Norv Turner Goes With Christian Ponder-Rich Gannon Comparison
By Dan Zinski
Is Christian Ponder a guy who could move on from the Vikings and develop into a top-of-the-line or even MVP-caliber quarterback?
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That seems like a reach. However, there is precedent for a quarterback leaving the Vikings as a seeming nobody and blossoming later in his career into an MVP.
I’m talking of course about Rich Gannon. He started out with Minnesota and showed some flashes but they gave up on him. Later, he became an MVP with the Raiders and led them to a Super Bowl.
Could Ponder undergo such a transformation in his future? Diehard Ponder supporters have raised that possibility before. And now Norv Turner is throwing it out there too.
In his piece on Ponder’s last days in purple, Matt Vensel quotes Turner talking about Ponder potentially being a late bloomer (via the Star Tribune):
"“I think he’s got all of the things you need physically. I think he was thrown in this situation in terms of being the guy, and sometimes guys it takes a little longer to grow into it,” Turner said, mentioning Rich Gannon, the former Vikings quarterback who blossomed into an MVP passer late in his career.“I’m saying that he’s too talented to say that he can’t be a starting guy.”"
Rich Gannon was one case of a QB not doing much early in his career and blossoming late into a legitimate big-time quarterback. But try to think of other cases like Gannon’s and it’s hard to come up with a lot of names.
The fact is, most QBs who turn out good show a lot more early on than either Gannon or Ponder. Gannon’s ultimate blossoming was more the exception than the rule.
Given the scarcity of such late-career resurgences, you would have to say the odds are stacked against Ponder.
I’m not saying it’s impossible that Ponder could one day be good, I’m just saying I wouldn’t bet much money on it.
And I think if you really locked Norv Turner down on it, he would not bet very much money either.