Leslie Frazier isn’t thinking about replacing Ponder

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Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder’s 2013 season did not get off to a good start as he turned the ball over four time on the way to a 34-24 loss to the Lions last Sunday.

That performance has given fuel to the fire built by those who don’t feel Ponder’s good enough to be the quarterback of a consistent winner, but that group does not include head coach Leslie Frazier. While Frazier admitted that the team needs consistently good play from the quarterback, he said he didn’t think it “would be wise” to say that things can’t work after just one game and that the team knows that Ponder isn’t the only player who has to improve on his performance against the Lions.

“On Sunday, it was not all about Christian,” Frazier said, via the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “He had his mistakes. But the fact is the quarterback position is much more magnified. He just happens to play the position with the most scrutiny. We had other guys, trust me, that when we watched the tape, the scrutiny that needed to be had in those moments, they are well aware that they have to play better. They’re not looking only at our quarterback and saying, ‘If he had done this or that, we would have won that ballgame.’ We need to play better across the board.”

The quarterback position is certainly the most magnified in all of football and Ponder’s game against the Lions is a perfect illustration of why that’s the case. The Lions scored 14 points off of two Ponder turnovers and would have had another touchdown if defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh hadn’t thrown a $100,000 illegal block at the knees of Vikings center John Sullivan. Those kinds of performances have happened too often for Ponder over the years for the Vikings to keep changing the subject if things don’t improve in the coming weeks.

Ponder faces the Bears this weekend, against whom he has never played well in four career starts.

77 responses to “Leslie Frazier isn’t thinking about replacing Ponder

  1. You mean Leslie Frasier isn’t telling the media he’s thinking about replacing Christian Ponder. Hey, we all knew he was going to be average at best — people should be worried about how unexpectedly poor the defense and O-line played rather than what was already expected.

  2. I suspect Peppers, Melton, Paea, McClellin, and Wootton are salivating right now…especially after the Bears POOR Defensive play against the Bengals.

  3. The Vikings are a Super Bowl contender with a solid QB..the problem is Christian Ponder, We have a top 12 defense, Best RB in the NFL running behind a top 5 offensive line, a more than capable receiving core with lots of talent behind a solid HC… We’re not a one man team like the Green Bay Packers…

  4. I liked Ponder at FSU (though Jamies Winston makes me not like anyone else since Weinke now…) but I tend to think Matt Cassel can hand of to AP and manage the game a little better.

  5. To all the people who say the Vikings should go to Cassel, why isn’t Cassel the world saver starting for another team right now? CUZ HE SUCKS!! Cassel was benched last year in favor of BRADY QUINN ok? As soon as you go to Cassel, the season is over. Ponder’s the best QB we have, unfortunately. Ponder no doubt played terrible, but the guy is in a lose lose situation with the fans and I don’t know why. When we win, he gets no credit. When we lose, it’s all his fault. Nothing to do with the terrible oline play and giving up 470 yards of offense, and our run game getting bottled up outside of one play. Let him have his final year, we’ll know soon enough. Don’t worry, if he plays like he did in week 1 all season, we will draft a QB in the first round I would hope to God. Going to Cassel will not make the Minnesota Vikings a Super Bowl team.

  6. a benching after a week is a bit much – if he continues sucking, then near midway is when they’d bench him, then Cassel will suck for a bit – they panic swap back to Ponder who has a flashy game – everyone is all “He’s elite now!” – then he goes back to sucking – either way, vikes probably miss the playoffs…

  7. they need a guy with a big arm who can threaten a defense. ponder has a 20 yard range, not good enough to stop defenses from focusing on shutting down AP. which is unfortunate, because i’d like to see what peterson (in his prime) could do when he has some help from the QB.

  8. A play fake to AP up the middle with 8 defenders crashing the line of scrimmage should be the most devastating offensive play the Vikings have. What would any other starting qb in the NFC North be able to do in that situation? Ponder throws interceptions. He’s a nice guy the Vikings reached for and came up empty. Waste the year of you like Frazier- you and Ponder will be gone next year.

  9. Anyone who watched that game and doesn’t start out hating Ponder for whatever reason understands exactly what Frazier is saying and why.

