option.


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.


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