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Bill Musgrave: Ponder is “making strides each and every day”


No matter how many yards he gains and records he breaks, one of the central arguments in favor of voting for Vikings running back Adrian Peterson for MVP this season is Christian Ponder.

The lackluster play of the Vikings’ second-year quarterback makes Peterson’s production and the team’s 8-6 record all the more impressive while also leaving Viking fans to wonder what kind of record their team might have if they were getting more consistently good play from Ponder. Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave thinks that play is coming. He likens Ponder to Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who Musgrave used to coach, and says that he sees the same kind of progress from Ponder that he saw early in Ryan’s career.

“He’s a young player. This is his first year of having an entire offseason and getting to start each and every game. He’s young and has a lot to learn, but he’s making strides each and every day,” Musgrave said, via Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “There’s a lot of good young quarterbacks in this league who are playing. They take their lumps at times, but they come away with victories as well. It has been fun to watch all these guys develop these last couple of years.”

The state of the receiving depth chart, especially once Percy Harvin was lost for the season, hasn’t done Ponder any favors but it is hardly the sole reason why he’s played well just twice since the start of November. That doesn’t suggest a quarterback making big strides “each and every day,” although you can understand why the Vikings are trying to bolster his confidence any way they can with two games left and a playoff spot hanging in the balance.

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31 Responses to “Bill Musgrave: Ponder is “making strides each and every day””
  1. vikesfansteve says: Dec 21, 2012 9:47 AM

    Yeah no completion more than 15 yards in the air for more than 5 games. Musgrave has got to go and get a guy who can tell Ponder the truth and light a fire under his rear instead of blowing sunshine up his skirt.

  2. green41563 says: Dec 21, 2012 9:49 AM

    Ponder’s still young and may come on. But the one stat that really worries you is the YPA, which, incredibly, is under 6.0. That’s really tough to live with. And historically, there aren’t too many quarterbacks who posted a sub-6.0 YPA in their second year and went on to become anything.

  3. norseyapper says: Dec 21, 2012 9:54 AM

    Translation: We blew our wad on the 12th pick over all, definitely a reach, coahes and GM would be held very accountable if we admit he’s a bust, so we remain committed through one more off season and at least the first 5 games of 2013. The sunshine up the wazoo view is that about 10% of the time he looks like there might be hope, the other 90% of the time it’s “good lord what have we done!”

  4. milkmandanimal says: Dec 21, 2012 9:57 AM

    “No, really, by ‘making strides’, we mean he’s been walking pretty well these days. Only fell down twice yesterday while going out onto the practice field. Hoping for running soon, then maybe one of these days we’ll show him how to hold onto a ball. Exciting times!”

  5. vikefan says: Dec 21, 2012 10:11 AM

    strides to where? the ONLY strides this team has made this season is taking the ball out of ponders hands and giving it to #28 30 times a game. & sadly it took the coaching staff 10-12 games to figure that out.

    Ponder has no deep ball, no fade ball, horrible footwork, & plays scared..NOT fast. i know we dont have decent wr’s but it dont matter if every fade attempt is thrown out of bounds anyway

  6. dcviking says: Dec 21, 2012 10:14 AM

    He may be making strides, but no where in the post does it indicate that the strides are in the forward direction.

  7. jessethegreat says: Dec 21, 2012 10:34 AM

    Oh great, so he’s saying they will keep working with Ponder and by the time the Vikings will be primed for a good playoff run they will have ridden every little bit of tread off Adrian’s tires like the Falcons did with Turner?

  8. purpleguy says: Dec 21, 2012 10:50 AM

    Unfortunately, Ponder is the buzzkill on all the good feelings generated by the Vikings’ unexpedtedly decent performance this year.

  9. purplepride4ever says: Dec 21, 2012 10:52 AM

    Ponder is Making strides? oh yea? Sit Peterson and see if Ponder is making strides. Give me a break.

  10. filthymcnasty1 says: Dec 21, 2012 10:53 AM

    One of the great questions of the modern day will be is AP really this good, or it just that the passing game is really that bad.

  11. cruciankenny says: Dec 21, 2012 10:53 AM

    Matt Ryan has only missed playing in January once and that was his rookie year.

  12. vikingsfan11 says: Dec 21, 2012 10:56 AM

    Guys he’s making progress, hes audibling into runs more every game…he’s learned if I throw the ball less then 20 times we win

  13. sterling7 says: Dec 21, 2012 11:08 AM

    If the strides get any bigger he (Ponder) could step over a dime……………..

  14. wludford says: Dec 21, 2012 11:15 AM

    I haven’t seen Ponder making strides this year. He’s had a few good games, in the sense of contributing to a win, but he has never dominated a game in any sense of the word.

    On the other hand, there have been too many games when the Vikings have had to overcome his mistakes, or take a loss they really didn’t deserve based on the play outside the QB position. The GB game was the best example of that.

    I hope he can improve and be the long-term solution for the Vikings at QB, but I don’t see it right now. I think the off-season needs to be a time to see what others can to at the QB position, whether its MBT, or Webb, or bringing in an Alex Smith, or whatever other talent the Vikings can bring in.

    Improving the WR corps would also be helpful.

    But the Vikings defense, offensive line, special teams, and running game have improved to playoff caliber, perhaps even deep playoff caliber, but are held back by weakness in the QB position and the passing game.

