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Vikings move QB Webb to wide receiver

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Joe Webb is going from Christian Ponder's backup to George Stewart's pet project in Minnesota.

The Vikings are transitioning Webb back to wide receiver after three seasons as a backup quarterback.

"We had been talking about it for a while, and we made the decision that this was the way to go after we had our draft," coach Leslie Frazier said.

Webb, 6-4, 220, started at quarterback in the Vikings' playoff loss at Green Bay when Ponder was battling an elbow injury. He had 32 receptions for 480 yards and four touchdowns as a wide receiver in college, but last played the position regularly in 2008.

Webb was a sixth-round pick in 2010 as a wide receiver, but coach Brad Childress determined his NFL future was at quarterback.

That changed when the Vikings signed Matt Cassel to be the No. 2 quarterback.

"You have a whole different world at quarterback, but I think that's going to help me out there at receiver, having been at quarterback and knowing the coverage and how DBs run their plays," Webb said. "I think that's going to be a big advantage for me. I always relate things that I see on the field to quarterbacks -- to Christian, to Matt Cassel, to (McLeod) Bethel-Thompson -- I can tell those guys what I see out there. That will help them out a lot, my quarterback experience.

"Also, it will help the receivers out -- for instance if they see a safety rotating down, different coverages that teams prepare and things like that. I think it's going to be a big help."

Webb has one NFL reception (for nine yards in 2011) but was a wide receiver at UAB before shifting to quarterback.

"He's such a talented athlete that we want to make sure that we're doing the right thing by him and our team," Frazier said in April.

The Vikings drafted Cordarrelle Patterson and signed free agent Greg Jennings to bolster a wide receiver corps overhauled following the March trade of Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks.
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