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Fran Tarkenton “embarrassed” by Vikings’ passing game


Hall of Fame former Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton has developed a reputation as a grumpy old man who always has something critical to say about his former team. Now he’s telling Christian Ponder to get off his lawn.

After first praising Adrian Peterson as the best running back since Jim Brown, Tarkenton told the Pioneer Press that the Vikings’ passing attack is a bad joke.

“I’m watching the passing game, and I’m embarrassed,” Tarkenton said. “Because we’re not trying anything. We’re playing with a kindergarten-type passing attack. We’ve got to take a risk. We’ve got a chance to make the playoffs. If we cannot throw the ball, if we’re going to throw for 90 yards and be defensive in the passing game, we’re not going to make the playoffs. Playoffs? And we’re not going to do anything if we got there.”

Tarkenton may be a little too blunt for some, but he does have a point about the passing game. One of the truly remarkable things about Peterson’s recent run, in which he had gained 1,313 yards over the last eight games, is that Ponder has just 1,093 yards over the same eight games. Peterson is beating opposing defenses even when they’re not showing the Vikings’ passing game any more respect than Tarkenton does.

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38 Responses to “Fran Tarkenton “embarrassed” by Vikings’ passing game”
  1. iluvbears says: Dec 21, 2012 7:22 AM

    I used to be a big fan of Tarkenton. But in his old age, he is starting to become more than a little annoying. Fran, everyone knows the Vikings passing game is not as good as it could or should be, but what is the point in you getting on your bully pulpit and stating the obvious? It just puts more undue pressure on “your” team. Instead of almost always criticizing, it would be nice if you sometimes had some positive reinforcement. Why not come around the facility and spend a little time with Ponder? Give him some pointers. After all he, like you were, is an undersized QB that has a little bit of mobility. Maybe your years of experience might help him a little bit. Oh, that’s right. You like to stay in Georgia & complain and rarely will make any appearance in conjunction with your old team. If you want to continue to get the media attention, as it seems you crave, try doing it in a positive manner by helping your old team, not trashing them.

  2. fuglyflorio says: Dec 21, 2012 7:24 AM

    Please … someone shut this bitter old dude up. He’s making a fool of himself. We get it … you were great. Not like these kids nowdays … they got no respect … get off my lawn !!!

  3. bmcgrath2 says: Dec 21, 2012 7:31 AM

    Why does this guy continue to think we care what he says? Yes, the Vikings have a poor passing game. Do I need Fran Tarkenton to tell me its bad? No. Go away, Fran.

  4. therealtrenches says: Dec 21, 2012 7:37 AM

    It’s like shooting fish in a barrel, Fran. Find something more insightful to say.

  5. fissels says: Dec 21, 2012 7:52 AM

    Suit up Fran, otherwise shut up

  6. monsterright says: Dec 21, 2012 8:11 AM

    He is not saying anything that any other fan isn’t saying. I was shocked when they burned a draft pick on Ponder. He is about as good now as he was in college. The most embarrassing part is that they stick with him like he will suddenly learn how to play the position. I was hoping they’d take Dalton. Time to end this experiment.

  7. salukis92 says: Dec 21, 2012 8:22 AM

    That’s Incredible!

  8. ickky says: Dec 21, 2012 8:23 AM

    Seriously Fran, (LOL his name is FRAN)

    quit talking. Nobody cares

  9. latchbeam says: Dec 21, 2012 8:33 AM

    Fran overselling something??? No way!?!

  10. wenellniners says: Dec 21, 2012 8:34 AM

    considering the great teams he played on, he should be more embarrassed by his playoff performances and lack of a championship title…

  11. pitt4059 says: Dec 21, 2012 8:36 AM

    Way to go Fran for telling it like it is. Even if the Vikings make the playoffs, they aren’tgoing anywhere but home after a one and done. Good teams aren’t one dimensional. Rge Viking passing game is totally embarassing.

  12. metalhead65 says: Dec 21, 2012 8:44 AM

    just because he was a record setting qb who played years in NFL does not mean he knows what he is talking about or should be saying anything about the game. that is reserved for the ”experts” here at pft who know everything there is to know about the game seeing as how they all so much nfl experience being former players or having worked for teams and.. oh wait a min. but still he is just a grumpy old man right?

  13. ijeffyyy says: Dec 21, 2012 8:46 AM

    might as well just said this Fran, at least its positive……”Hey did you guys know that Adrian Peterson is really good at running the football”

  14. burnz1379 says: Dec 21, 2012 9:20 AM

    So in other words he agree’s with 100% of the vikings fans

  15. lennydpocketqb says: Dec 21, 2012 9:23 AM

    Tarkenton’s poor performance in three Super Bowls and his inability to win a championship ring in 18 seasons prevents some people from considering him as great as other quarterbacks.

