Blog Entry

Report: Christian Ponder in as Vikings starter

Posted on: October 18, 2011 2:30 pm
Posted by Will Brinson

Even though the Vikings were down 29 points, Donovan McNabb was indeed benched for Christian Ponder on Sunday night in a loss at Chicago. Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier said he'd announce his decision on who'll start going forward Wednesday, but his mind is reportedly already made up and Ponder will get the nod in Week 7 for the Vikings.

That's according to Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network, who reports that Frazier "has made the change and notified those involved." This is a bit awkward considering McNabb said Monday that he expected to remain the starter.

The logic behind the move to Ponder is pretty simple: the Vikings aren't winning now whether McNabb or Ponder's under center, and McNabb simply isn't anything more than a one-year rental for Minnesota.

Ponder, on the other hand, is the theoretical future of the franchise, as my colleague Pete Prisco wrote on Monday morning. And Minnesota, already five games back of the division-leading Packers, needs to find out if Ponder can be as successful as they hope.

It's unlikely he'll turn around the Vikings season, but he did provide a spark to the offense Sunday, albeit against a prevent defense from the Bears.

And as I noted in Sorting the Sunday Pile, it sure sounds like the rest of the members of the Vikings offense are on board with plugging Ponder in and trying to see what they've got from the rookie out of Florida State.

It's the smart, logical move, even if it won't pay off immediate dividends in terms of games won. But then again, McNabb didn't appear to helping much either.

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Since: Feb 12, 2008
Posted on: October 18, 2011 9:39 pm

Report: Christian Ponder in as Vikings starter

I loved most of your response, but there are many QB's in recent history that fell to pieces.  Joey Harrington, David Carr, Matt Leinart.  All top ten picks.  But otherwise, yeah, you called it.

Since: Dec 24, 2006
Posted on: October 18, 2011 9:21 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Feb 21, 2011
Posted on: October 18, 2011 8:50 pm

Report: Christian Ponder in as Vikings starter

Yeah ur right the packers pass defense is so good they gave up over 400 yards to Cam Newton (rookie QB). Ur pass defense is horrible. If anything its a good time to start him. Ur team has had a cupcake schedule to this point. The only team u have played with a winning record was the saints at home. Not say the vikes will win but they will make a game out of it.

Since: Aug 26, 2011
Posted on: October 18, 2011 8:45 pm

Report: Christian Ponder in as Vikings starter

about time, they waited 3 weeks to long.  Mcnabb isnt good at all and his 38 yards in week 1 proves it

Since: Sep 2, 2006
Posted on: October 18, 2011 8:38 pm

Report: Christian Ponder in as Vikings starter

Not the best week to start him against charles woodson, Tramon Williams and the Claymaker!!!

Since: Feb 21, 2011
Posted on: October 18, 2011 8:11 pm

No more Pondering who should start.

Thank god!! McFlop time is over and he was just above terrilbe as a QB for the Vikes. I always laugh at those that say McFlop wasn't that bad! Really is that why he averages 6 yards per pass. The only pass he can throw is a hitch to Jenkins. He couldn't throw a slant and even when he did complete a pass down field it was way off target or looked like a wounded duck. For the first time in a while I'm actually looking forward to watching the vikings play. I think the kid can play and he will show off those skills this sunday. The vikings had to make this move or they would jeopardize losing interest from its fan base by week 7 of this season.

Since: Jan 20, 2009
Posted on: October 18, 2011 7:42 pm

Report: Christian Ponder in as Vikings starter

I have no horse in this race, but I disagree with your premises. Con 1. He's a rookie and he is going to make mistakes regardless. After a few games, his style and tactics will be known and this point becomes irrelevant. 2. Are you hoping for Luck? There are worse teams than the Vikings. Not gonna happen. And this is not a reason to sit Ponder in my opinion. 3. Aikman and P. Manning both were 1-15 in their rookie seasons. They turned out just fine. 4. How can he develop 'habits' if he doesn't play? Again, this makes no sense to me. 5. Who's saying the Offensive Line is going to be better next year? Even if they are expected to be better, there are always injuries that make this point moot, too. 6. Again, Peyton Manning as an example. He was hammered in his rookie season. I don't think he lost a year due to that. 7. What? If an 'OLD' player is good, he will find a team to sign him no matter what. Especially at the QB position as there are always 3-4 teams desperate for a decent veteran.
As to the Pros...give the man some experience. What's with this philosophy of babying rookie QB's? And the Vikings have zero chance of making the playoffs either way, don't kid yourself.
What QB in recent history fell to pieces because he played too soon? If you can name one, I bet he wasn't cut out to be a quality QB in the first place. Let the man play.

Since: Jun 22, 2007
Posted on: October 18, 2011 7:15 pm

Report: Christian Ponder in as Vikings starter

I really hope the Kevin Williams/Ndamukong Suh trade wasn't serious. 

Since: Jul 15, 2009
Posted on: October 18, 2011 7:11 pm

Report: Christian Ponder in as Vikings starter

Agreed. Trade Jared Allen for Jason Pierre Paul and draft pick, Trade Kevin Williams for Ndamukong Suh. Trade said draft pick for a young talented DT or another DE.
Trade Antoine Winfield+EJ Henderson for some very good draft picks.
Or if it's easier trade everyone mentioned above for draft choices, then use draft choices as bait to go and get the players you want when you can.

Trade high draft pick for lower 1st rounder and 3rd plus a 1st+2nd rounder in 2013 for someone in "win now" mentality.

Use draft picks to stock up on Olinemen. 

Vikings need to get YOUNGER talent. They need to roll over draft choices for draft choices in the future. 2nd round 2012 for 1st round in 2013, 3rd 2012 for 2nd 2013. once they have draft choices, they can go and get who they want that is several years younger and that can develop into a better player than the ones they traded to get that draft choice but more importantly will still be on the team 5 years from now, and they can sign them to a 5 year+ contract. Then near the end of their contract, they can repeat the process and by then they should have already acquired players ready to step in so they don't miss a beat the next round of trades to get younger.


Since: Jul 15, 2009
Posted on: October 18, 2011 6:55 pm

No reward, only risk

Viking fan here, I think it's a mistake. As a fan, for personal reasons I would rather see what he brings to the table. However, for the long term sake of the franchise, what do we really gain on this move over just letting him go in late in a game in situations where the outcome is decided, and then putting him in for good say week 13 or so?

1)You get to see a little more of him and make a slightly more informed decision next year, good or bad.
2)You have a very very slim chance of making the playoffs either way, but with Ponder a reasonable chance of improving that to a still very very slim chance.

1)Opoosing defenses have more time to recognize how to beat him
2)If he does play well, you get a worse draft pick
3)If he plays badly, you might ruin his confidence for good.
4)If he gets hit a few times early before he develops habits in this offense, he ruins his confidence in throwing the ball
5)The offensive line is terrible, by waiting a year you protect him better
6)You probably take at least a year (if not more due to #5) off the duration of his career and use him in a year where the odds are already stacked heavily against him and the team
7)You send a very bad message to OLD players making a blockbuster free agent deal like what the Vikings did with Favre in 2009 much less likely to occur in the future.

And perhaps the worst of all
8)No more Chunky Soup from McNabb's Mom (kidding)

I don't blame Frazer for wanting to make the decision that helps him keep his job, and that means not becoming an embarassment and showing promise for the future, but to me this is the type of short sighted move that will fail to set the Vikings apart from any other team, unlike what Bellichek does, recognizing that everyone is trying to win NOW, so instead trading away NOW at a premium for much greater value in the future, and aquiring greater VALUE. 

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