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Tag:Donovan McNabb
Posted on: May 21, 2011 12:57 pm
 

Ponder: 'I'm going in to take the starting job'

Posted by Will Brinson

Last we left Vikings first-round draft pick Christian Ponder, he was discussing the possibility of working out with teammates Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin.

Which is precisely what he needs to do if he wants to end up starting the first week of the season (whenever that is). Which, as he said during an "NFL Rookie Roundtable" on the NFL Network, is exactly what he wants to do.

"My view is that I was picked No. 12, they believe in me, and I believe in myself," Ponder said. ”From that time I got picked, my mindset was I’m going in to take the starting job.

"I have to earn it first, but my mindset is I’m going in and hopefully starting from Day 1."

Ponder, out of all the quarterbacks taken during the first two rounds of the draft -- and there were a lot of them! -- has the best shot to be the starter from the get-go.

The Vikings don't have an incumbent starter, they have a team that can compete right now, and Ponder's considered by many folks to be the most "NFL ready" rookie that was drafted during the 2011 NFL Draft.
Vikes Offseason

It still seems all but a given that the Vikings will target a veteran signal caller once the lockout ends, but if Ponder's working hard with his teammates and getting a grasp on the playbook, it's not necessarily a given that this veteran will have too big a head start on the former Seminole.

The type of veteran that the Vikings target might be the most indicative of whether or not they believe Ponder can kick off the season as the starter -- if Minnesota goes after a Donovan McNabb or a Matt Hasselbeck or a Kyle Orton, they probably expect Ponder to sit and learn. If they target, say, a Billy Volek or Jim Sorgi, Ponder better be ready to start rolling without training wheels.

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Posted on: May 20, 2011 6:19 pm
Edited on: May 23, 2011 6:28 am
 

Kyle Orton could be on the Vikings' radar

Posted by Andy Benoit

Some believe that Christian Ponder is the most immediate NFL-ready quarterback in the 2011 rookie class. But whether this is true or not, with no offseason workouts, even the most NFL-ready rookie is unlikely to actually be ready come Week 1.
K. Orton (US Presswire)
Thus, it’s no surprise that ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that Kyle Orton could be on the Vikings’ radar. Orton figures to be on the trading block in Denver. Mortensen says the Vikings have no interest in experimenting with Joe Webb in this role. Webb, in fact, may find himself back at wide receiver. (My analysis, not Mort’s.)

Being a veteran bridge quarterback for the Vikings would be in step with the rest of Orton’s career. Orton started ahead of rookie first-rounder Rex Grossman in Chicago and ahead of another first-round Gators quarterback in Denver named Golden Child Tim Tebow.

It’s worth noting that of the veteran quarterbacks available in 2011, Matt Hasselbeck and Donovan McNabb might be better fits in Minnesota than Orton. Both have spent the majority of their decade-plus careers operating in a West Coast offense similar to the one Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave will run.

Then again, Hasselbeck is somewhat injury prone and McNabb must shake his new reputation (fair or unfair) of not being able to adjust to new surroundings. Orton, on the other hand, is schematically versatile, accurate, fundamentally sound and, in all likelihood, affordable.

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Posted on: May 19, 2011 10:14 am
Edited on: May 19, 2011 10:20 am
 

Rex Grossman: No, 'I'm the starter'

Posted by Will Brinson

Just how awesome are the Washington Redskins? Well, we're in the middle of a lockout that's preventing any football from taking place, they only have three quarterbacks on their roster, only one of whom -- Donovan McNabb -- has any success as a starter, and there's still a war about whether or not John Beck or Rex Grossman is going to start.

Alright, "a war" is a bit of a stretch. But after Beck declared himself the starter amid a motivational speech on Sirius XM the other day and, Grossman also weighed in.

"If you’re asking me, I definitely feel like I’m the starter, but I’m not even signed yet so I’m assuming a lot of things here," Grossman said on the radio, via Cindy Boren's "Early Lead" at the Washington Post. "I feel like I’m coming into the prime of my experience and I know exactly what I can do well, what my weaknesses are and what my strengths are and how it relates to this offense. I’ve been in a lot of situations, crucial games. I’ve played in a Super Bowl. I feel like I’m so much better than I was then that I’d love the opportunity to have a full season with this offense and have a whole season to really feel like this is my team.

