Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson wasn’t caught off guard when he found out the Vikings had traded for Sage Rosenfels and that the plan was to have the two compete for the starting job in training camp. In an interview with Sirius NFL Radio, Jackson talked about the situation.
“It wasn’t really a big surprise,” he said. “I kind of figured they were going to make a move somewhere. I really didn’t know exactly if it was going to be in the draft or wherever but I knew I was going to have to compete with somebody sometime this year. So it really doesn’t matter exactly. I just know the only thing I can do is just take care of my part and that’s what I’ll try to do.”
Jackson began the 2008 season as the Vikings starting quarterback but lost the job to Gus Frerotte after Minnesota lost its first two games. Jackson got the job back late in the season after Frerotte was injured and started in the Vikings’ playoff loss to Philadelphia.
Jackson, asked what he had been told by coach Brad Childress about whether this was an open competition or if Rosenfels might have an edge, said: “Year in and year out Coach Childress always tells me we’re going to compete. So I’m taking that same approach this year. I’m competing for the starting job and that’s the approach I’m taking. I’m just going to go do my best and prepare hard this offseason and do what I normally do. Take it up a notch and try to get better. So whatever coach decides, that [is] his decision but I’m going to make sure I do my part.”
Jackson also discussed the areas in which he think he has grown as a starting quarterback. “Just loosening up and just playing,” he said. “Just doing what I’ve been coached to do and not being robotic and just being myself. And that was pretty much it. I was a little tight out there trying not to make mistakese instead of going out there and just trying to make plays. So that’s the big difference, and I just understood that I ain’t really got to do everything by myself.
“At first, in the beginning of the season I knew I stood there — OK, I got a lot of [players] behind me and around me – but I still put a lot of pressure on myself because I knew the big question was the quarterback situation. So I know now that the added pressure that I put on myself really was good to a certain point but it was too much for me to perform well.”