  15. toddc612 says: Dec 21, 2012 11:25 AM

    One can only hope that both Musgrave AND Ponder are gone next year.. this passing game is the running joke of the NFL. Pathetic.

  16. tokyosandblaster says: Dec 21, 2012 11:29 AM


  17. jeretti says: Dec 21, 2012 11:42 AM

    Wow every qb that gets drafted in first round is suppose to be rg3 or luck, listen people he has NO receivers and he has a season and quarter of playing time, this was his first offseason remember there wasn’t one last year which is horrible for a rookie. And let’s keep in mind that both manning brothers sucked for their first 3 years Eli for almost4. Besides Percy we have everybody else’s 3rd receiver. Simpson, Jenkins are you kidding me. He hasn’t thrown many over 15 yards because these clowns can’t get open and when they do they can’t hold on to it

  18. dalucks says: Dec 21, 2012 11:43 AM

    Really. Is he being serious? C’mon man.

  19. JackAcid says: Dec 21, 2012 11:49 AM

    He was a bottom 1/top 2 at the best. Vikings made a desperate move, just like the Jets did with Sanchez.

  20. NakedCowboy! says: Dec 21, 2012 12:28 PM

    sachez 2.0… cut your losses!

  21. vikefan says: Dec 21, 2012 12:49 PM

    Wow every qb that gets drafted in first round is suppose to be rg3 or luck, listen people he has NO receivers and he has a season and quarter of playing time, this was his first offseason remember there wasn’t one last year which is horrible for a rookie. And let’s keep in mind that both manning brothers sucked for their first 3 years Eli for almost4. Besides Percy we have everybody else’s 3rd receiver. Simpson, Jenkins are you kidding me. He hasn’t thrown many over 15 yards because these clowns can’t get open and when they do they can’t hold on to it
    name one roster percey is a #3?…that is a crazy thought……but really wont matter as sounds like writing is on the wall for him to be traded

  22. tokyosandblaster says: Dec 21, 2012 12:54 PM

    @vikefan, I think he said “besides Percy, *everyone else* is someone else’s 3rd receiver.

  23. jjbadd385 says: Dec 21, 2012 1:49 PM

    I must admit that I havent watched Ponder play very much, but from what I have saw, I just don’t think he is that horrible? I know he needs at least 2, maybe 2 and a half seasons to grasp the NFL totally. I understand though, in this day and age people are expecting QB’s to start out of college…give the guy some time!! I was reading somewhere yesterday that people have already written off my teams (Denver) draft pick (Osweiler)…he hasnt even played yet!!

  24. toddc612 says: Dec 21, 2012 1:52 PM

    No way do I buy the argument that Ponder has no receivers. Yes, I understand they are not superstars – but not every receiver is covered EVERY down. It’s just an excuse to prop up Ponder and overlook his poor vision. Ponder has gone over 100 yards how many times this season? 3 times? He’s not even playing at an “average” QB level in the NFL.

    Meanwhile, Frasier is the mouthpiece for Spielman and refuses to take Ponder out of games, even as his play is horrible. How about we try to adjust and WIN the game? Instead of playing to overcome Ponder’s inefficiencies (eg. interceptions in the redzone).

    No way this team makes the playoffs. But, alas, we won more games than last year (when we could have had a shot at the division), so Leslie will no doubt stay.. and we’ll continue NFL mediocrity.

  25. deltaoracle says: Dec 21, 2012 3:58 PM

    I hope the Vikes give him a full decade or more to blossom.

  26. whatjusthapped says: Dec 21, 2012 4:41 PM

    I understand that the coaches have to engage in this sort of PR in the middle of the season when they have no other real options to finish the year at QB.

    But if the Vikings come back at the start of next season with Ponder at QB, then we will know that the coaching staff has officially raided Harvin’s herbal stash. That should be grounds for dismissal.

  27. pappavike says: Dec 21, 2012 4:56 PM

    Say what you will about Ponder? But! we are still in the playoff hunt! Look would you rather have Sanchez, or Arizona’s Qb’s maybe Tebow look how long some of these Qb’s have been in the leauge. Give Ponder another year & Some great wide recevers!! Just because he has not set the world on fire!! Does not mean he won’t. If the Vikes give up on Ponder another team will pick him up and train him! than we will all be watching him tear up the NFL!!

  28. pappavike says: Dec 21, 2012 9:37 PM

    Luck, Rg3 are great but they are the exception to the rule!! It takes at least three years to groom a Qb in the NFL! Name one (1) successful Qb and then look at who he has to throw the ball to! Ponder had Harvin But Havin is not a true number one Wide reciver! Say I don’t hear anyone calling for Staffords head in Detroit! the Lions were suppose to win the division, And play in the superbowl? right? Oh! thats right as long as you throw for a ton of yards all is forgiven? Give Ponder a year and some good wide recivers then if? he fails fine!!

  29. jebdamone says: Dec 21, 2012 9:49 PM

    now that sanchize is done ponder is definitely the worst franchise qb in the league.

  30. hurrayforyogapants says: Dec 21, 2012 10:00 PM

    Ponder is a bust. Time to move on.

  31. mediasloppy says: Dec 22, 2012 12:02 AM

    So in college was he a bum lucky enough to be gifted with great WR’s and RB’s? How did he play so great then?

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