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Christian Ponder’s happy to have Matt Kalil in town

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A good left tackle helps the offense all around, but it might be of the most help to a young quarterback who spent a good deal of his rookie season running for his life behind a leaky offensive line.

Christian Ponder had just such an experience in 2011, which is a big part of the reason why the Vikings selected Matt Kalil with the fourth overall pick of the draft. Solidifying Ponder’s blind side puts the quarterback in better position to succeed as he heads into his second year as a professional.

“It is huge,” Ponder said, via Tom Pelissero of ESPN 1500 Radio. “A lot of time last year, it didn’t necessarily have to do with the protection. A lot of times I wasn’t comfortable getting to my third, fourth reads, checking the ball down. Instead of just checking it down when a guy is wide open, I’d just run. That’s something I have to get away from. It’s easy to break the habit. It’s just going to make it so much better having full confidence in the protection. Offensive line is looking good. They got stacked up pretty quickly and they’ve got a lot of depth now. I’m excited about that as a quarterback.”

Kalil was the biggest get, but the Vikings did other work designed to help Ponder. They drafted USC fullback Rhett Ellison and Arkansas receivers Greg Childs and Jarius Wright in the fourth round to help build a deeper offense around the quarterback than they had last season. The group isn’t perfect, but it is better and Ponder’s play will have to reflect that to build confidence about his future.

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16 Responses to “Christian Ponder’s happy to have Matt Kalil in town”
  1. kungfubillysims says: May 3, 2012 10:53 AM

    Frankly I’m still shocked that someone took Christian Ponder with the 12th pick of the previous draft. Seemed like a huge reach then and it still does today.

  2. thankheavenfornumberseven says: May 3, 2012 10:54 AM

    Ponder was actually a better passer on the run last year than when he was in the pocket, so the next step in his development is to be comfortable staying in the pocket. He probably was afraid he was going to get killed, so upgrading the offensive line should help him with that.

  3. thankheavenfornumberseven says: May 3, 2012 10:54 AM

    Zygi is wearing Matt Kalil’s tie.

  4. nflfollower says: May 3, 2012 11:30 AM

    The quote from ponder used as a centerpiece for the article contradicts the premise of the story. Ponder states that most of the time the problem WASN’T his protection, it was him not going thru his progression. Interesting quote to use for this story.

  5. thepvyharvin says: May 3, 2012 11:33 AM

    Laughing at idiots who think Ponder is a scrub and will never be good. Sure,he may never be the “one.” Even HOF qb’s had their share of growing pains in the beginning. Ponder showed many positives as a rookie. Give him a chance!!

  6. thebigcaptain2011 says: May 3, 2012 12:04 PM

    The only question I have is how happy will Ponder be when he is playing for the LA FOOTBALL LAKERS?

  7. jrockbg says: May 3, 2012 12:12 PM

    Tim Couch was a reach. Ryan Leaf was a reach. Heyward-Bey, Jason Smith….you get the point. Ponder showed more promise than any of them at #12. Heyward-Bey came off the board at #5! And who was drafted #4 this year for the Vikings? That’s right, an offensive lineman, a left tackle. Vikings really didn’t have an official LT after McKinnie had to be let go. Plus Ponder played the last 7 games with a severely bruised hip. And to whom was Ponder throwing? I could go on but I think the considerations show that Ponder showed more than enough promise to warrant a #12 overall pick.

    And having more faith in your blind side will improve anyone’s decision making.

  8. thepvyharvin says: May 3, 2012 12:20 PM

    thebigcaptain2011 says:
    May 3, 2012 12:04 PM
    The only question I have is how happy will Ponder be when he is playing for the LA FOOTBALL LAKERS?
    ====================================
    LMAO…you call yourself the “bigcaptain”,,,,pretty evident that name is overcompensating for your tiny…..

  9. contra74 says: May 3, 2012 12:25 PM

    thebigcaptain2011 says:May 3, 2012 12:04 PM

    The only question I have is how happy will Ponder be when he is playing for the LA FOOTBALL LAKERS?
    —–
    How dumb are you? honestly?

  10. imaginesuperbowlwin says: May 3, 2012 12:26 PM

    thebigcaptain2011 says: May 3, 2012 12:04 PM
    The only question I have is how happy will Ponder be when he is playing for the LA FOOTBALL LAKERS?

    ————————————————–
    It’s really not funny anymore, because everyone and their brother has driven some form of that quote into the ground over and over and over and over….Apparently, you didn’t get the memo.

  11. thebigcaptain2011 says: May 3, 2012 1:06 PM

    Good lord people, you haven’t gotten it yet? It’s called trolling. In all seriousness I hope the Vikings stay in Minny. In response to the person who called me out for having “Bigcaptain” as my name, that comes from my football playing days in high school and college. I just happened to be a big guy thus the name “Bigcaptain”. I can understand you guys frustration. Just take my advice and don’t feed the trolls.

  12. fwippel says: May 3, 2012 1:08 PM

    Ponder ought to be happy. He ran for his life last year, and ended up getting hurt several times. Kalil gives him a fighting chance to stay on the field and prove himself.

  13. vikesfansteve says: May 3, 2012 1:22 PM

    Hoping this helps Ponder shake the injury bug.

  14. calbsure says: May 3, 2012 3:39 PM

    Rick”Slick” Spielmen had one helluva of a draft. Now that Ponder has his personal bodyguard in Kalil and a revamped OL accompanied with playmakers at the skilled positions, the O will be substantially better. The future looks better for a team that lost 10 games by 5 points. Won’t be surprised for a bounce back year with a young D led by a new DC that teaches and a powerful leg with the rookie Kicker. Helluva of a division we play in so it won’t be a stroll on easy street that’s for sure, but the future is starting to look brighter. The foundation is being laid, hope it molds in time for AD to enjoy.

  15. going4iton4th says: May 3, 2012 3:52 PM

    I like both the Arkansas receivers the Vikings drafted (Childs a little more than Wright). The Vikings need more than AP and Harvin if they are going to compete in that division.

  16. The Doctor says: May 3, 2012 11:12 PM

    Ponder will be better, the O-line will be better, the receiving corps and tight ends will be better, and IF Adrian comes back 100%, our offense will be better. On defense, our D-line should be better with KWilliams on a rebound year, our Linebackers could be better with Brinkley thumping in the middle, and our secondary will be much better with Cook back, Winfield healthy, and the new kid at safety. Things are looking up.

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