Holcomb comes to Vikings willing to teach, but anxious to play Print
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Tuesday, 28 August 2007 13:33
NFL Headline News

 EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) -Kelly Holcomb knows why the Minnesota Vikings brought him here.
The 12-year veteran has seen a little bit of everything in stints with Tampa Bay, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Buffalo and Philadelphia.
Starting quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, on the other hand, has not. With only two career starts, Jackson needs all the help he can get in analyzing coverages, breaking down defenses and making the right reads.
With backup Brooks Bollinger struggling, the Vikings traded a 2009 draft pick to the Eagles on Monday so Holcomb can come in and help this young guy learn the NFL.
``Whatever the coaches want me to do, I am here to do it,'' Holcomb said Tuesday. ``I am here to help play and I am here to help with the young guys.''
That's the teammate in Holcomb, the guy who has been overshadowed for most of his career by higher-profile quarterbacks - from Peyton Manning to Donovan McNabb. But the competitor in him also feels that he has some juice left in that 34-year-old right arm of his.
He was asked on Tuesday if he is comfortable in the role of tutor to Jackson, the strong-armed but inexperienced second-year pro.
``Yeah, I don't ever want to say that because I am a competitive person,'' Holcomb said. ``I am one of the most competitive people you will meet. You want to play, but then again you have to know your role, you have to know the situation.
``They've got a talented guy here and they have named him the starter. I understand. This will be my 13th year coming up, and I understand and I don't know how many more of these I am going to have left.''
He has at least one more.
The Bills traded him to the Eagles in March, energizing Holcomb at the prospect of playing for a winning team. But when Philly surprisingly took Kevin Kolb in the second round, Holcomb started looking elsewhere.
``I knew the situation there. It wasn't going to fit,'' Holcomb said. ``I wasn't going to be there, especially when they drafted Kevin.
``Everybody is human. You start looking at situations, and you know (the Vikings) didn't really have an experienced guy here. And you look around there is not really experienced guys out there right now.''
Bollinger has nine NFL starts in four seasons and the only other quarterback on the roster - seventh-round draft choice Tyler Thigpen - played at Division I-AA Coastal Carolina last year.
``It'll help,'' Jackson said. ``He's an older guy. Been in the league a long time and won a lot of games. ... I just look at is as help for the team and help for me to get better. I'm looking forward to it.''
And for the past six months, Holcomb has been running essentially the same offense in Philadelphia that coach Brad Childress brought to Minnesota. It will take some time for him to get completely up to speed, but Childress said he spoke to Eagles coach Andy Reid about Holcomb's familiarity with the offense.
``It's too bad he hadn't played in this system throughout his 10 or 12 years,'' Childress said. ``But on the flip side of that, he has seen enough defensive football to understand how to attack it and has been essentially calling these same plays throughout the time he was there at Philadelphia.
``He has great leadership ability. I think his depth of experience will help as much as anything.''
Jackson is only scheduled to play one series in Thursday night's preseason finale against Dallas. Childress said Bollinger will be the second quarterback in, but it was realistic that Holcomb could play, just three days after arriving in town.
The coach also was encouraged by Holcomb's competitive nature.
``I want guys that want to compete and not are happy with their lot in life, that they want to continue to move ahead,'' Childress said. ``I think he can be a mentor. I think he can come in and compete. He can do a couple of those things.''
 

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