Minnesota coach Brad Childress dropped a heap of praise on Tarvaris Jackson on Monday, a day after the quarterback turned in an impressive performance in place of injured Gus Frerotte to lead the Vikings to a 35-14 win over the Cardinals.
Jackson’s performance — 11-of-17 passing, 164 yards and a career high four TDs — in his first start since Week 2 was enough to top the Cardinals, but not enough to be named this week’s starter against the Falcons. At least not for now. After the glowing report, Childress was pressed why he wouldn’t name the much-improved Jackson the starter.
“I don’t know that I won’t name him the starter,” said Childress. “I don’t have to do that today and I’m not going to do that today.”
Childress said he won’t make a decision until seeing the QBs in practice. He noted Frerotte, who is battling a back injury, worked out with trainers on Monday and was “more comfortable.”
“I have to see those guys get out here,” said Childress. “I have to see them with my own eyes. … I’ll certainly discuss it with those two guys before I discuss it with anybody else.”
It was almost exactly three months ago that Childress found himself making the decision to bench the inconsistent Jackson for the veteran Frerotte. The team went 6-2 after the change, and has won back-to-back games in Jackson’s second stint. Childress said Jackson has been more decisive.
“You don’t see a lot of hesitancy back there,” said Childress. “I just think I see a brighter-eyed, more well-rounded guy, for whatever reason — whether it is the time, whether it is sitting back and watching, whether it was a set of events that he didn’t care for. Obviously when you get a second chance you want to make the most of it and he has done a great job of that.”