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Vikings QB coach says Christian Ponder needs to “suck it up”

Cleveland Browns v Minnesota Vikings Getty Images

After the Vikings fell to 0-3 on Sunday, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson said it was unfair for the team’s fans to shower quarterback Christian Ponder with boos.

The team’s quarterbacks coach has a different opinion. Craig Johnson said that he still believes in Ponder and that the quarterback “has done a lot of good things,” but that he has to accept that criticism come with the position.

“The bottom line is — and he knows this — if you do not win the game, you’re getting the blame,” Johnson said, via Tom Pelissero of USA Today. “That’s just the way it is. Suck it up. You’re no different than quarterbacks in every other part of the country. When you lose, you’re getting the blame. That’s part of the deal.”

Ponder admits to being frustrated but said that his confidence hasn’t suffered in the three losses to start the season. Confidence in him will likely start to waver if the team keeps losing while Ponder fails to show signs of improvement in his third year, however, and that could mean a quarterback change that signals a bigger change at the position come the offseason.

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34 Responses to “Vikings QB coach says Christian Ponder needs to “suck it up””
  1. conner87 says: Sep 24, 2013 3:00 PM

    I am Ponder supporter (lions fan), He always gets blamed for the losses but when they win 99.9% of the credit goes to AP or anyone but Ponder.

    The fans who Boo him have never played a snap above highschool in their lives.
    Hope this guy has 5 or 6 big games this year and finally shuts up his critics.

  2. docsweeney says: Sep 24, 2013 3:05 PM

    Ok, he’s not great. Duh! The Bears won few years ago with Orton at QB, the Giants won a SB with Jeff Hostetller. He doesn’t have to be a Top 10 QB. And he won’t be. They lost 2 out of 3 games because their D couldn’t stop anyone in the last 7 minutes of the game. He’s not their biggest problem just the easiest one to see.

  3. reesesteel23 says: Sep 24, 2013 3:06 PM

    Ponder is used to being the best and smartest person in the ‘room’ (who else gets a masters degree in 2 or 2.5 years, however long it was? )…so I think everything is mental…he’s trying to hard to be perfect…part of that is on the OC, Muskrat, who I’m sure preaches perfection…

    Not to mention that thin azz playbook doesn’t have a lot of room for error from the QB position…

    Not a super duper Ponder supporter but its just what I think..

  4. viking28 says: Sep 24, 2013 3:06 PM

    Bench Cp7 NOW

  5. illtemperedtaylor says: Sep 24, 2013 3:08 PM

    Ponder is definately used to sucking this is nothing new for him

  6. immafubared says: Sep 24, 2013 3:08 PM

    Look, when I heard he graduated in three years from college I knew the Vikes (they love to draft smart guys who don’t make mistakes) were committed to this guy and planned to build the offense around his abilities and with the aide of AP.
    Now with three loses and a tough Pittsburgh team that has no plans for 4 loses, his day of reconing is here.

    If he loses this game, then they have to make a change. Management can no longer just blow it off.
    Fans in minny if anything are fickeled and will not tolerate a n 0-4 Vikings team and they do so by not going to the games for a starter.

  7. binkystevens says: Sep 24, 2013 3:11 PM

    Wait, the crew of Packers cast offs isn’t getting the job done? Color me surprised!!!

  8. allday28mvpmvp says: Sep 24, 2013 3:13 PM

    I can live w road losses, but the Vikes (Ponder included) needed to beat Cleveland. The defense should be ashamed.

    That being said, with GB at 1-2 the NFC is wide open. Detroit and Chicago are notorious late-season floppers so this could go any way still.
    Now if the Vikes lose in London, its a wrap

  9. ickky says: Sep 24, 2013 3:15 PM

    Ponder is only partly to blame for the 0-3
    maybe they should bench All the other starters as well.

  10. stoogy says: Sep 24, 2013 3:17 PM

    Atleast he will get a win against those pitiful steelers in london!