"That’s my goal and that’s what I want to happen. I’m assuming a lot of things here, that I’m signed and they’re going to do all those things. At the same time, I don’t see why it doesn’t make great sense."

'Skins Spicy Offseason
Andy and I talked about this on our most recent podcast, but it warrants repeating here: an NFL team going into the season with just Beck and Grossman as starting quarterback options is not only the most insane thing ever, it's also the most Shanahan thing of all-time.

Had Washington not already given Donovan McNabb the kind of extension that makes keeping him in 2011 unbearable, at least the 'Skins could come back with a gimpy, three-headed monster of sorts to compete for the quarterback spot. At this point, though, it seems pretty obvious he's gone, even without having to read between the lines.

It's still possible that the 'Skins could trade for a quarterback and/or pick up someone off of the veteran free agent pile once (when?) the offseason starts.

But whoever that person is, they better understand they're waltzing into a hornet's nest of public controversy that's already buzzing. So, yeah, nothing's really changed in Washington.

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Posted on: May 18, 2011 5:52 pm
Edited on: May 19, 2011 10:13 am
 

McNabb speaks about wristband, Beck, future

D. McNabb (US Presswire)Posted by Andy Benoit

Last week, reports surfaced that Donovan McNabb refused to wear a wristband in his first season as a Redskin. According to the story, McNabb’s pride carried the day on that decision.

McNabb did not respond to the reports…until now. In an interview with Mike Jones of the Washington Post, McNabb declined to say whether he did indeed decline a wristband or not. But he did characterize the anonymous reports as “amazing”.

“For someone who’s so quiet and really just tries to be the best at what I do, and to be a part of the firestorm every offseason, it’s amazing,” McNabb said. “But I never let that affect what I’m doing. I write goals for myself every season and offseason, and I look to achieve those goals, and they really make you stronger mentally and physically. Things are going to be out there negative, out there about you. Everyone’s going to play the hoopla and what-if. But I can only control what I can control. All I can do is make sure I’m ready when the time comes.”

McNabb was also asked about John Beck boldly saying he plans to be the starter in Washington.
'Skins Spicy Offseason

“John is a great guy. He does a great job preparing himself,” he said. “I’ve known him since he was about 16 years old. I’ve trained with him in Arizona, he went to BYU. He’s done a great job, and I’m sure he’s taking on that role because he’s kind of been given the position, so to speak. He’ll do a good job if that was to happen. But whatever the situation is – if I’m here, if I’m elsewhere -- I’m gonna be ready to go.”

McNabb is not sure where he’ll play in 2011. He intimated that he likes the city of D.C. but, reading between the lines, it’s apparent that McNabb himself is, well, also capable of reading between the lines.

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Posted on: May 18, 2011 1:03 pm
 

Hot Routes 5.18.11: Reaching the summit



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • According to the Believe in Heroes web site, Titans coach Jeff Fisher and the rest of his traveling party have reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Which is pretty awesome.
  • Former Washington Post columnist Tony Kornheiser and Colts owner Jim Irsay are in a bit of tiff.
  • Now, everybody in the Raiders organization becomes a salesman/saleswoman. And that means you, new defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan. (“So, how many season tickets can I put you down for, lady?”)
  • If you buy Jaguars season tickets, the franchise is willing to reward you for your faith. By giving you “Teal Deals” books with more than $3,000 worth of gift certificates for local businesses.

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Posted on: May 17, 2011 1:10 pm
Edited on: May 17, 2011 5:01 pm
 

John Beck: 'I think I'm the starter'

Posted by Will Brinson

As someone who's written WAY too many posts about Donovan McNabb, I can tell you that Redskins quarterback news just isn't that fun anymore. Until John Beck decided to show up anyway.

The potentially best quarterback on the 'Skins roster come the start of the season had an interview with Adam Schein and Rich Gannon of Sirius XM Radio on Monday and man-oh-man! I mean, it's awesome.

