During Leslie Frazier’s press conference today one announcement was made that will carry some weight going into the season – Christian Ponder will start the 4th and final preseason game versus the Houston Texans.
As to how much weight this carries however is open for debate. The first two preseason games are normally seen as ironing out the kinks for both the first and second units, the third preseason game is more of a dry run where the starters play for at least a half (note that Joe Webb played before Ponder) and the final preseason game starters are almost always rested and teams finalize the last 15 spots on their roster. Webb and Ponder have alternated playing first behind Donovan McNabb and this upcoming game continues to follow that trend.
Also Frazier’s latest remark leads us to believe the backup spot is still open for competition — “It’s a big game for not only for our quarterbacks, but for a lot of guys trying to make our roster. But we definitely want to see both guys – Christian, along with Joe – create some separation for that number two (quarterback) spot. Maybe this game will be an indication of which guy will be number two.”
If Ponder plays well he could seal the backup duties. If he face plants, he’ll enter season as the 3rd QB. Regardless of their pecking order their roles have already been defined for the 2011 season. Webb as a hybrid QB who will be active on gamedays with the NFL’s new rule allowing 46 guys to play and Ponder as the QB of the future.
Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig