Posted October 17, 2013

Josh Freeman will start at quarterback for Vikings in Week 7

Minnesota Vikings, NFC North

The Minnesota Vikings have been a football team with a quarterback problem all season, and they will turn to a third name in Week 7 to try to solve it. The team announced on Wednesday morning that Josh Freeman will start when the Vikings travel to MetLife Stadium to take on the New York Giants on Monday evening.

“I like the things that he’s done in his career along with the things he’s done since he arrived here with our football team,” head coach Leslie Frazier said. “The time he’s put in, how well he’s adapting to our system and I like his work ethic. He’s done enough for us to say we want to give him this opportunity, which is something we had in mind when we acquired him. We think now is the time, and our coaching staff is going to do a great job in preparing him and making sure we have a game plan that will allow him to be successful and allow our team to be successful.”

The Vikings started the 2013 season with Christian Ponder as their starting quarterback, but that was based as much on Ponder’s status as the team’s first-round pick in 2011 than anything he’s done on the field. Minnesota signed veteran Matt Cassel to be Ponder’s backup before the season, and the two have combined to complete 107 passes in 169 attempts for 1,180 yards, five touchdowns and seven interceptions. Ponder suffered a rib injury in the third game of the season against the Cleveland Browns, and Cassel didn’t do much in Ponder’s stead.

That’s why Frazier and general manager Rick Spielman pulled the trigger on Freeman after he was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Oct. 3 after a long battle with head coach Greg Schiano. The Vikings acquired Freeman three days later, and signed him to a one-year, $3 million contract.

One day after the Vikings lost to the Carolina Panthers, 35-10, Frazier was asked about his plans at the quarterback position, and when he’d be able to name a starter.

“I’d like to by the time we get back and practice on Wednesday, which is a shorter practice, have an idea which guy is going to be leading our team,” he said. “We’re going to talk about it today and tomorrow because we’ve got to put the gameplan together. We’re going to try to have a conclusion by Wednesday so we can go out and get that guy the reps he needs for the game.”

Now, Freeman is that guy. He has two-thirds of a season to prove that he has what it takes to be the team’s long-term future — or, at the very least, up his value on the free-agent market prior to the 2014 season. In three games for the Buccaneers before he was benched in favor of rookie Mike Glennon, Freeman completed 43 passes in 94 attempts for 571 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. Freeman was the Bucs’ first-round pick in 2009, and rocked the Vikings’ defense last Oct. 25 in a 36-17 Tampa Bay win. He threw for three touchdowns and made decisive throws in the face of pressure, while also frustrating with some head-scratching incompletions.

That’s been Freeman’s modus operandi through most of his career, but the Vikings are ready to see if they can turn that around.

“We’ll have enough from our playbook where he can function and have success and allow our offense to have success as well,” Frazier said of Monday’s game plan. “We’re not going to have the entire playbook, but we don’t do that anyway. We have game plans specifically for that team and that’s what we’ve done here as well, so we’ll have enough in where he won’t get bogged down and he can go out and play well.”

27 comments
j7apple
j7apple

Finally, the Giants get a win...

SteveKregel
SteveKregel

The 2013 vikings aren't going anywhere.  May as well start Freeman and tank for Teddy.


jbber
jbber

"The time he's put in"?????

modsuperstar
modsuperstar

This probably won't work, but I 100% think Freeman definitely has the talent to be a successful NFL QB. The dude threw for over 4000 passing yards last year. You don't just do that by accident.

radioactivez0r
radioactivez0r

This is going to be a glorious disaster, but I've already written my team off this year anyway.

riley8
riley8

Freeman will do great.....said no one.

badcyclist
badcyclist

If Matt Cassel were white, they would have given him more time to turn things around in Minnesota.

Bucky182
Bucky182

Does it really matter who they have under center? Even with AP their secondary is atrocious and the defense can't seem to get off the field. Even if Freeman turns out to be an upgrade I still have a hard time seeing the Vikings climbing out of the cellar.

Snow1779
Snow1779

I am surprised by this said by no one.

6marK6
6marK6

Christ, this is a prime time game!?

Centennial
Centennial

This is nuts! Cassel has earned the job and Freeman is an unstable head case. Yes, Cassel is never going to set the league on fire but Freeman is no upgrade.

Joe R2
Joe R2

Sooner than I thought.... But he's definitely the best QB on that roster.  Ponder and Cassel are below average.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

I still think Freeman can be pretty good with a good coach and staff. He had a disaster as a coach in Tampa and it showed. If he gets his confidence back I wouldn't be surprised to see the Vikings turn it around.

Bucky182
Bucky182

Does it really matter who their quarterback is? Their secondary is atrocious and the defense--except for the Pittsburgh game--can't seem to get off the field altogether. I find it hard to believe that Freeman will get this team out of the cellar.

Richard--Ramirez
Richard--Ramirez

It's the only logical move, Ponder is garbage and so is matty cass.

HarshRealities
HarshRealities

Freeman "the turnover machine" led the NFL in turnovers the past 2 seasons, has the 33rd ranked QBR in the NFL before being benched then released and had a completion percentage under 50% this year. Yep, he is going to be the Vikings savior.

3M_TA3
3M_TA3

Not a surprise. You don dump 3 mil on a QB mid-season and not start him.

Bucky182
Bucky182

@modsuperstar No, but you do when half those yards come in garbage time while the other team's defense has been in prevent the entire second half.

Tom_Weiland
Tom_Weiland

@badcyclist I guarantee you, it doesn't matter to anyone making this decision what color they are.  This is big money.  They could be black white, or purple; if they can produce wins, they have the job.  The bigger issue is that Minnesota does not know how to "develop" teams.  

3M_TA3
3M_TA3

And you base that on something tangible (i.e. Proof) or are you just a bigot?

Michael22
Michael22

@badcyclist I wonder if you meant to write "If Josh Freeman were white, they would have given him more time to turn things around in Tampa."

or maybe "If Christian Ponder were black, they would have given him more time to turn things around in Minnesota."

Cassel is white and after the Carolina game he is lucky to be employed. There was never a plan anywhere to give him the chance to turn things around.

Voiceover310
Voiceover310

@Joe R2 Best QB on the roster? Did you proof read what you just wrote on the internet for everyone to see? Good luck with that