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Christian Ponder Responds to Haters, Looks Sharp in Practice


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

This could be a total coincidence. But a day after Christian Ponder was somewhat ripped by minicamp observers – including Judd Zulgad – for lack of sharpness, Ponder came out in practice again and looked…well, a heck of a lot more sharp. This according to everyone present including those notorious grinches Zulgad and Tom Pelissero.

Question: Did Ponder read Zulgad’s piece, get ticked off at the criticism and decide to rip it up in practice? Or, like I said, is it just a coincidence that he performed much better in the wake of the “bashing?” Surely Ponder doesn’t bother reading the negative words of people like Zulgad who are only out there making trouble.

It’s probably just a coincidence. And either way, what does it really matter? Bad practice or good practice, it’s still only minicamp.

To me a quarterback in minicamp and even training camp should be looked at like a pitcher in spring training. In the spring pitchers aren’t necessarily trying to get people out, they’re just working on their pitches and getting their arm strong. That’s basically what Ponder is doing right now. He’s probably working on some stuff, not worrying so much about how it might appear to the Zulgads of the world on the outside.

So we should all probably take a deep breath on this stuff and not read so much into it. It’s not necessary for Adam Schefter to throw out Matt Cassel rumors either. Cassel has no shot at starting for the Vikings week 1 unless Ponder is injured.

For the sake of argument though, let’s imagine Ponder did read Zulgad’s piece and it did spur him to perform better in the second practice. How should we take that? Should we be encouraged by Ponder’s tenacity or worried that he is too sensitive to criticism? Personally, I feel like Ponder sometimes comes across a little thin-skinned.

But even Ponder is not so thin-skinned as to be bothered by one little story pointing out a lack of sharpness in one irrelevant minicamp practice. Right? And surely the Vikings coaches would not pull any shenanigans – like telling their D to back off in practice? – just to boost Ponder’s confidence.

That would be pathetic. I mean this guy is a third year QB. He should have plenty of confidence at this point. No shenanigans needed. It’s just minicamp anyway for gosh sakes.

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