Is Childress Panicking Now?

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Almost every Vikings fan is probably saying "finally" upon hearing that Tarvaris Jacksonhas been benched. But it's fair to ask why head coach Brad Childress is all of a sudden changing his tune after spending the last year and a half vowing that Jackson was a starting caliber quarterback.

Yeah, I know. Don't complain, just be happy that Childress has finally come to his senses. But what's crazy is that as bad as Jackson has been this year, he's been no worse than he was for most of last year, and he's actually been better than he was at many points last year.

It's hard not to see this as a panic move. Childress knows his job is on the line, so he finally makes the move that everyone else has been waiting to see for over a year. To watch Jackson face the Cowboys last year was to see one of the worst quarterback performances you'll ever see--the Vikings finished that game with three passing first downs. And that game was better than his four interception performance against the Lions, and his three interception, one fumble game against the Bears.

But no matter what went wrong for Jackson last year, he not only kept his job, but Childress seemed to scoff at the idea of replacing him. Finally Childress is starting to see the same thing that the casual fan has been aware of for over a year--Jackson takes too long to get rid of the ball, has accuracy problems and is not trusted to run a full playbook. Against the Colts, he looked at his most comfortable when the Vikings rolled him out, which meant he only had to read half the field.

Maybe some time on the bench will help Jackson develop the skills he currently lacks. He does have a strong arm and the ability to tuck and run. But unless you think than an occasional solid game is a sign that he's getting it, there sure doesn't seem to be any reason for Childress to have bet his coaching career on Jackson. And with Gus Frerotte as the only alternative, it seems like Childress is now forced to go all-in with a pair of duds.

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