Still, Vikings coach Brad Childress isn't willing to declare that Jackson has lost the chance to be the starter.
Throughout his remarks four days after a season-ending loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in an NFC Wild-Card Game, Childress was noncommittal Thursday about what the team will do to address the QB position.
"It's really kind of a whole offseason type of study," he said. "I'm not going to pass judgment right at this particular point. ... Turn over all the rocks and see what you have there."
Free agent? Trade? Draft? Stick with the status quo?
"You see who's out there, and, by the same token, Tarvaris is going to be here, and we're going to continue to get him better," Childress said, praising Jackson's progress but also pointing out the third-year pro's inconsistency and performance against the Eagles.
The Vikings have gone from 6-10 to 8-8 to 10-6 and NFC North champions under Childress, with offensive production moving in the same direction during that time. But the lagging passing attack has hindered further advancement.
However, Childress didn't indicate that he has lost faith in Jackson.
The coach argued that Jackson took too much of the blame for the 26-14 loss last Sunday and declined to place the quarterback position above any other in terms of the internal evaluation and strategizing that will take place later this month. Jackson was benched after two bad games and played much better in December upon taking over after veteran Gus Frerotte broke bones in his back.
As for the development of the head coach himself, well, Childress sidestepped a question on self-evaluation.
He acknowledged later that in-game communication can improve, when asked about several instances this season where decisions were slow to reach the huddle. Wide receivers Bernard Berrian and Bobby Wade each criticized the second-half pla-ycalling against the Eagles as being too conservative.
"Just being prepared from top to bottom," Wade said Monday, elaborating on his frustration. "I give the Eagles all the credit, because they are a postseason team who knows how to win."
Childress said he believed there was enough aggressiveness in the game plan and that players could have executed the calls better.
"That comes down to us as a staff and the 11 guys on the field," he said.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press