Matt Cassel will start for Vikings

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The Vikings sent a hint about who would be their starting quarterback against the Steelers at Friday’s practice when Christian Ponder was on the sideline without a helmet during the portion of practice open to the media.

They confirmed it a short time later. The Vikings have announced that Matt Cassel will get the start against Pittsburgh in Sunday’s game at Wembley Stadium in London.

Coach Leslie Frazier was adamant earlier this week that the only way Cassel would start was if Ponder’s fractured rib was too bothersome for him to be in the lineup, a statement designed to combat the notion that the injury was a convenient reason to make a quarterback change that many in Minnesota have been clamoring for during the team’s 0-3 start. Chip Scoggins of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports Frazier said Friday that the team felt it was too risky to put Ponder out there with the rib injury. There’s no timetable for his return.

The decision will push a real answer to that question until after the Steelers game and the bye week to follow. If Cassel plays well on Sunday, there will be pressure for Frazier to keep him at quarterback moving forward regardless of Ponder’s health. If not, the Vikings will be 0-4 and Frazier will be feeling pressure of an entirely different sort.

102 responses to “Matt Cassel will start for Vikings

  1. I always wondered what any team saw in Ponder to warrant a 1st round pick. I follow ACC football and just didn’t see top talent from him at FSU. He was definitely a draft worthy player just not in the first round. 3rd round tops. Cassel isn’t great, but he throws better. One of two things this week. Pittsburgh looks to stop AP, which will loosen up the secondary for Cassel to have a good game. Or, Pittsburgh, knowing Cassel is a better passer than Ponder, backs off the line a little opening it up a little for AP. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in this game.

  2. I hope the Vikes O-line can protect him for 15 seconds because that’s how long he needs to make a decision on where to throw the ball.

  3. I hope Cassel is the answer for the Vikings because he sure wasn’t for the Chiefs. He is a great guy for sure, but he puts the ball in bad spots where WR’s will get lit up by defenders, and he will ALWAYS throw an INT in the final minutes of the game if he is required to drive the ball for a win.

  4. He’ll be better than he was in Kansas City, not as good as he was in New England, but most importantly, BETTER THAN PONDER.

    Big game for the Vikings receivers. Sticky hands fellas.

  5. This is Joe Webb all over again. Cassell comes in, wins a game or two more than Ponder would have, thus knocking us down a spot or two in the draft and costing us a shot at a franchise QB. START PONDER!

  6. i dont think cassle will replace ponder but this may be a shot in the arm to get things going the other way.

    sometimes a change is all you need. hopefully a win on sunday for the vikes, ponder comes back the following week or the one after that and he can show once and for all if hes going to succeed. Remember people, ponder doesn’t even have 32 games under his belt. I’m still cheering him on for this season.

  7. also Cassle in the preseason threw to the Flash. hopefully he can connect with Patterson in the London game. will be fun to see.

  8. As long as Bill Musgrave is calling the plays, I don’t expect a different result this week.

    I hope Cassel doesn’t end up getting hurt, but I expect him to be sacked at least five times.

  9. Hopefully Cassel can add to the 14 points that Roethlisbooger regularly awards to the opposing defense.

  10. i dont think cassel is great but hes a change and thats what was needed, heck Gus Ferrotte led us to the playoffs in 08, that being said we know cassell has a stronger arm, lets see him air it out to patterson and jennings a bit. I think at this point we know what ponder is and what he will not be, did the vikes GM reach for the pick, yes, will it be the last time a team does that..nope, let hope the next time the vikes pick a QB high in the draft they dont miss fire like they have on jackson and ponder..The GM’s track record on drafting other players besides the QB is pretty solid

  11. They can play this off as an injury replacement but nobody is buying that. He played the entire Browns game with no signs of a rib injury, they announce he has a rib injury on Wednesday, he practices in full Thursday and then Friday they say its too risky to play him? I like Ponder as a person but the kid doesnt have what it takes to start at QB in the NFL. May as well see what Cassel can do in this offense.

