Vikings needed Joshua Dobbs, and here’s why he could succeed in Minnesota

Vikings needed Joshua Dobbs, and here’s why he could succeed in Minnesota

The Vikings needed a new leader after Kirk Cousins was lost of the season because of a ruptured Achilles tendon. Enter Dobbs, with a degree in aerospace engineering from Tennessee who has worked for NASA. He could help solve the Vikings’ sudden quarterback problem. Or build the Wilf family a spaceship.

The quarterback room is getting a jolt of intelligence, but what else is it getting? Dobbs has been in the NFL for six-plus years and owns a 1-9 record. He joins rookie Jaren Hall and fellow journeymen Nick Mullens and Sean Mannion in a group that will be asked to help build on the current three-game winning streak and keep playoff hopes alive. We know Dobbs is mobile and adaptable; the Vikings are his seventh organization.

“Josh gives us an experienced player who has started some games, not only this year, but last, and has played some good football against some of the best defenses in our league and found ways to move the ball,” Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell said. “[He] brings a level of athleticism to go along with great, great football intelligence and smart player, have always loved his makeup and what he’s all about, and he’s played in a variety of different offenses and I know he’s excited to get going here.”

To those who wondered if Danielle Hunter or other assets would be dealt Tuesday to position the club for the 2024 draft that will have quality signal-callers, an update: the flag flying above the TCO Performance Center in Eagan is still purple — not white. I checked.

The next five games on the Vikings schedule — Week 9 at Atlanta, then at home against New Orleans, at Denver, home against Chicago and, after a bye week, at Las Vegas — are all winnable. After all the turnovers and dropped passes of the 1-4 start, there’s a chance now to rip off what would be eight consecutive wins and a march to a postseason berth. Even if they manage a 3-2 record during that period, they have a chance.

The Vikings were either going to sign or trade for a cap-friendly signal-caller. Dobbs is not a big swing, but someone who could be functional. It’s up to O’Connell to make it work.

There are three main reasons to think someone could emerge successful from the group of Dobbs, Hall and Mullens:

1. The team’s defense has improved under new coordinator Brian Flores, reducing the burden on the offense.

2. Whoever gets under center will be in a good situation. Cousins was in the best position of his career to succeed. The offensive line is more than capable, anchored by tackles Christian Darrisaw and Brian O’Neill. In Justin Jefferson, T.J. Hockenson, Jordan Addison and K.J. Osborn, Cousins had his deepest collection of pass catchers in six seasons here. And No. 8 was using all this to his advantage, playing fast and thinking even faster to throw a league-best 18 touchdown tosses. Too bad the running game isn’t stronger.

3. They won’t find a coach more determined than O’Connell to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Hall will make his first career start this weekend against the Falcons. Nothing is guaranteed after that.

Mullens, with 17 career starts, will come off the injured reserve list in time for Week 10, and could get into the mix. Mullens, when healthy, has impressed in practices. That’s not touting Mullens as ready to rip off a Case Keenum/Minneapolis Miracle-like run of 2017, but he could be the bridge QB to get them from the rookie in Week 10 to Dobbs in Week 12 or 13.

Hall. Then maybe Mullens. Then maybe Dobbs.

That’s right — the Vikings might end up starting four different quarterbacks before the season is over.

No one saw that coming. … Well, except for maybe Dobbs, the rocket scientist. Maybe he knew all along.


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