Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:Joe Webb
Posted on: February 17, 2012 12:00 am
 

Could the Vikings be interested in Luck, RG3?

Ponder will start for the Vikings again in 2012. (Getty Images)
By Josh Katzowitz

Assuming Andrew Luck goes with the No. 1 pick to the Colts in April’s draft and then somebody trades up to take the Rams spot at No. 2 to select Robert Griffin III -- still somewhat of an assumption, of course -- the Vikings won’t have a shot at either of them.

That’s because Minnesota will pick at No. 3 and because the Vikings took a quarterback in the first round last year. And while it seems somewhat silly that Minnesota would entertain the idea of replacing Christian Ponder so quickly -- Ponder began the year behind Donovan McNabb and played decently for one of the worst teams in football before injuring himself and giving way to some spectacular performances by Joe Webb -- it’s not out of the realm of possibility I suppose.

Especially when general manager Rick Spielman goes back and forth when discussing Ponder’s future with the club.

"I know we're very confident in Christian, but if one of those quarterbacks is too good to pass up, you also have to weigh that in too," Spielman told local reporters, including the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "But we're very, very confident in what Christian Ponder brings. As we go through this process and our coaches come into this process and we put this thing together in April, I don't know where we'll be."

Although Luck and Griffin could be categorized as “too good to pass up” by Spielman, that might say more about the team’s confidence in Ponder -- who was 2-8 as a starter while completing 54.3 percent of his passes for 1,853 yards, 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last year -- than anything else. The Rams, for instance, most likely won’t stick around the No. 2 spot because they’ve already got full confidence in Sam Bradford.

The Vikings, though, will vet Luck and Griffin, interviewing them at the NFL combine and perhaps having them make visits to Minnesota.

“We'll be at their workouts, yeah," said Spielman, who said last month that Ponder would be his starter heading into offseason workouts. "We'll be doing full monty on [Luck] and RG3."

Chances are, Ponder will be safe from having to compete with Luck and Griffin for Minnesota’s affections (Webb, though, might be a different story). But the Vikings will do its due diligence either way.

Said Spielman: “You never know what happens on draft day, and I would rather be over-prepared than under-prepared."

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: January 4, 2012 1:49 pm
 

Vikes GM: Christian Ponder is our starting QB

Ponder will start for the Vikings again in 2012. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Christian Ponder had a solid first year for the Vikings, but he wasn't necessarily guaranteed to remain the future for the Vikings, thanks to the success of Joe Webb late in the year, as well as the presence of talented quarterbacks in the 2012 NFL Draft.

However, new Vikings general manager Rick Speilman said on Wednesday that Ponder is the guy going forward.

2012 NFL Draft

"He’s going to be our starting quarterback when everyone is back for OTAs," Spielman told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

That doesn't mean Ponder can't lose the starting job to Webb (or any other veteran the Vikings bring in). It simply means that Minnesota doesn't plan on drafting a quarterback (say, Robert Griffin III) in the upcoming draft.

Lest you say that's obvious, the Browns are already a current example of how a team can fail to commit to a high draft pick as soon as the season ends. On Tuesday, Browns coach Pat Shurmur wouldn't commit to having Colt McCoy as his starter going forward and/or the Browns not drafting a quarterback in April.

Obviously the two situations are different; Ponder was a much higher pick than McCoy and Minnesota's only seen one season of Ponder, whereas McCoy's played in two full seasons, albeit shortened ones because of Cleveland's depth chart and concussion injuries.

But the Vikings do have the third pick in the draft, and that means they're squarely in the wheelhouse for potentially landing RG3. (For what it's worth, Rob Rang and Dane Brugler have them taking Matt Kalil and Morris Claiborne, respectively, in our latest mock drafts.)

Now they're more likely to find themselves squarely in the wheelhouse of trading down with a team that wants the Baylor product, which, as long as Ponder pans out to their projections, is an enviable position indeed.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: January 1, 2012 2:11 pm
 

Ponder out with injury; Joe Webb takes over

Webb

By Josh Katzowitz

Joe Webb has yet another chance to impress everybody in the Vikings organization. That’s because Christian Ponder is out of the game with an injury to what appears to be his right hip.

Webb has been like a quarterback savior this season, because every time he comes in to replace Ponder, the Vikings, for whatever reason, seem to catch a spark. He’s in the game now after Ponder took a bad hit from Chicago’s Israel Idonije. Ponder had to limp off the field, and trainers immediately began examining him.

You saw Webb’s impact last week when Ponder had to leave with a concussion and Webb came in to beat the Redskins. Earlier this month, Webb replaced Ponder and nearly erased a 17-point deficit and to almost beat the Lions.

Ultimately, Minnesota fell short, but Webb’s two-touchdown performance last week led coach Leslie Frazier to say, “Some of the things he does, man, and what it does to the rest of our team -- you can't ignore it. It's something we're going to take a real hard look at as we go forward. He definitely lifts our team.”

Ponder, despite taking a 10-point lead vs. the Bears, threw a pick-6 to Charles Tillman to give the Bears a 14-10 advantage.