  16. cometkazie says: Dec 21, 2012 9:24 AM

    I pay more attention to Fran than to Joe Willie f’sure.

  17. jacobslatter says: Dec 21, 2012 9:33 AM

    That’s Incredible!

  18. supernsa says: Dec 21, 2012 9:51 AM

    For once , I actually agree with the grumpy old fart.

  19. schmitty2 says: Dec 21, 2012 9:56 AM

    Well Fran, if it means anything to you..most longtime Vikes fans were quite embarrassed when you went on to co-host “That’s Incredible”

  20. packerpride03 says: Dec 21, 2012 9:58 AM

    Fran’s just bitter like every other person who is associated with the queens. It must suck not winning the big one in your career.

  21. icecubeusedtobeangry says: Dec 21, 2012 10:21 AM

    Fran has to state the obvious in order to get in the news and still feel relevant. You have served your purpose, go enjoy your retirement.

  22. hushbrother says: Dec 21, 2012 10:44 AM

    Did you hear what Tarkenton said about Peterson having more rushing yards than Ponder has passing yards the last few games?

    “That’s incredible!”

  23. drsteller says: Dec 21, 2012 10:47 AM

    Go search his earlier articles in the paper and you will find he was on the Ponder bandwagon earlier in the year. No credibility at all.

  24. ghoul11 says: Dec 21, 2012 10:59 AM

    Did he break into Jim Mora pitch voice when he repeated “Playoffs”?

  25. joeyashwi says: Dec 21, 2012 11:13 AM

    Francis Tarkenton gets on my nerves but he is absolutely right about this. Ponder is the worst QB in the league and it’s not even close. In today’s game when 300 yard passing games are commonplace, he is lucky to reach 100. No arm strength, no awareness, no pocket presence, no ability to read defenses, no accuracy, and worst of all no heart.
    Say what you will about the man named Francis but at least he got to championship games. I can’t see Ponder EVER doing that.

  26. peterchristian21 says: Dec 21, 2012 11:57 AM

    This is the same guy who said bringing in Brett Favre for the 2009 season was a bad idea. Go home Fran.

  27. anonymousnevermindfishdeath says: Dec 21, 2012 12:13 PM

    Good thing Fran’s a superbowl winning QB, otherwise, his valuable advice for the team would
    go unnoticed.

  28. NakedCowboy! says: Dec 21, 2012 12:39 PM

    he might be grumpy old man but he is calling it as it is… they wont make the play offs with that kind of passing game and even if they do, they would be 1 and done…

  29. icecubeusedtobeangry says: Dec 21, 2012 12:43 PM

    joeyashwi says:
    Dec 21, 2012 11:13 AM

    Say what you will about the man named Francis but at least he got to championship games. I can’t see Ponder EVER doing that

    If you are judging good QB’s by getting to a championship game, let me remind you that Rich Gannon made it to a championship game….I think your logic is a little flawed.

  30. sammythehair says: Dec 21, 2012 1:30 PM

    Easy Fran… Ap best running back since Walter!!!

  31. toddc612 says: Dec 21, 2012 2:08 PM

    Join the club, Fran. We’re all embarrassed..

  32. tres79 says: Dec 21, 2012 2:24 PM

    Ponder reminds me of Fran, he’s terrified of getting hit too.

  33. elroyjetsson says: Dec 21, 2012 3:12 PM

    Soon he’ll be trying to kiss Suzy Kolber

  34. expertop says: Dec 21, 2012 3:30 PM

    @ icecubeusedtobeangry:

    Rich Gannon was league MVP, and a Pro Bowler 4 times.

  35. axespray says: Dec 21, 2012 8:53 PM

    Weren’t viking fans ripping on Packer fans for trashing on their former QB during the whole “Favre Wars” ?

    Now the viking fans are treating Fran “I took your friggin team to 4 superbowls!” Tarkenton like he’s crap …. smh.

  36. hurrayforyogapants says: Dec 21, 2012 10:22 PM

    He may have committed insurance fraud, but you can’t argue with him on this point.

  37. hurrayforyogapants says: Dec 21, 2012 11:11 PM

    I wonder what happened there because he really seems to hate the Vikings.

  38. gergie1957 says: Dec 22, 2012 12:48 AM

    Fran has every right to speak out about this. If anyone of you commenting would have ever saw him play, you’d know where he is coming from.

    The Vikings are Professional team, and this is what they come up with for QB play after almost 2 years with Ponder?

    I will challenge anyone of you who commented above to look at the Passing stats for over 40 yards, they are pretty good, now look how many attempts they’ve made. They need to grow a pair and either have him take risks or bench him, it’s that easy.

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