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Matt Cassel ready to assist Christian Ponder

Matt Cassel AP

The Vikings back Christian Ponder as their starting quarterback, and they have told Matt Cassel as much.

In a conference call with local media on Friday, Cassel said the Vikings were looking for a backup who could “basically be somebody who can step in if need be.”

Considering that Cassel had a deal with Minnesota on the same day he hit the job market, the Vikings clearly believe he’s capable of doing just that.

That said, the No. 1 quarterback in Minnesota is Ponder — and Cassel wants to do what he can to aid him.

“The fact of the matter is … Christian is the starting quarterback, and I think that we’ll have a great room,” Cassel said. “I’m there to add value. I’m there to help him out in whatever capacity that is and go from there.”

Cassel said Tom Brady‘s season-ending knee injury in Week One of the 2008 season was the “ultimate lesson” in staying prepared. The injury, of course, forced Cassel into the lineup — and altered his career, giving him a chance to show what he could do for an extended stretch. The next year, the Chiefs traded for him, making him their starter.

Now, he’s back as a reserve, and he will work to stay sharp — just like he always does, he said.

“The preparation always has to be the same — you always have to be ready to play no matter what. So that’s first and foremost,” Cassel said.

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48 Responses to “Matt Cassel ready to assist Christian Ponder”
  1. trevor123698 says: Mar 15, 2013 11:22 PM

    I think just about every team in the NFl would take matt cassell as their backup if they could and he isn’t such a bad option if he is forced to start for any reason

  2. fumblenuts says: Mar 15, 2013 11:28 PM

    “A backup who could “basically be somebody who can step in if need be.”

    Translation: Whoever can get the ball to WR Greg Jennings is the QB.

  3. gagiants says: Mar 15, 2013 11:32 PM

    When you think about it Cassell is probably a better QB option than Ponder, definitely a good FA signing for the Vikings. Just hope he’s not Gun-shy from getting hit so much in KC.

  4. peopletrains says: Mar 15, 2013 11:32 PM

    I think you have been cryogenically frozen since the 2008 season and have not watched him play since. He’s brutal.

  5. 13arod says: Mar 15, 2013 11:35 PM

    If ponder is going to be the backup i am not going to like them any more ponder is alot better then matt

  6. thenflguru says: Mar 15, 2013 11:35 PM

    Matt Casfail belongs on the pine just like the other quarterback Josh McDaniels longed for Kyle Orton.

  7. mullman76 says: Mar 15, 2013 11:35 PM

    A career backup that will play in the league for 10+ years.

  8. trippymane says: Mar 15, 2013 11:42 PM

    Uhhh lets see matt flynn or matt cassell? I’ll take matt flynn thank you…

  9. jerrykill4pres says: Mar 15, 2013 11:44 PM

    Remember, last year was Ponders first full season. He came in as a rookie with no mini-camp, no offseason, nothing! A shortened training camp, and sat behind Fraziers biggest mistake ever in McNabb for half of a season. He showed progress last season. The last 4 games, when they needed the wins, sure, AP carried the team, but Ponder had his best game against GB to get into the playoffs. And who did he have to talk to on the sidelines? Webb? Bethel-Thompson? Both have less experience behind center than Ponder does! And that’s not saying much. Now with Cassel, they have someone who has experience. Someone who can guide Ponder. Granted Cassel isn’t Brady, Manning, or Rodgers. He still backed up Brady, and learned a thing or two from him.

    Last year the vikes made a huge mistake by keeping Webb, and letting Sage go. Sage would have been the best thing for Ponder.

    Ponder will make improvement again this year. He has arm strength. I’m not concerned. Just give it time.

  10. gtodriver says: Mar 15, 2013 11:48 PM

    So much for the reports that claimed that Matt was brought in to compete for the starting job.

    He understands what his job is and it sounds like he wants to do everything possible to help the team.

    Much better option then Webb. Nice to have a backup with this much experience.

  11. raiderapologist says: Mar 15, 2013 11:52 PM

    Vikings refuse to trade extra 7th round pick for Matt Cassel. Cassel picks up tab at Golden Corral, Reid drops Cassel off at Bus Stop. That’s how you negotiate a deal, Junior.

  12. tedmurph says: Mar 15, 2013 11:54 PM

    Ponder may be the starter for now, especially since the Vikes invested a high pick, so they’re married to him for awhile. Still, not sure who the better Qb is. We’ll see.

  13. GenXJay says: Mar 16, 2013 12:01 AM

    Welcome to the squad. Prepare to shake hands w/the best ever NFL RB in history. (use your non-throwing arm though)

  14. firedup1 says: Mar 16, 2013 12:19 AM

    I wish Captain Checkdown all the best.