Follow all the Week 17 action live: Inactives | Scoreboard

1 p.m. ET games:
DET-GB | TEN-HOU | IND-JAC | NYJ-MIA | CHI-MIN | BUF-NE | CAR-NO | WAS-PHI | SF-STL

4 p.m. ET games:
TB-ATL | BAL-CIN | PIT-CLE | SEA-ARI | KC-DEN | SD-OAK




For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: December 28, 2011 7:22 pm
 

Ponder back at practice, should start Sunday

C. Ponder plans not to miss any games after suffering a concussion (US Presswire).By Josh Katzowitz

Though Vikings coach Leslie Frazier has gone on record saying he was thinking about whether he should look at Joe Webb as the quarterback of the future, that future apparently won’t begin this week.

That’s because rookie Christian Ponder, the old quarterback of the future who suffered a concussion last Sunday, returned to Minnesota practice today and likely will make the team’s season-ending start.

"I feel good today," Ponder said Wednesday, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "I had a slight headache Saturday night. But by Sunday and Monday I was feeling fine. I saw the neurologist yesterday and he cleared everything. And I passed all my baseline tests. I guess I actually scored higher on my baseline tests. So maybe I got some sense knocked into me."

Ponder probably is itching to return as soon as possible, because after he was knocked out of the game last Sunday, Webb threw two touchdown passes and gained 118 total yards while nearly coming back to beat the Lions after falling behind by 17 points. Webb also performed well earlier this season when he replaced an ineffective Ponder and breathed life into a bad Vikings squad.

Which led Vikings receiver Percy Harvin to say this: "Magic. He's gifted, man. He's one of the gifted players that you can't describe. You can't practice it. Not too many teams got quarterbacks that can do what he does."

And it led Frazier to say this: "Some of the things he does, man, and what it does to the rest of our team -- you can't ignore it. It's something we're going to take a real hard look at as we go forward. He definitely lifts our team.”

Ponder, meanwhile, has completed 54.8 percent of his passes for 1,825 yards, 13 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, and his 72.4 passer rating ranks 29th among starting quarterbacks. He’s no Blaine Gabbert, but he’s also no Cam Newton or Andy Dalton.

Ponder hopes to improve on those numbers this week and end the season on a positive season, especially if he has to battle with Webb next year for the right to be team’s starting quarterback for the year quarterback of the future.

“Especially for me personally, I want to finish strong and have some momentum going into the offseason," he said. "Obviously looking back on the games I've played in, we've got a lot of film to show me that I have a lot of things to work on and get better at. But it'd be great to finish on a positive note. And especially for this team, to finish with two wins going into the offseason, I don't think people realize how big of a springboard that is."

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: December 25, 2011 1:28 pm
 

Could Webb replace Ponder as Viking QB of future?

WebbBy Josh Katzowitz

Joe Webb has made a career so far of entering games when the starting quarterback is injured -- or making a spot start himself -- and impressing people enough for them to say he’s a legit NFL starting quarterback. Now, it seems as if he’s impressed his coach enough for Leslie Frazier to wonder if Webb might be the team’s quarterback of the future.

"Some of the things he does, man, and what it does to the rest of our team -- you can't ignore it," Frazier said, via ESPN 1500. "It's something we're going to take a real hard look at as we go forward. He definitely lifts our team. He's done it. He did it a season ago as well.”

After rookie Christian Ponder was knocked out of Saturday’s game with a concussion, Webb led the team on three scoring drives that helped surprise Washington and knock off the Redskins, 33-26. Webb, once again, showed how he’s a double threat by completing 4 of 5 passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns and rushing four times for 34 yards. Combine that with his performance vs. the Lions a few weeks ago when he replaced Ponder with the Vikings losing by 17 and nearly led the team to a comeback victory, and you can see why Frazier might be having second thoughts about his starting quarterback.

On Saturday, Webb got some help from backup Toby Gerhart, who looked good while rushing for 109 yards on 11 carries after Adrian Peterson left the game with a torn ACL. But Webb has been showing his skill since last year when we quoted Frazier saying, “It'd be hard for me to say that I knew that Joe would play at such a high level so consistently.”

In terms of his ability to impress in short bursts, this year hasn’t been any different for Webb.

"Magic. He's gifted, man," receiver Percy Harvin said. "He's one of the gifted players that you can't describe. You can't practice it. Not too many teams got quarterbacks that can do what he does."

It’s clear that Webb’s teammates, especially Harvin apparently, have great confidence in the second-year player. But it’s hard to imagine that Frazier will turn the keys of his offense over to Webb anytime soon.

Remember, Ponder was the No. 12 pick last year. He signed a four-year $10.5 million contract that was fully guaranteed, so, we’re not talking Peterson-type money here. But it’d still be unusual to give up on a first-round pick after a rocky rookie season. Especially with the lockout preventing Ponder an offseason and with Donovan McNabb taking the team’s first six starts.

