Assessing blame for Tarvaris Jackson’s lack of development

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 14:  Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson #7 of the Minnesota Vikings runs with the ball during their NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 14, 2008 in Glendale, Arizona. The Vikings defeated the Cardinals 35-14. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

To the 12 people that watched the Vikings-Giants game on Monday night, it was apparent that Tarvaris Jackson hasn’t grown as a quarterback. Granted, he hasn’t had much time to grow while watching Brett Favre play over the last two years, but he’s been in the league since 2006 and yet you would swear he’s still a rookie.

The Vikings placed quarterback Jackson on injured reserve Thursday with turf toe, effectively ending his season and most likely his tenure in Minnesota. Brad Childress wanted a “diamond in the rough” when he selected Jackson with the last pick in the second round of the ‘06 NFL Draft and he got one in Jackson, although he never wound up polishing it.

Part of the blame for that falls on Childress, who was too busy chasing Brett Favre on his ranch in Mississippi to develop the former small school product. Or maybe Childress knew that Jackson was a mistake and that’s why he took painstaking measures to ensure Lord Fave would grace Minnesota with his presence. Either way, somebody failed Jackson along the way.

The former Alabama State product was projected to go in the later rounds of the ’06 draft but as we all know, projections mean very little. The truth is that other teams wanted Jackson that year too but the Vikings were the ones who got aggressive in the end. Hindsight is always 20/20 and while many people thought it was a reach to take Jackson in the second round, the bottom line is that Childress wasn’t the only one who saw a raw but talented athlete.

The draft is littered with success stories about quarterbacks who weren’t taken in the top 10. Tom Brady is one – Drew Brees is another. Jackson didn’t play against top competition while at Alabama State but that’s not the only mark of a college quarterback. Given the right amount of time and coaching, there were plenty of people who thought they could turn Jackson into a bona fide NFL starter and Childress was one of them.

Alas, it didn’t happen. Maybe Jackson just needs a change of scenery and a coach who won’t spend all of his time sucking face with a future Hall of Fame quarterback. Some players take a long time to develop and maybe that fits Jackson.

Or maybe he’ll never develop. After all, the draft is littered with plenty of those cases, too.

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