"I've been through crappy situations, and I've always just tried to maintain through this whole thing [that] I believe I'm a starter in the NFL and I'm not gonna let anybody tell me no," Beck said. "And if they try to tell me no, I'm not going to listen to them."

As Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post said, everything about Beck is just "spewing testosterone."

Listen to how he started the interview off when he was asked by Gannon and Schein whether or not he could be 'Skins starter come 2011.

“This is XM Radio, right?” Beck asked [Ed. Note: It was, obvs.] "I basically say, 'Screw the awkwardness.' I'm trying to be the starting quarterback. I'll call whoever, try to set whatever up. If you don't think like a starter and act like a starter, your teammates probably aren’t gonna believe you’re the starter. So I'm thinking I'm the starter."

I mean, he's like the total opposite of Donovan McNabb. And I don't mean that in any sort of ridiculous Bernard Hopkins way, of course -- it's just that McNabb always says the right thing and the smart thing and now Beck's just lobbing his chestnuts up on the table and basically daring Shanahan to roll with him to start the regular season.

I'm still not buying that the Redskins won't acquire some veteran if there's an offseason, simply because they need some stability at the quarterback position, but if Shanahan's adrenaline functions anything like mine, he's getting pretty excited to kick off the John Beck era in Washington.

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Posted on: May 16, 2011 2:49 pm
Edited on: May 16, 2011 2:54 pm
 

Limbaugh weighs in on McNabb-Hopkins issue

Posted by Andy Benoit

Last week, boxer Bernard Hopkins criticized Donovan McNabb for the quarterback’s level of blackness. It was a befuddling rant that prompted a firm response from McNabb’s agent and drew heavy bR. Limbaugh (US Presswire)acklash from others outside the discussion.

Contributing to that backlash is someone who knows all about drawing heat for bringing the topic of race into a criticism of McNabb: Rush Limbaugh.

The talk radio host and short-lived ESPN personality recently discussed the issue on air and explained how the comments he made back in 2003 (“The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve.”) were different from what Hopkins said.

Limbaugh said (via the Washington Post):

“I said nothing close to what Bernard Hopkins was saying. I never said a word about McNabb and blackness. I was talking about the media from start to finish....This poor guy cannot, he cannot catch a break. And it’s disgruntled African Americans that are jumping down his case, about the way he was raised? It is horrible, it is distasteful. His parents are out there having to defend the way they raised him, and all they tried to do was give him opportunity after opportunity, expose he and his brother to various things. It’s just amazing to watch this.”

Meanwhile, McNabb must be thrilled to find the topic of his race inexplicably back in the news.

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Posted on: May 13, 2011 4:54 pm
 

Report: Vikes not interested in Vince Young

Posted by Will Brinson

The Vikings, like several teams in the NFL, may have (over)drafted a quarterback in the 2011 NFL Draft. But surely they're still interested in acquiring a veteran-type quarterback who can help them win now, right?

Well, probably. But according to Steve Wyche of NFL Network, that veteran fella won't be (likely) former Titan Vince Young.

Per Wyche, Minnesota has "not had internal discussions" about Young, and at the moment he "does not appear to be under consideration" as a possible candidate to step in and mentor/bridge the gap to Christian Ponder.

This is probably a smart move. Young, despite making a Pro Bowl, hasn't been that successful in the NFL. And if you're looking for someone that fits the bill as a "let's win right now but plan on going with Ponder soon" type of quarterback, Matt Hasselbeck and Donovan McNabb are really much better options. Provided, of course, that they're available.

Those guys are looking for a spot to ride out the rest of their career and/or rejuvenate their respective value with a short contract, depending on what the team wants.
The saga of Vince Young

Young likely wants to do the same thing -- in terms of rejuvenation -- but it's hard to imagine he wants to join a team that doesn't want him long term.

The bigger problem for Young, though, is that the Vikings might not be the only team that doesn't want him at all. With the amount of teams who pulled trigger on a quarterback in the early rounds -- nearly a quarter of the league -- it's going to be tough for a guy with a rep like VY's to find starting quarterback work before the beginning of 2011.

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