December 23, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel (7) watches play from the sidelines in the first half of the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings Positional Breakdown: Quarterback


Continuing our positional breakdown series with a look at the quarterbacks. Big changes in that area of the team. But not at the top…yet. Let’s run down the depth chart.

Christian Ponder

Has he legitimately earned the starting job? That’s debateable. But nevertheless he is the starter. There will be no camp competition. Only way this guy loses the job is if he stinks it up during the season. And even then I believe he will get a long leash. This notion that he will get yanked after two or three bad games, I don’t even know where this kind of thing comes from. He will be in the clear for at least half the season.

Matt Cassel

The veteran backup they should’ve had in 2012. I bet Rick Spielman regrets going with Joe Webb last year. But that’s ancient history now. Cassel gives them a solid #2. He only starts if things go terribly wrong with Ponder. There is no reason for Ponder to feel threatened. If Ponder does his job, he will continue to be the starter. Cassel is no threat unless Ponder fails on his own.

McLeod Bethel-Thompson

We had a lot of fun with this guy last preseason. And Paul Allen’s man-crush on him. That was good comedy. But where does he fit in this year? They obviously like him or they would not have chosen to carry him last year while dumping a qualified veteran like Sage Rosenfels. He obviously has some tools. A big arm. We’ll see how he looks in camp and preseason. I don’t see him pushing Cassel much. They didn’t bring Cassel in to be pushed. But you never know.

James Vandenberg

UDFA out of Iowa. Nice size. Decent accuracy. Long shot.

Joe Webb????

As of today Joe Webb is a receiver. As of today. You know how quickly that can change. One injury to a quarterback and Webb is back in the mix there. And then the zone read nuts will start in again. Conveniently ignoring Webb’s one-dimensionality. It’s funny how people always leave out the stuff that doesn’t fit their particular day-dreaming view of the world.

Are we better off than last year?

Definitely 100% yes this team is better off this year than last year. Matt Cassel is a real backup unlike Joe Webb. Of course Ponder must also show growth and development. But at least they have an option if for some reason he can’t get it done.

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