  11. ccjcsr says: Sep 24, 2013 3:18 PM

    Blaine Gabbert is glad he isn’t the only Qb to take the heat so far!

  12. chuckforeman44 says: Sep 24, 2013 3:19 PM

    The offense has scored 24, 30 and 27 points. Those totals are good enough to win most games. The defense has given up 34, 31 and 31 points which includes touchdowns in the last 5 minutes of the last two games. Im not a Ponder fan and he might not be the long term answer at QB for Minnesota, but hes definitely NOT the biggest reason they are 0-3. AP can carry this team, but his numbers arent real good right now either, so lets hope the return of Felton helps that stat line. My .02 cents.

  13. jazsrt says: Sep 24, 2013 3:23 PM

    allday28mvpmvp says:
    Sep 24, 2013 3:13 PM
    I can live w road losses, but the Vikes (Ponder included) needed to beat Cleveland. The defense should be ashamed.

    That being said, with GB at 1-2 the NFC is wide open. Detroit and Chicago are notorious late-season floppers so this could go any way still.
    Now if the Vikes lose in London, its a wrap
    _________________________________

    While some may think these teams are ‘late season floppers’-they both have a game over the Vikings this year.

    I do not think that Ponder has the arm strength to be an NFL QB-but, the line isn’t really giving him the opportunity to grow either.

  14. schmitty2 says: Sep 24, 2013 3:26 PM

    2 things at the very least need to happen. Ponder has to somehow find a way to be at least a “game manager” and the defense needs to improve dramatically. If they can do this they can at least be competitive. For those that don’t think a “game manager” qb with minimal offensive talent around him and a stout defense can work I invite you to check out the Kansas City Chiefs.

  15. montanapredator says: Sep 24, 2013 3:37 PM

    Ponder is not the long-term answer, but there are many more problems — an O-line that despite being intact from last year is porous and cannot run block, a D-line that generates no real pressure, a secondary plagued by poor play and, now, injuries. Outside of Walsh and Locke, no one on this team is playing well enough to win in the NFL. And the coaching is dismal too.

  16. antalicus says: Sep 24, 2013 3:40 PM

    Once they get Cordarelle patterson on the field on a more permanent basis and utilize Kyle Rudolph on more than just red zones he will start getting better.

  17. annes22 says: Sep 24, 2013 3:44 PM

    Ponder has never been anygood. I feel bad for the Vikings fans, having to watch him every week. He should take plenty of the blame for them losing, so get over it, and play better.

  18. palefaceflorio says: Sep 24, 2013 4:03 PM

    How DARE the coach use such harsh language as “suck it up!” in today’s NFL!

    Look for Goodell to fine him $30k for suggesting that an NFL player act like a man. And furthermore, Coach Johnson will be required to attend sensitivity training for two whole years…effective immediately!

  19. filthymcnasty1 says: Sep 24, 2013 4:04 PM

    We were assured repeatedly by Viking fans that Ponder would be fine.

    Sorry, but those fools just don’t understand football.

  20. zzr600guy says: Sep 24, 2013 4:11 PM

    Back when minny drafted ponder I knew it was a huge reach and now its showing. Ponder could be good game manager if he cuts down on mistakes, and he is also athletic enough to scramble a bit. At this point their D isnt gonna get much better and that seems to be the biggest problem.

  21. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Sep 24, 2013 4:18 PM

    Every facet of the team has been terrible so far so Ponder doesn’t deserve all the blame. Nevertheless, he clearly hasn’t built on his strong finish to last season so I don’t think he’s the long-term answer at QB. There’s nothing wrong with his arm strength but his accuracy and anticipation are not good enough and I don’t see them improving. He waits too long to throw the ball so the receiver is either covered by the time the ball gets there or has no room to run if he catches it. Too many passes or behind the receiver, too high, too low, lofted too much, not lofted enough, etc. He’s a great guy and I wanted him to succeed but I’d rather get someone in the draft who has the potential to be top 10 someday.