  12. Whatever Ponder did, Expect an even Worse performance from Matt Cassel. Stol 45 milion from the Chiefs for 3 years of mediocrity. Would rather have Tebow starting than Cassel. They should trade for Freeman.

  13. This could put the ultimate goal of an 0-16 season and drafting a real franchise quarterback in jeopardy.

  14. I still feel the Vikings would be better off doing what Cleveland did, and skipping straight to the 3rd stringer. Cassel is no improvement from Ponder!

  15. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, the Vikings go from the #24 rated QB last year to #32.

    Any sort of analysis on why the Vikings are losing has to begin with their secondary. They gave up leads in the 4th Qtr and they have regressed from last year which is really a surprise but they were awful last year.

    Ponder’s biggest problem isn’t that he is a below average QB, its that he is a below average QB taken at #12 overall. The Viking fans have never been realistic to begin with so the high expectations of a first round qB is an albatross around his neck. Let the Matt Cassel era begin.

  16. The answer!

    Hopefully they mean at defensive end. Or at running back. He is an instant upgrade at both positions.

    Pop quiz: what team currently has the best running game in the NFC north, both in yards and yards per carry?

    >

  17. Cassel will do no better. At least Ponder is mobile. The o-line has been terrible this year, as evident by Peterson’s yardage, Ponder’s rush yards and the number of sacks. Felton is back this week, so any success that Cassel sees that exceeds Ponder should be taken with a grain of salt. Those that think the Vikes need a pro-bowl QB are questionable at best when it comes to football knowledge. This team wins on defense and rushing. Passing needs to be consistent and accurate, not great. there is a guy who wears 28 that will dictate how well this teams performs. Ponder needs a good o-line and pass protection, then let’s see what he can do. Just relax Ponder haters…the intention was never to draft a HOF QB.

  18. It’s nice to infuse some energy to the team, but as much as Ponder sucks (and he does), their D is 28th in the league and is giving up 32 points a game.

  19. Win-win. If Cassel plays well like the 11-5 year in NE or the first year in KC and the Vikings win a bunch of games and make the playoffs great. If they loose and go back to Ponder and continue loosing great because the experiment will be over and they can get a real QB, coach and coordinators for next season.

  20. I find myself hoping that Bethel-Thompson makes his way into this game. He’s the only guy on the roster that has an NFL caliber arm (actually…he has a gun!). He’s never had a chance to play with starters. His lack of play is solely due to lack of ability / skill…teams ‘play’ the QB who’s getting paid the most!

  21. Nothing good comes out of this. I can’t believe I’m watching Matt Cassel in September. To make things worse, Adrian will rip up Pittsburgh, Cassel won’t have to do anything, and we’ll eek out a win 10-9 or something stupid because PIT’s coaching is as inept as ours. Being a Minnesota sports fan is about the worst burden I’ve had to deal with in my life.

    So now what? Next year we’ll have the 5th overall pick because there’s no way we’ll be lucky enough to be the worst team in the league. Teddy will be gone. We’ll have to reach for the 2nd best QB prospect or defer to the 2nd round. Then how long do we give that guy? My fellow fans are so impulsive and impatient they’ll be ragging on him after his first NFL start (I think it’s honestly due to the fan base not seeing success in any sport for so long they don’t know how to achieve it). I think the fans need the next QB to be the #1 overall pick for themselves. So they can rationalize sticking with a young developing QB who is struggling and that’s the only way they’ll accept the fact that Aaron Rodgers doesn’t just come out of the draft (except Andrew Luck).

  22. Alright, one step closer to McLeod Bethel Thompson as starter! I can’t WAIT to see THAT kid play! (No joke, far and away better than Cassel or Ponder, we just have a pretty aweful coaching staff)

  23. bethel has given us our only win this season so far I wish they could see what he has for us. Please Cassel help the Vikings win the game, along with Felton back for Adrian.

  24. YA YA YA. Good ol Ponder faked the heck out of a small rib issue so he didn’t have to face the pass rush of the Steelers. Had he screwed up another loss you can be he would be done as a Vike QB.

    Pretty smart, you feed Cassell to the Stealers and then heal quickly for the next game; check mate, Cassell is toast.