    1) Int #1- catchable ball bounces off receiver’s hands, deflected to a defender.
    2) Int called back- catchable ball bounces off receiver’s hands, deflected to a defender.
    3) Int #2- QB outside the pocket rolled left throwing ball away out of bounds, Suh gets there and grabs arm halfway through the throw, it stays in bounds closer to a defender.
    4) Fumble on exchange- QB backing up to hand off, tripped by his right guard- on his left side- going down still gets the ball right in Peterson’s stomach, Peterson drops it.
    5) Int #3- final minute of the game, down 10 points so this is a “point spread” drive, already moved from inside the 5 to near midfield converting one 4th down, throws to Rudolph high downfield, he gets one hand on it but isn’t able to bring it in. The only INT that was actually poorly thrown.

    Was Ponder a star? No- but he did not lose the game. There were 3 groups that were much more responsible for the lousy day than the QB was.

  10. It is all about Ponder. He sucks. He’s not a natural and he’s going to cost Frazier his job. Ponder doesn’t pass the eye test. 28 starts is more than most get to realize potential. Ponder has hit his ceiling. Dump the bum.

  11. Frazier is I guess bitter about not getting a contract extension after getting the Heidis to the playoffs last season. Now determined to take the team down with him.

  12. Ponder was 6/9 in the second quarter for 103 yards, and two passes over 20 yards. The two interceptions he made weren’t directly his fault, so he could of easily been 8/9.
    Ponder was 5/7 in the 3rd quarter, for 88 yards with 1 INT, and two passes over 20 yards.
    Ponder did have a horrible stat line in the fourth quarter because he had to force the game his way.

    But think of it this way, Ponder was one of the worst QB’s last year, making the least amount of attempts and completions for 20 yards or more. This year he made at least 4 passes for over 20 yards. While we still lost, Ponder had a most improved game vs last season of relying on Percy Harvin bubbles and screens for yards.

  13. Fact, the longer the Vikings stick with Ponder, the worse it will get.

    Ponder is not the answer and while its a shame that the Vikings blew the #12 overall pick on the guy, it shouldn’t stand in their way in making a change. But it does, for pride if nothing else.

    The Vikings have plenty of talent but this is a new day in the NFL, passing is King and the old adage of defense winning championships is no longer true. Ponder was never that good, he had a few games that he looked decent but during a 16 game season, he just doesn’t rise to the level of a NFL QB. I just hope they keep him around till the end of November so the Packers can bank their usual 2 wins and then the Vikings can switch QB’s.

  14. He’d be thinking abut replacing Ponder if he had a better option. Cassel is no better.

    Typical coach double-speak.

  15. genno334 says: Sep 11, 2013 3:39 PM

    Ponder was 6/9 in the second quarter for 103 yards, and two passes over 20 yards. The two interceptions he made weren’t directly his fault, so he could of easily been 8/9.
    Ponder was 5/7 in the 3rd quarter, for 88 yards with 1 INT, and two passes over 20 yards.
    Ponder did have a horrible stat line in the fourth quarter because he had to force the game his way.

    But think of it this way, Ponder was one of the worst QB’s last year, making the least amount of attempts and completions for 20 yards or more. This year he made at least 4 passes for over 20 yards. While we still lost, Ponder had a most improved game vs last season of relying on Percy Harvin bubbles and screens for yards.

    —————-

    When you have to try this hard to convince others (and yourself) that your QB doesn’t suck…….your QB sucks.

  16. AP is this team
    No receivers , overrated ,very overrated ” O ” line.
    No LBs no Dbs
    Pathetic team
    Check the waiver wire for your future

  17. The Vikings don’t have a Pro Bowl caliber quarterback on their roster, so switching to Cassell after one game would hurt their offense more than help them. If Cassell was the answer then he would be lighting up the Defense in practice, which would have meant that he would have been the opening day starter.

    Face it Viking fans, Ponder is your best quarterback and best chance at winning.

  18. Again, for the people saying bench a third year QB who led you to the playoffs last year. What exactly is your solution right now? Matt Cassell led the Cheifs to a 2-14 record last year. You are aware of that, aren’t you? I personally think both the Vikings and Bengals will need upgrades at the position to take another step, but let it play out in the meantime because what’s behind door number 2 right now isn’t very appealing.