  22. rickyspanish says: Sep 24, 2013 4:21 PM

    Speaking if qb coaches, I learned last night that Denver has a coach named Jim Bob Cooter, how cool is that!

  23. coltzfan166 says: Sep 24, 2013 4:23 PM

    Where are all you idiots that were begging for Ponder to come in when McNabb wasn’t getting it done three years ago?

  24. hatesycophants says: Sep 24, 2013 4:26 PM

    Maybe the Vikings are tanking the season for a top QB pick? When they go 0 – 4, heads should roll or we’ll know for sure.

  25. shaggytoodle says: Sep 24, 2013 4:29 PM

    This is what happens when you take 2-3rnd talent in the top 15 picks.

    Everyone gets all uppity, because he is underperforming when he was a project QB all along.

    They also worry, because they are putting useless miles on APs legs this year.

  26. allday28mvpmvp says: Sep 24, 2013 4:35 PM

    jazsrt says: Sep 24, 2013 3:23 PM

    allday28mvpmvp says:
    Sep 24, 2013 3:13 PM
    I can live w road losses, but the Vikes (Ponder included) needed to beat Cleveland. The defense should be ashamed.

    That being said, with GB at 1-2 the NFC is wide open. Detroit and Chicago are notorious late-season floppers so this could go any way still.
    Now if the Vikes lose in London, its a wrap
    _________________________________

    While some may think these teams are ‘late season floppers’-they both have a game over the Vikings this year.

    I do not think that Ponder has the arm strength to be an NFL QB-but, the line isn’t really giving him the opportunity to grow either.

    —–

    Yes the floppers do have a game on the Vikings. However, they still have to come to MN to play. Home games are supposed to be won in the NFL, especially divisional ones.

  27. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Sep 24, 2013 4:53 PM

    Rick Spielman is a Magician says:Sep 24, 2013 4:18 PM

    He’s a great guy and I wanted him to succeed but I’d rather get someone in the draft who has the potential to be top 10 someday.

    —–

    Week 3 and you’re talking draft. Awesome.

  28. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Sep 24, 2013 5:07 PM

    coltzfan166 says:Sep 24, 2013 4:23 PM

    Where are all you idiots that were begging for Ponder to come in when McNabb wasn’t getting it done three years ago?
    __________

    I’m right here. I suppose you’re the genius who thinks McNabb should still be playing ahead of Ponder?

  29. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Sep 24, 2013 5:08 PM

    Carl Gerbschmidt says:Sep 24, 2013 4:53 PM

    Week 3 and you’re talking draft. Awesome.
    ______

    You might want to start thinking about the draft too, Carl. Have you seen your team’s record?

  30. realninerfan22 says: Sep 24, 2013 5:21 PM

    Aslong as your name isn’t kap

  31. purpleguy says: Sep 24, 2013 6:05 PM

    Unfortunately, they got the “suck” part of it right. Ponder isn’t even the main reason for the losses — that responsibility lies with the underperforming defense — but he still is never going to be anything more than an average QB at best.

  32. chi01town says: Sep 24, 2013 10:16 PM

    Leave the man alone. packers fans cant talk cause Rodgers ONLY won one more game than Ponder did so shut up. Hey Vikings fans!! Ask a packers fan why did Rodgers turn down a date with Miss America then go all over the internet talking about looking into Ryan Braun’s eyes. ( Ryan Braun is a Milwakee Brewers base ball player )

  33. greenandgoldgirl says: Sep 24, 2013 10:39 PM

    What’s really sad is that the Vikings could have drafted Russell Wilson. Oh well.

  34. shaggytoodle says: Sep 25, 2013 12:29 AM

    stoogy says:
    Sep 24, 2013 3:17 PM
    Atleast he will get a win against those pitiful steelers in london!
    _____

    That’s funny cuz a week ago I believe Vikings fans were talking about how they were going to whoop Cleveland especially days after trading their only offensive threat.

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