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Bleacher Report – Vikings

4 thoughts: Joel Stave, Vikings need a new QB, Kearse splashed

By Derek Wetmore

MINNEAPOLIS – The Vikings on Thursday held on to win a meaningless preseason game, 27-25, and finish the preseason 4-0. Mike Zimmer must not like losing in the preseason. Which works, because he basically never does.

This column presents 4 thoughts from Thursday’s game, now that the Vikings are in the Code-Red phase of their We Need a Quarterback plan.

1. Joel Stave started Thursday’s game at quarterback for the Vikings, and it was more than just your typical preseason finale.

Stave was starting in place of new No. 1, Shaun Hill, who of course is taking over for the injured Teddy Bridgewater, who will miss the rest of this year at a minimum.

My observation of Stave was that he wasn’t actually all that bad in what I would consider emergency mop-up duty. He completed nine of his 18 passes (including a few drops) in the first half before he left in the middle of a drive and did not return. He told me he underwent the concussion protocol after he was removed from the game but that he’ll be fine. That left only Brad Sorensen at quarterback for the Vikings.

Obviously these were dire and unexpected circumstances for the Vikings. All you need to know about their current QB situation is that they cut Sorensen on Monday and then re-signed him as soon as they were able just so they could get through Thursday’s game.

Before you get too excited about Stave’s performance, remember that this is the same guy who threw at least four interceptions in last Friday’s practice at U.S. Bank Stadium. (Mike Zimmer said Stave was throwing to a spot, like the quarterbacks are taught, but each time there was a defender standing right there, ready to pick off the pass. Zimmer said he told Stave to quit doing that, because it wasn’t doing the defenders any good to come away with such easy interceptions.) Stave seems like a good guy, I’m just not sure he’ll be on the roster at the end of the weekend. We’ll see.

2. Rick Spielman says the Vikings are looking for a quarterback, but other teams are asking outrageous prices.

He also said they have the utmost confidence in Shaun Hill.

Whether or not you choose to believe that is up to you, but here’s the thing: backup quarterbacks generally aren’t very good. There aren’t a ton of good QBs out there that could be had, much less for a reasonable price by a GM who is stingy with his draft picks.

“You sit there and talk on the phone and go through everything,” Spielman said, “and one thing that we will not do, and I promise you this: is put our organization in a situation where it’s going to inhibit us or hurt us going into the future. By that I mean, people are asking for some crazy things, people think that you’re desperate, and we’re not going to do something that — in my estimation and talking with Coach Zim and our ownership — it puts us in a situation where we jeopardize the future of this franchise.”

Here’s the other thing. And trust me, I get why Spielman had to say everything that he said. But playing hard ball with other teams by pretending you don’t need at least one more quarterback rings hollow. Every team knows the Vikings aren’t going into the season with the Shaun Hill-Joel Stave duo as the only options. Brad Sorenson was just cut and then re-signed. And Taylor Heinicke still is injured and unavailable.

Spielman, in this case, is the thirsty hiker no a desert trail that comes upon a hydration station.

You’re charging how much for water?

3. Tall safety Jayron Kearse made some splash plays that stood out Thursday in the Vikings’ preseason finale. He made at least one nice open-field tackle, and he also forced a fumble on a punt return that caught some attention. It’s a continuation of what seems to have been a strong preseason for Kearse, whose 6-foot-4 size stands out at the position.

He might have locked up this year’s Mr. Mankato award in the process. Or, as the committee is considering renaming it: The Adam Thielen Mr. Mankato award.

(How about Thielen, by the way, emerging lately as someone who maybe could take Jarius Wright’s job? I’m not saying it’ll happen, it’s just worth pointing out that Thielen has played ahead of him on the depth chart and that’s an impressive climb for a guy who played his college ball at Minnesota State-Mankato.)

The #MrMankato chairmen have selected 4 finalists. YOU guys vote on the winner!

Jayron Kearse
Jhurell Pressley
David Morgan
C.J. Ham
(2/3)

— Mr. Mankato (@MrMankatoVikes) September 2, 2016

Zimmer was asked how much improvement he’s seen from Kearse from the beginning of training camp.

“The first series [Thursday] I didn’t see much improvement but after the he did all right,” Zimmer said. “I like him, I think he’s a kid that — it’s important to him. He tries real hard. … He’s a big-bodied guy that has some range. He’s worked exceptionally hard on his acceleration out of the break. I think there’s some good things there to work with.”

The Vikings appear to me to be pretty deep in the defensive backfield, but I’m giving Kearse a nonzero chance to make the 53-man roster.

4. One quarterback that’s no longer on the Vikings radar is the gunslinger himself, retired and Canton-enshrined Brett Favre.

My friend shared an old 2010 article about Favre and I thought it was pretty funny to read the quotes and pretend like he was saying them about this season.

“I owe it to this organization to give it one more try,” Favre told reporters in 2010. “I could make a case for both playing, not playing,” he said. “This is a very good football team. The chances [of going to the Super Bowl] here are much greater than other places. From that standpoint, it was always going to be easier [to return].”

Maybe Vikings fans don’t want to be teased like that.

Well, then maybe they wouldn’t like this joke from Vikings GM Rick Spielman.

“We did talk to Brett,” he said when asked. “I think the gold jacket put the seal on that one. Just reading this stuff, and I do read some of the stuff out there, the tweets saying do this and do that, but a fantasy football world is different than the reality we live in.”

Could I play? …

The post 4 thoughts: Joel Stave, Vikings need a new QB, Kearse splashed appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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