  25. Ponder was a huge reach at #12 overall – the Vikings panicked when they saw a run on QBs, and grabbed Ponder when they could have traded down. Cassel will be an adequate stopgap measure until such time as the Vikings grab a QB early in the 2014 draft. (Johnny Football if you want to win, A.J. McCarron if you want to improve the scenery in the stands at your home games.)

  26. Cassel sucked in Pre Season so just how is he supposed to handle a team like the Steelers with two days of whopping practices. Ponder has to be elated he isn’t facing them. May say his career but certainly prolongs it a while.
    I still say the Vikes go get Freeman.

  27. Look how good Matt Cassel’s old team is doing without him. This does not spell good for the Vikes. Could this mean a Josh Freeman trade may be coming?

  28. Anyone who thinks this is good for the Vikings needs to pay more attention. Was Ponder a reach with the 12th pick? Absolutely. Is he developing into a quality NFL starter? No way. But if you look at the Vikings pass protection the first three weeks and combine it with Cassel’s mobility and hesitation in the pocket, this is going to be a disaster.

  29. Hilarious.

    Be careful what you wish for Vikes fans. You’ll be clamoring for Ponder back in the lineup in a week.

    Yeah, he’s just that bad. The passes that aren’t 5-10 feet high will be in the dirt. And those are the good ones that don’t get picked off. Worst QB I’ve ever seen, and I’m old as hell. I was dreaming of having Mark Sanchez instead last year.

  30. I don’t know how anyone can be excited to see Cassel if they watched him toward the end of the Chiefs days or at all in the preseason. Same QB, different name and number.

  31. illogic87 says: Sep 27, 2013 8:21 AM

    Good for Cassel! I hope he proves his critics wrong with a strong performance

    – – – –

    I’m not saying this in a snide way. But did you not see, or read about just how devastatingly bad he was in KC? I’m an AFC West follower, so let me tell you, it was ugly. Not trying to step on you when you’re down, but the Vikings are in for some really bad games ahead.

  32. bcgreg —–

    Your take on Ponder in the draft is right on. Ponder wasn’t a projected 1st round pick. A lot of mocks had him going in round 2. The Vikings were so worried about missing a QB in round 2, that they jumped on him in round 1 instead. It’s why teams shouldn’t reach for picks. You end up with a player with 2nd-3rd round talent, acting like he’s a franchise pick. Bad draft decision.

    As for Cassel and the people excited to see him. We got a very good sample size of him in KC, and it was average at best…….and other times very, very bad. Cassel is not the answer, I’m not even sure he’s a band-aid. Vikings will be lucky to go 6-10.

  33. @ packersarethebest who said “My dream of seeing Gregg Jennings stats drop to zero is closer to becoming a reality….”

    Hell hath no fury like a Packers fan scorned.

  34. I do find it hilarious how many people cite Cassel’s struggles in KC as a reason why he can’t play.

    KC hasn’t been good for several years. There hasn’t been a lot around him, nearly the entire KC team was banged up last year.

    He didn’t have Adrian Peterson in KC. Charles is good, but in NO WAY is he AP. Teams weren’t loading up the box in KC like they do against the Vikings.

    He doesn’t have to be amazing, he just has to be better than Ponder. And he absolutely is.

  35. The Vikings need to keep playing Ponder to prove to the organization that they need a QB. The only way they are going to get a QB is to continue losing and get a top 2-3 pick in the 2014 draft. Cassel can only screw that up like Joe Webb blew their chances at getting Andrew Luck. The Jaguars have packed it in and already locked up the #1 pick, so the race is on for #2 and Ponder is the best chance for that. Maybe Cassel continues the losing, but then Frazier continues with his fantasy belief that Ponder is a QB too.

  36. This isn’t going to end up being much better for my team — all you had to do was watch the guy in pre-season or when he played with the Chiefs. He’ll be all tied up in Troy Poalamalamalululu’s hair by the 2nd quarter.

