Examining Jim Trotter's Tweets... And Why Joe Webb Should Play Before Christian Ponder


Very few football writers are as well connected as Sports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter. He’s been in the business for over 25 years, used to cover the San Diego Chargers for the Union-Tribune and has built up a national following the point he has over 40,000 followers on Twitter. When Trotter speaks, other writers listen and oftentimes formulate their own stories.

So when Trotter took to Twitter today he stated several revealing things on where Donovan McNabb is in his career. Those tweets went as followed…

@SI_JimTrotter
some thoughts on donovan mcnabb as i leave minneapolis …

@SI_JimTrotter
1) spoke to at least one coach/scout from every team that has faced him. only one of them believes he can no longer be a successful starter.

@SI_JimTrotter
2) HOWEVER … each person i spoke to doubted he would turn things around this year bec the offense doesn’t fit him.

@SI_JimTrotter
3) as much as leslie frazier wants to stick with mcnabb, expect a change once the vikings are officially out of playoff contention. …

@SI_JimTrotter
4) the backup qb is always the most popular on the team, and vikes fans soon will realize that ponder is not ready.

@SI_JimTrotter
5) one person close to mcnabb believes mcnabb will strongly consider retiring at the end of the yr if he is benched a 2nd straight season.

@SI_JimTrotter
6) mcnabb didn’t deny it when i asked him abt it, but he also said he hasn’t given it any thought _ at this pt. said he’s still having fun

Wow! That’s more than we’ve gotten in months from any writer in the country on where our quarterback is at. Obviously McNabb is having fun considering he gets to play with the likes of Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin and is also comfortable having Leslie Frazier as his head coach. It should also come as no surprise that coaches and scouts expressed doubts about McNabb and this year’s Vikings offense. Bare in mind that McNabb spent 11 years running a West Coast offense with Andy Reid’s Philadelphia Eagles, where he met Frazier. Just this past year Frazier obviously hired Bill Musgrave to be his offensive coordinator (who runs the Erhardt-Perkins offense) and it’s no surprise that McNabb is struggling the point the team is trying to tweak his throwing mechanics.

On Trotter’s third tweet, barring a historic turnaround, it’s only a matter of time before the Vikings are out of playoff contention at which point Frazier officially has to look toward the 2012 Vikings. That may mean starting Christian Ponder, but why not try Joe Webb if Ponder is “not ready”?

As we’ve written before on TVA over the preseason, Ponder did not outplay Webb in the preseason. Ponder struggled whenever taking 3 & 5 step drops in the pocket, was hesitant going through his reads and oftentimes bailed himself out by his own running abilities. He did however look okay whenever making a rollout pass; yet again nearly all of his snaps were against 2nd and 3rd team defenses.

On Webb, the Vikings have nothing to lose more than a couple games to see what he brings to the offense and if in-fact we caught lightning in a bottle for a guy who was drafted with the same overall pick as Tom Brady. Webb’s had an extra year to learn the offense, shockingly won us a start last year in the City of Brotherly Love against Michael Vick’s Eagles and if things blow up then at least the lesson has been learned to use Webb as hybrid QB/WR type player moving forward. He’s also a slightly more mobile QB than Ponder that could escape pressure if pocket collapses, has a strong enough arm to make any required throw and doesn’t seem to have the kind of personality who’d get rattled if things don’t go well.

The Catch-22 with plugging Ponder in as a starter is once going in that direction there’s no going back to McNabb or Webb. After all, Ponder was the one who was drafted 12th overall already having Webb on the roster and was given the more sizable contract. Ponder is likely begin the 2012 or 2013 season as the Vikings starter already being dubbed “The Vikings Quarterback of the Future”… unless of course the Vikings don’t win another game this year and are in position to draft Stanford’s most hyped athlete since Tiger Woods (if you don’t know his name by now you’ve been living in a cave). In the meantime however, it may make sense to at least give Webb a couple of starts.

Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig

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  • TomSimano

    Interesting…that’s the most we’ve heard of Ponder.

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  • tuckerbjt

    Great post. I swear I remember, near the end of McNabb’s time in Philly, people saying that McNabb was better suited to a run-first type offense. I guess that hasn’t been the case.

    Joe Webb!