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Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Vikings' weakness: Quarterback

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Posted by Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson

This is an easy one and I probably would have listed quarterback even if/when Brett Favre were signed by the Vikings.

Scouts Inc.: Weaknesses
• AFC: South | East
• NFC: North | South

OK, let's just get this out of the way now concerning the Favre situation. I do not have first-hand information concerning the status of his biceps injury, but what I do know is that on film, Favre could not throw the football well enough to be successful during the second half of last season for the Jets.

 Rosenfels
 Jackson

He still was -- and always will be -- a high-risk decision-maker, but if his rocket-launcher right arm can no longer cash the checks that his head is writing, even more interceptions will ensue. Surely we will see plenty of off-balance throws off his back foot and passes into heavy coverage. However -- and I would want to see how he throws in preseason to confirm this -- I do think Favre is probably better than anyone else on the Vikings' roster right now at quarterback. That isn't saying much, but if you can improve the play at the most important position on the field for a minimal cost, then that seems like good business to me. That is not to say that Favre is the answer, but he should be an improvement.

Almost the same thing can be said for Sage Rosenfels. I think Rosenfels is a terrible fit for the Vikings. He turns the ball over way too much and doesn't deliver nearly enough big plays to compensate for that massive shortcoming. Plus, in my mind, if the Vikings are going to settle for a low-end starting quarterback, he must be a caretaker who values the football, hands it to Adrian Peterson over and over and knows how to live to fight another day while letting the Vikings' tough defense take the field. But, much like the Favre situation, Rosenfels actually upgrades what the Vikings had at quarterback. He also was attained for a minimal price. So, once again, Rosenfels is not the answer, but he should be an improvement. See a trend here?

I have been very hard on Tarvaris Jackson over his career, but I must say that he did show noticeable improvement in his third season. Jackson valued the football far better and didn't make nearly as many critical errors. He also ran the ball in a more timely manner and showed a better feel for his surroundings and with his pocket awareness.

However, I still don't see the accuracy necessary to be a successful starting quarterback in this league. He doesn't hit his targets in stride or put the ball in spots where only they can make the play nearly often enough. Jackson also doesn't throw with good touch and can put too much heat on the short pass and not enough air under the deep ball.

This a quarterback-driven league, and the Vikings are missing a top driver behind the wheel. The rest of the team looks quite strong, but without the right guy at quarterback it might not matter.

Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.