  15. filthymcnasty1 says: Mar 16, 2013 12:20 AM

    Ponder bruises easily.

  16. firedup1 says: Mar 16, 2013 12:21 AM

    If his first option is not there he craps himself.

  17. firedup1 says: Mar 16, 2013 12:23 AM

    Cassel holds the ball to long. That causes a lot of sacks which causes him to be gun shy.

  18. pappavike says: Mar 16, 2013 12:26 AM

    Cassel, Wil be a great mentor for Ponder! Now the Vikes need to trade Webb! I think if they could get a fourth or fifth round pick for him would be a real feather in thier cap. Theres a few needs the Vikes need!!A right guard,nose tackle.line backer And a shut down corner! But young guys not old retreads with nothing left!! The Vikes have done very well in the last few drafts so I hope they continue thier youth movement, No doubt they draft another wide reciever!!

  19. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Mar 16, 2013 12:26 AM

    Vikings got the best backup QB available and the best WR available. Now if there were just a middle linebacker available.

  20. malvord13 says: Mar 16, 2013 12:32 AM

    Goes to show any qb can be great in pats offense. I bet if mallet started a couple weeks he would look elite too.

  21. boobschannel says: Mar 16, 2013 12:32 AM

    the stats kinda show it already, so you can look it up for yourselves, but on multiple sites, the vikings o-line is ranked among the best in the league – as well as one of the youngest. when you block for #28, and he goes off like last year, a big part of that is o-line. if cassel has to step in for ponder – for 1 game – he’s fine.

    i really think what minnesota is trying to do is similar to what they do in new england, only run the ball better than they do.

    tom brady doesn’t exactly throw a lot of 20+ yard passes, lots of short to intermediate passes and screens, with TEs up the seam. it looks a lot like that’s what MN is trying to build w/ rudolph and carlson.

    cassel’s role will be well defined, if he has to play i doubt he will be terrible.

  22. thesmartestmanever says: Mar 16, 2013 12:33 AM

    Gus Frerotte 2.0

  23. trbowman says: Mar 16, 2013 12:40 AM

    He’s showing a lot of incremental progress, but Ponder still hasn’t quite perfected the art of the turnover the way Matt Cassel has. There’s a lot there for Ponder to learn.

    I feel bad for AP and that defense, having these two guys as their team’s top QB options

  24. vikingsftw says: Mar 16, 2013 12:45 AM

    Of all the backups you could pick this year I would say Cassel is the best. Flynn did nothing all year and had one big game of glory with Green Bay over a year ago….who cares..old news. And look at the stinker the poor Steelers got with Gradkowski :(
    Going to be ugly for them this year. At least we got a decent quarterback and not a total scrub.

  25. jcmeyer10 says: Mar 16, 2013 12:48 AM

    Lest we forget he did go 11-5 as a starter one year.

  26. srock68 says: Mar 16, 2013 1:15 AM

    I would like to remind everyone that last year was Ponders FIRST full year as a starter. People talk about him like he’s been around 4-5 years. He can throw the deep ball. He just has to stop making awful decisions.

  27. therealraider says: Mar 16, 2013 1:44 AM

    The fact of the matter is Matt Cassel is content with cashing checks and carrying a clipboard.

  28. vik3z says: Mar 16, 2013 1:55 AM

    haha funny that florio got all excited and made an article about how cassel will compete to start. jumping the gun to turn a non-story into a story once again gossip girl

  29. geraldthecat says: Mar 16, 2013 2:23 AM

    Webb is still there beat qb.

  30. jordiway73 says: Mar 16, 2013 2:43 AM

    Hey Matt get my shoes, Hey Matt get my helmet, Hey Matt go get me your girlfriend!!!!

  31. arkytandy says: Mar 16, 2013 2:55 AM

    Maybe a QB who has expierence, not named Donovan McNabb, will help Ponder grow and flourish as a QB. He has never had a solid mentor in the NFL. Cassel was a product of a system yes but he still has knowledge that he can share with Ponder as long as he recognizes he’s a back up.

  32. thraiderskin says: Mar 16, 2013 3:08 AM

    absolutely a great pickup… could not have made a better choice.

  33. bigbenh8tr says: Mar 16, 2013 4:52 AM

    ryan mallett vs. matt cassell. please learn and don’t ignorantly comment. you “fans” who jist started like illogocalrg3petaphile need a reality check or youthanaisia.

  34. doorharp11 says: Mar 16, 2013 6:52 AM

    61.8% comp percentage 2,995 18 td 12 int for ponders first full year leading the vikes to a 10-6 record. Im a firm believer that ponder will do some great things in the future.