  19. Please don’t replace Ponder!!! He is our best shot @ getting Teddy Bridgewater! Hoping The Jags can win a few games, and Ponder continues to be , well, Ponder! He is God Awful, Frazier will be replaced @ seasons end! The offensive Coordinater is awful too! There are far to many solid pieces for this team to be this bad! In a perfect world, we draft Teddy, get a head coach and offensive minded coach that an actually utilize the talent we have. Corderrell Patterson played what, 1-2 snaps this week??? Unacceptable

  20. I’m not rooting for Matt Cassel.

    I simply don’t understand why McLeod Bethel Thompson isn’t the starter. He was clearly the best QB both this preseason AND the last. I haven’t seen anything to tell me he isn’t starting material. Ponder that.

  21. I want to see Bethel-Thompson as the Vikes QB. He put on a performance last year that was so bad it was comical. I’ve never laughed so hard at a player’s performance as I did in that game. I want those kinds of laughs again. Bring on Bethel-Thompson.

  22. QB- D-
    RB- A+
    WR and TE- B
    OL- B-
    DL- B+
    LB- C+
    DB- C+

    all this team needs is an average, or maybe a little above average, qb to be able to be a legit playoff contender

  23. I never understood why the Vikes would reach for Ponder at number 12. They didn’t need to. They could have taken someone like Ryan Kerrigan, who is an absolulte DE stud instead. Then, traded up to get Colin Kapernick. How in the world did the scouting team and coaches for the Vikes think Ponder would be better than Kap? Foolish. Better yet, get the best player available in the draft at #12, then go 2-14 or worse the following year and get Luck or Griffen? How would the Vikes look then? These coaches and other team exec’s are too close to the situation and often make bad decisions. They should really hire me!

  24. Why would he? If after this year, Ponder doesn’t step up cut him. It will be a lost season, but we’ll get a good draft pick and have a shot at a franchise QB. If you start Cassell, you probably win an extra 2-3 games, but still likely end up 7-9 or 8-8 at best. All that does is increase the likelihood that the good QBs are gone. Of course, it won’t be Frazier coaching the rookie QB next year, but I’m okay with that.

  25. Frazier is handling this just the way he should. With all the focus on Ponder, the rest of the team is getting a free pass. Almost every phase of the game was terrible on Sunday. The offensive line was a joke. Matt Kalil looks like he’s been kidnapped and replaced by his less talented twin brother. The defense didn’t stop the Lions one time. The coaches left CP84 on the bench for all but five plays. Ponder needs to have more than one game to see if he’s improved from last season. If the rest of the team is playing well and he’s costing them games, then you replace him.

  26. Even after his bad week 1, I still think Ponder will throw for over 6,000 yards and 64 TDs this season

  27. They made the same mistake with Jackson, trying to force it rather than admitting a draft mistake. Always seems to lead to the QB scrap heap to salvage a season.

  28. Well, the Vikes don’t have better option than Cassell because the front office didn’t want one… by design. It’s not news that they have adamantly refused to get anyone on the roster who could be considered a threat to Ponder. In fact they emphasized it when signing Cassell. Shame on the Vikes for being more concerned about Ponder’s fragile psyche than striving for potential competency at the QB position. Too many touchy/feely types in this front office for my tastes. It’s their own darn fault if they leave themselves with a bare cupboard at QB, like they found themselves after doing the same with Tarvaris Jackson… and were forced to reach for Ponder.

  29. richeisennflnetwork says:Sep 11, 2013 4:25 PM

    I never understood why the Vikes would reach for Ponder at number 12. They didn’t need to. They could have taken someone like Ryan Kerrigan, who is an absolulte DE stud instead. Then, traded up to get Colin Kapernick. How in the world did the scouting team and coaches for the Vikes think Ponder would be better than Kap? Foolish. Better yet, get the best player available in the draft at #12, then go 2-14 or worse the following year and get Luck or Griffen? How would the Vikes look then? These coaches and other team exec’s are too close to the situation and often make bad decisions. They should really hire me!
    ____

    Any NFL team should hire you because you saw that Kaepernick was going to be an NFL star while every other NFL team passed him up.

  30. Ponder is too nice. it’s just that simple. he doesn’t have the ruthless, stomp on your throat, streak you see in guys like manning, rodgers, or brady.

    look at all the previous superbowl winning qb’s since 2000, and most have these attributes. the qb’s that don’t have those attributes probably won because of the defense…(trent dilfer, brad johnson). Only exception i can see is kurt warner.

  31. There are probably a handful of QB’s available that are better QBs than Ponder. Ponder was a question when he played for Bowden and FSate. Just doesn’t have that long arm. The Vikes will struggle again this year and be in real trouble next year when they will have to start to rebuild their “D”.

