Jun 11, 2013; Eden Prairie, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (7) passes in drills at the Minnesota Vikings minicamp at Winter Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Questioning Christian Ponder. Yes, Already.

Reports on Christian Ponder have been mixed all through OTAs and into the beginning of minicamp. Terms like “spotty” keep being thrown out there to describe Ponder’s performance thus far in drills and long-time observers like Judd Zulgad are openly questioning Ponder’s footwork and sharpness. Zulgad said of Ponder:

Watching Christian Ponder out there, the footwork didn’t look great. The passes didn’t look all that sharp. You know what’s not there? Crispness/ There’s not a sharpness. At times you would expect things to look second nature to Ponder. … That’s not what we’re seeing so far.

Adam Schefter got in on the act by tweeting the following rather ominous report:


The Pondermaniacs certainly have a response for these naysayers. YO IT’S ONLY OTAS AND MINICAMP! OUR GUY WILL BE READY TO ROCK BY THE SEASON!

Fair enough. But at the same time, you can’t help being at least a tad concerned. If you have an objective, rational bone in your body. We’re into Ponder’s third year now and he’s still struggling with footwork? He still looks like he’s not very sharp? The game still isn’t slowing down for him even in minicamp practices when everything should be relatively easy?

Sorry Pondermaniacs but things do not look good for your guy. You had better hope he is just strugging to shake off the offseason rust. You better hope the footwork thing gets sorted out. Because this year the Vikes have a legit #2 option in Matt Cassel.

This isn’t to say I think Ponder should be yanked at the first sign of trouble. I still believe the same way I believed last year during Ponder’s struggles. You are invested in this guy so you might as well leave him out there, even if he isn’t getting it done.

That really hasn’t changed in my mind. You are still invested in Ponder as the starter and you should still leave him out there until you have no choice. That’s why I’m not really buying the whole “Cassel could challenge Ponder” line. That feels more like made-up media drama than anything. Let’s stir up a quarterback controversy for the sake of hits!

A QB controversy would be good entertainment and certainly great for business around these parts, but I don’t believe one exists. Ponder is the starter no matter what happens in minicamp or regular camp or preseason. And I think he’ll be given plenty of leeway during the season too.

Bottom line: Rick Spielman drafted Ponder. A big chunk of his credibility as a GM is tied up in Ponder. So he’s going to make sure Ponder has a chance to prove himself. He didn’t spend all that dough on Greg Jennings just cause he likes Jennings’ mentoring ability. That was all about making Ponder better.

Will Ponder respond? Will he validate his GM and silence his doubters? We’re a long long way from knowing that. But the early reports are not promising.

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  • Paul

    Not concerned at all. Leave the guy alone, it’s really only his 2nd year at the helm. He’s got new receivers to throw to and new schemes to adapt to. I am not a fanboy of him nor am I a hater, I hold my judgment until the season starts and see how he does then. Any other assumptions just make people look like morons.

  • Gordon Guffey

    When all is said and done Ponder will still be the starting QB for the Vikings in 2014 and beyond unless of injury ~

    You Ponder haters will have lost to wright about ~ LOL ~ Ponders isn’t going anywhere and Cassel is going to beat him out for the job ~

    Somewhere out there their are still fans in love with Webb are the starting QB ~ Never mind the fact he has already looked be as a WR than he ever did as a QB ~
    Its clear the hate will never end for some no matter how well Ponder plays or the lack of talents he had to work with at WR ~

  • Mike Bridges

    FFS he’s going into his 3rd season and he hasn’t had a lot of stability in the receiver ranks. Injuries and tantrums from several didn’t help him. He hasn’t had a lot of support. The “supposedly” best receiver was out more than in cuz of “headaches”. Outside of Rudolph what did he have last season? Now that the needs are being met in the receiver corp he just may have that confidence soon. Nobody was hating on Harvin when it was clear what he was doing. He should have supported his QB and the rest of the team and then express his desires. Ponder was doing his best. People jacking their jaw about his arm strength when there was no one deep to throw to! Just like anyone else, he needs stability and he needs, he has to have an OC that will call the right plays and put the team in the best position for Ponder to be successful! If he still looks as tho he’s still struggling after the 2014 season, they then need to do something else. He, and his new receivers need time to gel. Patterson needs a lot of work, so Ponder deserves 2 more seasons. He will have a new WR corps, again!

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