To call Tarvaris Jackson’s five-year NFL career ‘tumultuous’ is quite an understatement.
Drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the second round of the 2006 draft, Jackson never had the job security warranted by such a high draft pick. His first three seasons were mired by injury and questionable decision-making, and head coach Brad Childress never gave him the vote of confidence a young quarterback desires.
Then came Brett Favre.
In 2009, Jackson was supposed to compete for the starting job with veteran quarterback Sage Rosenfels. But Childress and owner Zigi Wulff flew Favre to Minnesota on a private jet, essentially sealing Jackson’s fate as the Vikings’ backup quarterback.
“Of course I was a little mad,” Jackson told Brock & Salk from the VMAC on Friday. “But at the same time, you know, I had to be professional about it. I had to be a good teammate.”
Though he was cheering from the sideline as Favre battled New Orleans in the NFC Championship game, Jackson learned a valuable lesson from the future Hall of Famer.
“I’ve been through a whole lot,” Jackson said. “I have some experience, not a whole lot, but I learned a lot from Brett [Favre] these last two years just the way he prepares week-in and week-out.”
Jackson now has the opportunity of a lifetime in Seattle.
Head coach Pete Carroll anointed Jackson as starter before he even threw a pass in practice. Jackson won’t even be able to start practicing until Thursday at the earliest, only a week before the Seahawks first preseason game.
“I haven’t really played football since December, so you kind of want to get out there and get ready for the regular season. And I think it’s kinda unfair for the guys that got to sit out,” said Jackson of the unusual scenario.
Despite being one of the more undervalued quarterback’s on the market, Jackson’s familiarity with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was one of the major reasons why he chose to come to Seattle. In addition to feeling like he was being held hostage in Minnesota, Jackson felt the Seahawks were the perfect fit.
“I feel like I was wanted here,” Jackson said. “You know the past couple years I [felt like] they were holding on to me, but I feel like I was wanted here and that was one of the main things.
“I heard the rumors and stuff so I’ve kind of been weighing the options about coming up here and I told them this is where I want to go if I had the chance to go up there.”
Although Carroll has already handed the reigns of the Seahawks offense to him, Jackson doesn’t seem satisfied until he performs on the field.
“I really don’t look at it like I got the job,” Jackson said. “If I get out here and don’t perform I’m pretty sure [if] Charlie is playing well they’ll put him in.
“So I don’t look at it as like I have the job – I’m just gonna come out here and compete.”
By Michael Simeona,