  32. I’m not saying that Ponder is great, but does anyone remember what people were saying about Joe Flacco his first few years in the league? Nobody thought he was capable of winning a Super Bowl and now he’s considered elite.

  33. At least Cassel has shown in the past that he can be successful. 11-5 with the Patriots when Brady went down, and 10-5 in 2010 with the Chiefs.

    the other years in KC he wasn’t exactly surrounded by gobs of talent or great coaching.

    Ponder has NEVER shown he can be more than a meh game manager, more times than not we’ve won in spite of him instead of because of him. I’m not for throwing in the towel on the season after one game, but if Ponder continues to struggle, they need to make the change during the bye week (Week 5) if there’s hopes to save the season (and Frazier saving his job)

  34. Ponder has played up and down his whole career. Everyone is panicking because of this last game.
    I admit, I’d love to see an accurate, strong-armed QB at the helm. But the Vikes just don’t have one right now.
    MBT is too raw and throws everything 100 miles an hour. He MIGHT develop, but the fact that he’s in his 2nd year and still can’t crack 3rd string is telling.

    I suspect that Ponder will rebound and play better next week, but it probably won’t matter as the Vikes almost ALWAYS lose in Chicago.

    So, what we saw last week was not typical of Ponder, but rather Ponder at his worst.

    I expect he will have some more games like he played against the Niners last year, and GreenBay at home.
    Just hoping the season isn’t over by then due to their brutal opening schedule:
    1) On the road against Divisional Rival
    2) On the road against another Divisional rival
    3) At home against Cleveland (hoping this is a win)
    4) On the road in EU against Pittsburgh

    Geez… nice NFL scheduling One home game in the first four and on the road for 3 of them.

  35. Part of it may turn out to be misplaced loyalty, but you have to admire Frazier not making what would have been a very easy knee-jerk reaction to the first game of the season.

    A team with the vikings’ talent level needs consistency to win, and having a revolving door at the QB position would not help them at all, regardless of who their RB is. The fact has been pointed out time-after-time by many viking fans – a great QB can make up for a lot of your team’s flaws. And honestly, the same can’t be said for a great RB. Ponder is mediocre at best, but if Frazier starts pulling players after one poor performance, he’ll lose the team before they even have a chance to get started.

    Say what you want about Frazier, but at least he does his job with class, and isn’t a loud-mouthed, whiny jerk like the coach out in San Francisco.

  36. The dude who said the vikes have a top 12 defense made a mistake. The packers were 11th in defense last year. Look up what the vikings were. By the way, that top 5 offensive line looked great sunday opening 1 hole for ap the entire game, and watching ponder run for his life.

  37. When have the Vikings had a great long term quarterback? Fran Tarkenton was the last one. Don’t tell me Kramer or Culpepper were Great.. And ya I remember Fran… Thats been the problem for Years. I’ll give GB one thing they have figured out it all goes through the QB.

  38. When you listen to Ponder’s post game interviews, it seems like he just disregards his mistakes instead of focusing on improving. That’s ok when you’re talking about one play, but this is a weekly thing with him and it seems like he just doesn’t care when he screws up. I think Frazier is slightly to blame for not putting enough pressure on him.

    Let’s focus on the most important issue at hand though. How long is it going to take for Musgrave to finally get fired? He should have been canned after the playoff loss to GB. His playcalling is awful and totally predictable. It looked like he thought it was a preseason game against Detroit. No QB is going be successful if the defense is a step ahead of them.

  39. Fact, in 99 after winning the MVP the prior year Cunningham was benched the 2nd half of game 2 for being ineffective. The Vikings made the playoffs.

    In 08 TJAC was benched after game 2 for being awful and the Vikings went on to the playoffs.

    Well if Ponder stinks in the first half against Chicago it’s time based on franchise history for his time to end.

  40. Coach, we just don’t buy what you’re selling. If Ponder struggles in Chicago this weekend in the same fantastic manner he did in Detroit, I have a feeling that the Boo-birds are going to show the owners and the coaching staff just how they feel in the home-opener.. It won’t be pretty for Ponder.

  41. Christian Ponder is the best possible QB for the vikings and hope he is the starter for another 10 years. He is even better than Tarvaris Jackson!!

    Christian Ponder is part of the vikings quarterbacking tradition and history. Perfect for the franchise.

  42. Spielman and Frazier need to let go of their little project that is Ponder and go with a QB that gives them a chance to win the game!

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