  35. conormacleod says: Mar 16, 2013 7:46 AM

    It all comes down to improving the team. And the Vikings are doing that. End of story. End of “controversy”.

  36. banlarson says: Mar 16, 2013 8:00 AM

    The concern I have with Ponder is he rarely hits a receiver in stride, something Rogers is outstanding at. That brings his accuracy into question, is it just something he’ll learn to get better at, or is he incapable of it? He showed that he is capable if managing the game last year, but he will never be the type of QB who can win a game on his own.

  37. bumbleb572 says: Mar 16, 2013 8:34 AM

    Cassell is read to help assist himself for Ponders job.

  38. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Mar 16, 2013 8:36 AM

    Good luck with that. Trust me, you don’t want Cassel as your starting QB! He’d be fine for a series here or there or even maybe half a game. But more than that & you are asking for an ulser. Take it from a seasoned Jets fan who knows a marginal to crappy QB when he sees one.

  39. germanstingray says: Mar 16, 2013 8:56 AM

    Cassel can teach Ponder how to stare down the primary receiver and become a turnover machine!

  40. joetoronto says: Mar 16, 2013 9:16 AM

    You either have to be blind, stupid, or both, not to know Cassel absolutely sucks.

  41. jredshoes says: Mar 16, 2013 10:32 AM

    Vike fans. Matt Cassell was a good-great QB when he had an offensive coordinator who had a clue (Charlie Weiss, Bellicheck). That being said when the went through the disaster that was Haley, Daboll, Bill Muir, etc. he didn’t bitch or cry or whine to media. He tried to help Brady Quinn or whoever the idiots here decided to put in front of him. I think he can do well when he has people around him that aren’t clueless and even as a Chiefs season ticket holder that has watched him every game, I think you got a great deal on a good guy who deserved better than he received here. The irony now is we have Alex Smith, the SF version of the same deal

  42. bribos says: Mar 16, 2013 10:43 AM

    This sounds like coach speak for “Ponder, I would rent, not buy, your next place.” A monkey can hand the ball off to AP; it will take a qb with a live arm and someone used to winning to take that team to the next level; no part of that description fits Ponder. I suspect he will be traded by the deadline, or sooner if a starter gets hurt somewhere.

  43. musicman495 says: Mar 16, 2013 11:29 AM

    srock68 says: Mar 16, 2013 1:15 AM

    I would like to remind everyone that last year was Ponders FIRST full year as a starter. People talk about him like he’s been around 4-5 years. He can throw the deep ball. He just has to stop making awful decisions.
    ——————————-
    Do we need to remind YOU of the QB’s who in THEIR first full year as a starter in 2012 (Griffin, Luck, Wilson, Kaepernick, etc.) played rings around Ponder and did not have the best RB in football to hand it off to 25 times per game? Ponder will never be more than what he was – a 3rd round talent who got drafted in the 1st round by a desperate franchise that has had some of the league’s worst QB play over the last 20 years (one year each by Favre and Cunningham excepted). Which is why it would not shock me if Cassel were starting by game 6 next year (not that he is much better).

  44. gdeli says: Mar 16, 2013 12:07 PM

    It’s up to ponder to blow it. and they have to do something FINALLY with joe webb. Dump him or make him a wr. Just DO something. That part is old and stale. get a cb, mlb and 2 wr’s and your off!

  45. whatjusthapped says: Mar 16, 2013 12:11 PM

    Any knowledgeable football fan (thereby eliminating all Viking fans) would tell you that if Cassel is forced to start, then your football team is in deep trouble. But that was already true if your qB ranks in the bottom third of the NFL and your team is one of the worst passing teams in a pass happy league.

    Ponder or Cassel, what’s our third choice?

  46. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Mar 16, 2013 1:01 PM

    I love reading the Packer fans’ wishful thinking that Ponder will never be any better than he was in his worst game. Did you forget the last game he played? I thought he looked pretty good against your club.

  47. GenXJay says: Mar 16, 2013 1:02 PM

    Shreddin’ string cheese w/a grater is “what just happened”.
    I gotta give you the benefit of the doubt. Mentoring is not GB’s forte. (Favre/Rodgers). Now, we’ll see through the swiss cheese due to Jennings departure.
    Any fan, including Vikes fans, understands that mentoring is why Cassell got snatched up.
    Goodluck if ShAaron goes down. Pack will have to rely on that running game.

  48. filthymcnasty1 says: Mar 17, 2013 8:32 PM

    Ponder bruises easily. I wonder if he’ll ever play in a playoff game.

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