But assuming Ponder is out next week with his head injury, Webb should get the chance to start the season finale. And if he makes another spiffy performance, the rumblings about giving Webb more of a chance to take Ponder’s place permanently only will increase.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: December 11, 2011 4:51 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2011 5:47 pm
 

Officials miss face-mask call, Lions beat Vikings

The no-call on this face mask ended the game and now Detroit is 8-5. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Lions are 8-5 after a wild finish to Sunday's game against the Vikings, and remain in the hunt for a wild-card spot. Detroit's modus operandi this season has been to get down early in games, usually by two or three scores, and look completely lost in the process. Then, as if they suddenly remembered how to play football, get it together in time to pull out the victory.

We saw it frequently during the Lions' 5-0 start, less so in their ensuring 2-5 stretch. Against Minnesota it was just the opposite: Detroit went up 21-0 in the first quarter, and then held on for dear life, eking out the victory, 34-28, after the officials missed a face mask as time expired.

The Vikings had a chance to win it on the game's final play, but a Joe Webb fumble and an uncalled Lions' face mask (see the photo above), ended things with Minnesota just one yard short of the end zone.

We'll be hearing all week about that face mask by linebacker DeAndre Levy, especially since a penalty would've given the Vikings one more shot from the Lions' half-yard-line.

But the play before, one that saw Webb rush for a first down, almost made Detroit linebacker Cliff Avril the goat. With no timeouts and with Webb scrambling to get his players to the line of scrimmage to spike the ball and stop the clock, Avril inexplicably jumped offsides stopping the clock in the process.

(We wonder if Avril's momentary lapse falls under head coach Jim Schwartz's zero-tolerance policy for stupid plays.)

But these aren't Matt Millen's Lions; this team was able to overcome mistakes and even got some breaks along the way. And with three weeks to go in the regular season, they're right in the thick of things.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: December 11, 2011 11:52 am
 

Adrian Peterson out, Christian Ponder starting

By Will Brinson

Well here's an odd combination for the Vikings on Sunday: running back Adrian Peterson is inactive against the Lions with a high ankle sprain, but rookie quarterback Christian Ponder will start despite dealing with a hip pointer.

Via our Vikings Rapid Reporter Joe Oberle, cornerback Chris Cook, linebacker Xavier Adibi, center Brandon Fusco, tackle DeMarcus Love, tight end Allen Reisner and defensive end D'Aundre Reed are also inactive for Minnesota.

Peterson's absence -- coupled with Ponder starting -- is odd because Ponder is understandably more effective (and safer!) when Peterson is available to carry the load against opposing defenses.

Instead, Toby Gerhart will get the nod as starter for the Vikings, and is likely to see a substantial number of carries on Sunday.

Joe Webb could also see plenty of action for the Vikings; if Ponder stumbles out of the gate and/or re-aggravates his hip injury, Webb will step in to take snaps for the Vikings.


For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: December 2, 2011 1:53 pm
 

Report: McNabb asked for release after demotion

McNabb was willing to backup Ponder, but not serve as Minnesota's scout team quarterback. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Donovan McNabb came to the Vikings in the offseason to not only get the team to the playoffs but to serve as a bridge to the Christian Ponder era. That all changed on October 23, when McNabb was officially benched and the Ponder moved to the top of the depth chart at least a year earlier than expected.

Apparently, McNabb was willing to serve as Ponder's backup even if that wasn't the plan when he arrived. But after being demoted to the scout team quarterback and falling behind Joe Webb, he asked for his release.

Details via 1500ESPN.com's Tom Pelissero:

"Multiple NFL sources told 1500ESPN.com on Friday that McNabb had been relegated to running the scout team in recent weeks, and it's believed he asked for his release after being informed he would be No. 3 on the depth chart for the rest of the season, beginning with Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos.

"The change meant McNabb, 35, would have had virtually no chance to get back on the field even if something happened to rookie Christian Ponder and he would have given up even more snaps in practice to second-year pro Joe Webb, who moved up to No. 2 on the depth chart."

Shortly after he was benched in October, rumors surfaced that McNabb showed up late and didn't know the offense. (He later refuted the speculation.) Pelissero writes that questions about McNabb's conditioning extend back to the preseason.

"According to sources, McNabb reported to training camp out of shape and had fallen further out of shape after his demotion. He seemed to acknowledge as much in an interview with ESPN on Thursday in which he said he wants to play and 'clearing the mind and getting the body back where it needs to be is the most important thing.'"

It wasn't long ago that McNabb was a top-10 quarterback who annually led the Eagles to the playoffs. Now, in the span of 15 months, he's been traded for and discarded by two mediocre teams that thought he could still play in the NFL. In 19 starts with the Redskins and Vikings dating back to 2010, McNabb completed 58.8 percent of his passes and threw 18 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. Not Tyler Palko numbers, but also not what we were used to seeing from McNabb, either.

Put differently, as noted by PFT.com's Michael David Smith: "Three different coaches in the last 20 months have concluded that McNabb was the third-best quarterback on the roster."

So now McNabb's a man without a team. Whether that changes in the coming days remains to be seen, but even if he ends up on another NFL roster, it's clear that his best days are well behind him. Just something to keep when someone suggests that McNabb might be better for the Bears down the stretch than Caleb Hanie. We're not so sure.


After an overtime win last week over the Chargers, Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos will travel to Mall of America Field to battle the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. NFL.com's Pat Kirwan and Jason Horowitz take a look at this game.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com