Childress welcomes open QB competition

Just who will be the starting quarterback in Minnesota in 2009? Vikings head coach Brad Childress couldn’t answer that question directly when he met with the media on Friday, but he did offer some insight into the situation.

Childress, who is non-committal on the topic and often sidesteps questions on what exactly the Vikings have planned, indicated Tarvaris Jackson — who ended 2008 as the starter — might be given a chance to claim the spot but said the team will bring in competition in some form.

“I think Tarvaris has to continue to improve, without a doubt,” Childress said. “And I think he will. I think he gave some glimpses coming back in off the bench in some things he did. Obviously, he has to eliminate the turnovers; I’d like to see the touchdown-to-turnover ratio change. We need to put somebody in place that can push him, that can compete with him. I think competition is the nature of the game.”

One possible source of Jackson’s competition could come in the form of veteran Gus Frerotte. Childress confirmed he has spoken recently with Frerotte, who is under contract with the Vikings but has said he wants to return as the starter. Frerotte could ask for his release or retire, but Childress said the 15-year veteran has an “open door” to return. He said he doesn’t believe Frerotte has made a final decision on his future.

“He’s a competitive guy, and I respect that he’s a competitive guy,” Childress said of Frerotte. “He said he wants to start. You know what? I wouldn’t want him if he didn’t want that. That could be a source of competition.”

Childress expects a decision by Frerotte in the “next 10 days or so.” That decision could help dictate the Vikings’ plan, or the team may have already decided to give Jackson another chance to be the starter. It still remains to be seen.

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