  37. brianschielnc65 says: Sep 27, 2013 8:51 AM

    Cassel was not exactly surrounded by high level talent the last couple years in KC. I think this moment is what he’s been preparing for. He’s at the fork in the road.

    – – – –

    Again, as a fan of the AFC West, I must respectfully bring you back down to Earth. Not only was/is loaded with Pro Bowl talent (six positions) they were picked by many, before last season, to be Super Bowl contenders. I’m not making that up!

    But the coaching, and particularly Cassel’s QB play (if you want to call it that) was so atrocious that it killed their chances of getting anything other than a first round pick. Which, ironically, might be where the Vikes wind up, with him under center.

  38. Ok, everyone keep calm! Cassel was atrocious last year! Could he play better than Ponder? It’s possible, but right now I think Cassel and Ponder are the same guy.

  39. corelreefer says:Sep 27, 2013 9:30 AM

    Cassel will do no better. At least Ponder is mobile. The o-line has been terrible this year, as evident by Peterson’s yardage, Ponder’s rush yards and the number of sacks. Felton is back this week, so any success that Cassel sees that exceeds Ponder should be taken with a grain of salt. Those that think the Vikes need a pro-bowl QB are questionable at best when it comes to football knowledge. This team wins on defense and rushing. Passing needs to be consistent and accurate, not great. there is a guy who wears 28 that will dictate how well this teams performs. Ponder needs a good o-line and pass protection, then let’s see what he can do. Just relax Ponder haters…the intention was never to draft a HOF QB.
    ________

    You know, it wouldn’t hurt to have a Pro Bowl QB. If you win on defense and rushing, but both suck like they have this year, a great quarterback covers up a lot of those deficiencies. Green Bay has the worst team in football outside of Rodgers. I think I’d like to give that HOF QB thing a try.

  40. This game should be pretty telling for the Steelers. If the Cassel-led Vikes light up the Steeler secondary a few times, I expect AP to have a field day running against them. Then I think the jury will be in on the Steelers for 2013.

  41. Like a lot Chiefs fans, I’ve seen Cassel display just enough talent to occasionally give us hope, before disappointing us in the end. But he’s always struck me as a genuinely good man who gives back to his community and family without making off-field headlines or seeking personal glory.
    I’d still love to see Cassel succeed — even though it won’t be with my beloved Chiefs.

  42. It’s times like these when we like to remind Viking fans that the Vikes passed on Aaron Rodgers in the first round…Twice!
    How’d that work out for you?

  43. sterling7 says:
    Sep 27, 2013 8:53 AM
    Couldn’t hurt
    ————————————
    You mean it couldn’t hurt to pull a QB that has left the field the last two weeks with the lead, only to see the defense give up the win, and then put in a QB that was horrible last year and got his coach fired?

    It could hurt. It could hurt a whole lot more.

  44. It’s so funny watching Chiefs fans run their mouths. “Cassel sucks”…” He’ll end up hurt”….” We all know how this will end”…. You were all about him when he was Matt Cassel, Chiefs Pro Bowl QB. Then he struggled and you hate him. Difference is, the Vikings have play makers. A.P., Jennings, Patterson, Rudolph. the Chiefs had Bowe who had a different injury or contract complaint every week. Or the running backs who were hurt every week. Cassel will be just fine. He’s better than” noodle arm”.

  45. coachkilla6 says:
    Sep 27, 2013 11:35 AM
    It’s times like these when we like to remind Viking fans that the Vikes passed on Aaron Rodgers in the first round…Twice!
    How’d that work out for you?

    SO DID 20-some other teams! Do you have a meaningful point to share? CAREFUL: don’t come back with some brilliant statement like ‘Vikings suck’.

  46. Viking fans don’t seem to understand that the Chiefs were atrocious last year mainly BECAUSE of Cassel.

    The team is loaded with talent, but the lack thereof at the most important position was the downfall.

    Our being 3-0 with an average QB like Alex Smith should be an indicator of how truly pathetic Cassel was/is.

    He’s easily the worst QB in the NFL. But don’t worry, we’ll all be back here to say “I told you so” very soon. The sane part of your fanbase will agree whole heartedly.

