Dec 22, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (7) warms up passing before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati Bengals beat the Minnesota Vikings by the score of 42-14. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Sports

Christian Ponder Will Get First Team Reps In OTAs


Much was made of the news that rookie Teddy Bridgewater would be receiving first team reps in OTAs alongside incumbent starter Matt Cassel, but maybe that wasn’t such a big deal after all. Apparently, every Vikings quarterback will be getting first team reps in OTAs.

Yes, even Christian Ponder.

Albert Breer reports that Cassel, Bridgewater and Ponder will split time with the first team when the first round of OTAs begin on Wednesday. He also says that Ponder has dropped 2% of his body fat and gained five pounds of muscle in the offseason.

So when the season starts he’ll look way ripped standing on the sidelines.

The significance of this plan to evenly distribute the first team reps in OTAs? That is anyone’s guess. Maybe Mike Zimmer just wants to create the impression among his players that everyone is equal and no one has won a job.

Zimmer preaches open competition, and splitting the first team reps among his QBs may be his way of showing everyone that he truly means it. This could provide extra motivation to marginal players who otherwise might think they are not really in the mix.

It’s also a way of calming the Teddy Bridgewater hype and reminding everyone that, though people are ready to anoint Teddy the starter, that is a long way from being decided.

No doubt, people are going to read all sorts of stuff into this move. But we shouldn’t let it sway us in our assessment of the Vikings’ depth chart. Cassel is still #1, Bridgewater is still #2 and Ponder is still #3.

And that’s not going to change based on the stuff that happens in OTAs.

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Tags: Christian Ponder Minnesota Vikings

  • NorseGods72

    Or, maybe he (and Turner) know more about football than you do and could see the issues facing the QB position in the years past. Your articles are like Rodgers, Brady, and Brees saying something dumb to the press throwing their coaches and teammates under the bus. Where it’s acceptable for a rookie to do something dumb, it’s unacceptable for a vet to do it. You as a vet columnist really need to lose your hatred for Ponder and start writing stuff that actually makes sense and displays more objectivity. You’re kind of a big…DBag.

    • trinity

      What exactly doesn’t make sense? The guy is just speculating about why the Vikings are bothering giving ponder reps. You know, since he’s failed to succeed? He’s not saying he knows more about football than norv. He’s saying that he has eyes. And his eyes have watched ponder fail and become a bust.

      • David Mallow

        can’t truly call him a bust YET, yes he has performed poorly, but look at his situation he was set up to fail from the beginning… No-one to learn from, an atrocious coaching staff and the scheme wasnt his style.. Norv could very well turn him around, not saying he will, but it is a possibility… Guess we’ll all find out soon enough…

      • udjet

        The Vikings averaged 27 points a game under the kid. 5 games last year were lost in the last two minutes by the defense. There was a lot more wrong with the team than Ponder. While he’s no Brady or Brees, I do believe he is more serviceable than Cassel and with the new regime, he may actually work out. You can’t tell me Musgrave wasn’t an issue with his development, look at Matt Ryan as he was also terrible under Musgrave. I wouldn’t call him a bust yet and there is a good chance he will do well somewhere in the league. He’s essentially free right now so why not hope that he turns it around?

        • truthbetold

          I look at his stats, and look at what i saw him do on the field. I’m not going to lay it all at the feet of Musgrave, because a lot of it was on ponder and the lack of talent he demonstrated. No excuses. Maybe norv can turn him around. I’m betting he can’t. I’ve seen enough, and I’m just wondering when bridgewater will start.

          • NorseGods72

            He lost?! I swear I saw several games where we had the lead and the defense lost them…no? It’s funny how some fans will say the defense can’t win without a good cornerback tandem, or that the secondary requires the front seven to perform well in order for them to do well, but when it comes to Ponder, it’s ALL his fault. The logic is mind “bottling.” Ponder displayed the talent needed to avoid the rush which typically got to him within 2 seconds. Ask any successful QB in the league if they can make good passes under 2 seconds and they will tell you, no. When Ponder did finally get time to throw, it makes you wonder how much of his trepidation was conditioned into him, or what is truly him. You also have to wonder if his WRs were doing what they were suppose to do. Don’t get me wrong, Ponder does not deserve the starting job. However, he does deserve to show the new staff what he is/is not capable of. Let them decide.

      • NorseGods72

        @trinity – So you’re telling me, when you read that article, you see objectivity? If you’ve ever read Zinski’s articles, he HATES Ponder and isn’t shy about it. Just to directly answer some of your reflections on the article and Ponder; Ponder failed to succeed? Really?! So if I stick you in a phonebooth with a million masquitos and tell you not to get bit, does that mean you failed to succeed when you step out with a million bites? Come on, success depends on the mving parts around you and anyone who has played or understands team concept games would know that. I never said Zinzki knows more than Turner. But because Zim and Turner are giving Ponder another chance and Zinski can’t see why, that’s why they may know more than Zinski about Ponder. So a football players talent is measured by the keen eyes of fans and media types?! OMG, they are all doomed then because there isn’t a single player in the NFL who passes the fan test. I’m not sure you made any valid points to counter my point that Zinski is and just likes to be a DBag.

  • trinity

    What a waste of reps

  • MikeH123

    Ponder is being built up and auditioned for a trade. Right now, he couldn’t bring a 7th rounder.

  • MikeH123

    NFL dot com has named Christian Ponder the Top Trade Candidate (in all of NFL). Ponder is being built up and auditioned for a trade. Right now, he couldn’t bring a 7th rounder, except from the Packers who is the only team they don’t want him on

    • NorseGods72

      I don’t think they will do it unless they get adequate compensation. Reason being, we found out a couple years go how valuable a solid backup, even 3rd guy can be. Also, if Ponder is considered the top trade QB in the league now, why risk that with potentially poor performances? I think they are playing him to adequately evaluate him with Turner at the Offensive helm. It will be interesting to see what happens.

  • Daniel Laxen

    Why?