Jul 26, 2013; Mankato, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (right) talks with offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave (left) during training camp at Minnesota State University. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel Are “Struggling” In Camp


What is going on with the Vikings’ quarterbacks so far in Mankato? Well I’m glad you asked. By most accounts the top 2 QBs, Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel…let’s just say they aren’t doing so hot. At least according to the reporters covering camp.

What specifically is going wrong with Ponder? Accuracy issues seem to be plaguing him so far. Ponder looks especially bad on his deep balls according to observers. Those pesky mechanical issues seem to be cropping up again for the #1 QB.

Luckily for Ponder, the backup Matt Cassel isn’t doing much better. We know Cassel has had problems turning the ball over in recent years. If his experience thus far at Mankato is any indication, that is still going to be a problem. He is getting picked off on a regular basis.

But here’s the bright side for everyone to focus on. IT’S ONLY FREAKING CAMP. It doesn’t really matter right now if Christian Ponder looks terrible throwing the deep ball or if Matt Cassel is overthrowing receivers and getting picked. There’s a reason you have camp. It’s to smooth those things out before the real games start.

People are naturally going to zero in on these accounts of the quarterbacks’ struggles and use them to reinforce their own pre-existing positions. Those who hate Ponder will hold up his tough couple days at camp as more evidence that he is not the man. And those who support Ponder will simply point out that Cassel hasn’t looked much better. Each side will be equally dopey.

But aren’t I forgetting someone? What about McLeod Bethel-Thompson? Maybe HE’S the answer at quarterback. Hey, you can always find someone to latch onto in camp. MBT has a big arm. He’s always going to look good in non-contact drills. Let’s at least put the pads on before we make up our minds to elevate the #3 QB to the starter position?

Bottom line here: It’s the first weekend of practice. I don’t need to tell everyone it’s way too early to panic. Let’s not bash Ponder on the basis of a couple bad practice sessions. Let’s wait until the season starts THEN bash him. That’s how you do it.

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Tags: Minnesota Vikings

  • JediChris816

    Matt Cassel sucks! He always has. He is now the problem of Minnesota. Trust me Vikings fans, you don’t want Cassel to be touching the football, period.

  • Josh

    I think they need a new quarterbacks coach. Their current guy doesn’t seem to be able to improve on anything. I put some of the blame on the Ponder but something obviously isn’t being coached in the right respect.

  • MikeH123

    Yesterday, Ponder completed only 4 of 12 passes. He was “sacked” twice, had one pass batted down at the line of scrimmage, threw another ball away because of pressure and had a deep ball to Jerome Simpson come down about four yards out of bounds.

    Sounds so familiar. Enough is enough. Bring back Brett.

    • Fred Smith

      As I said a long time ago. It was obvious that Ponder wasn’t the guy and Minnesota needed to make a move this year. They did not and the team will be in a rebuilding year AGAIN by the time they get a franchise QB. If you can’t tell in the first two years if a guy has it or not then you are in the wrong business. Meanwhile the great talent they have will sit in mediocrity because of the inability to pull the plug on a guy. I think it will take a massive coaching effort to keep Christian in a situation where he can use his limited abilities to his best advantage. Not saying it can’t be done, but odds are this season is a wash already.

      • MikeH123

        I have heard the Vikings know Ponder is not the long-term answer. They are trying to do everything else well, especially run, kick and D. They want to throw mainly only short passes while avoiding turnovers, Moreover, they can save their QB money for other positions. Meanwhile everyone else is saying this is a QB driven league. But it seems crazy to me to not stretch the filed and allow opposing Ds to flood the underneath routes.