The news that the Vikings have hired Craig Johnson to coach their quarterbacks is sure to be followed by plenty of speculation of just who he will coach in 2011.
As in … Vince Young?
Johnson has first-hand experience with Young after spending nine years coaching quarterbacks for the Titans before moving to running backs coach last season. Young has his sights set on being a starter, but I have to agree with NFL Network information man Michael Lombardi,who wrote recently that he’d be shocked if any team gave Young a starting job, or a starting contract to match. Great insight in that piece by Lombardi on some of the issues that have been following Young around since he entered the league.
Fortunately for Young, there are a handful of teams with unsettled quarterback situations where he could get that chance to compete. And, you guessed it, the Vikings are one of them. They were among the short list of teams compiled a couple of weeks back when we looked at where Young could land next season.
It’s an intriguing possibility. Much of it will depend on the direction taken by new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, who has strong ties to the West Coast offense but isn’t tied to one system. Leslie Frazier has cited the need for a franchise quarterback, and his cupboard is nearly bare. Pending free agent Tarvaris Jackson expects to leave. Patrick Ramsey and Rhett Bomar ended the season as the backups to raw but versatile Joe Webb.
It likely puts (or maybe forces is the better term) the Vikings in a position to draft a quarterback and possibly bring in a veteran name who gets cut (Donovan McNabb, Kyle Orton) or via trade (Kevin Kolb) to bridge the gap. Frazier strongly supported the first of those two options Thursday in saying it will be a focus of the team’s draft strategy to find a player for Musgrave to develop, and didn’t rule out the latter.
If the price is right, maybe Young is a fit. Then again, maybe the fact that Johnson did coach Young will be the same reason he doesn’t end up in Minnesota.