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Minnesota Vikings shift Joe Webb to full-time receiver

Joe Webb officially is making the move from quarterback to wide receiver.

The position change had been assumed after the Minnesota Vikings signed backup quarterback Matt Cassel, but coach Leslie Frazier told Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Sid Hartman that the Vikings made the move after the 2013 NFL Draft.

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"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," Frazier said.

Webb was drafted as a receiver in 2010, but he made the switch to quarterback before the season. He last played wideout full-time as a sophomore at Alabama-Birmingham, where he caught 30 passes for 459 yards.

"It's going to be very interesting," Webb said about the position switch. "I haven't played it since my rookie minicamp, but I think I can adjust to it pretty good. You just have to put in a lot of work. (Wide receivers) coach Stew (George Stewart) will do a lot of that with me, so we'll see what happens."

Webb's opportunity to prove he can be a legitimate quarterback came last season in an emergency duty against the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs. The start turned out disastrously.

The move to wide receiver will provide insurance if first-round pick Cordarrelle Patterson -- who Frazier said Wednesday would get an opportunity to earn the starting spot -- struggles. Past Patterson and veteran Greg Jennings, the receiving corps remains barren.

The Vikings finally realized they needed to get a player with Webb's athleticism and skill on the field. The former quarterback said his knowledge of the offense and experience at quarterback will make the transition easier.

"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," he said.

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.

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