  47. Boy, that must been some devastating injury for someone to have to tell Ponder about it two days later.

    Thank god it wasn’t another life-threatening arm bruise.

  48. 6kingswest says:
    Sep 27, 2013 12:16 PM
    coachkilla6 says:
    Sep 27, 2013 11:35 AM
    It’s times like these when we like to remind Viking fans that the Vikes passed on Aaron Rodgers in the first round…Twice!
    How’d that work out for you?

    SO DID 20-some other teams! Do you have a meaningful point to share? CAREFUL: don’t come back with some brilliant statement like ‘Vikings suck’.

    ******************************************

    Viking fans are dumb, and this is just one more example.

    The Vikings are one of only 2 NFL teams to pass on Aaron Rodgers twice in the 2005 draft.

  49. Although I despise the Vikings and always root for them to lose, I feel it is incumbent upon me to point out to the Packer fans that are posting here that Aaron Rodgers had the benefit of working under the tutelage of Brett Favre for SEVERAL YEARS before seeing any meaningful play on the field.

    And Christian Ponder worked under Donovan McNabb for a couple games.

  50. goawayeverybody says: Sep 27, 2013 1:29 PM

    Although I despise the Vikings and always root for them to lose, I feel it is incumbent upon me to point out to the Packer fans that are posting here that Aaron Rodgers had the benefit of working under the tutelage of Brett Favre for SEVERAL YEARS before seeing any meaningful play on the field.

    And Christian Ponder worked under Donovan McNabb for a couple games.
    ———————————————-

    having your rookie QB listen to McNabb would screw anyone up. This is why RGIII didn’t want to sit down with him, he saw what McNabb did to Kolb and Ponder…

  51. How long before a developing Quarterback can become good in the NFL ?

    2001 rookie Drew Brees played very littlw 2002 first 2 years with Chargers Drew Bree’s has passing 17 TD’s 16 Interceptions, in 2003 he passed for 11 TD’s and 17 interceptions. Then in 2004, year 4 Chargers Bree’s became a Pro Bowl QB 27 TD’s and 7 interceptions. Then another big year in 2005, then he signed as a free agent with the Saints in 2006…the Dolphins passed on him because he had a torn labrum in his shoulder.

    My point is, Ponder, Locker and other QB’s are only in their 3rd year.

  52. Nothing good comes out of this. I can’t believe I’m watching Matt Cassel in September. To make things worse, Adrian will rip up Pittsburgh, Cassel won’t have to do anything, and we’ll eek out a win 10-9 or something stupid because PIT’s coaching is as inept as ours. Being a Minnesota sports fan is about the worst burden I’ve had to deal with in my life.

    So now what? Next year we’ll have the 5th overall pick because there’s no way we’ll be lucky enough to be the worst team in the league. Teddy will be gone. We’ll have to reach for the 2nd best QB prospect or defer to the 2nd round. Then how long do we give that guy? My fellow fans are so impulsive and impatient they’ll be ragging on him after his first NFL start (I think it’s honestly due to the fan base not seeing success in any sport for so long they don’t know how to achieve it). I think the fans need the next QB to be the #1 overall pick for themselves. So they can rationalize sticking with a young developing QB who is struggling and that’s the only way they’ll accept the fact that Aaron Rodgers doesn’t just come out of the draft (except Andrew Luck).

    —————————–

    Pretty much. The Vikings do have ONE great asset though.

    AP.

    If this is truly a QB league, then they should do what the Browns did.

    Trade away AP for as much as they can get, tank the season, and try to move up for a real QB in 2014 draft.

  53. goawayeverybody says: Sep 27, 2013 1:29 PM

    Although I despise the Vikings and always root for them to lose, I feel it is incumbent upon me to point out to the Packer fans that are posting here that Aaron Rodgers had the benefit of working under the tutelage of Brett Favre for SEVERAL YEARS before seeing any meaningful play on the field.
    _______________________________

    Brett Favre did jack squat to help any QB that came to GB in any fashion when he was there and has said so on TV and in interviews countless times….”I’m not their damn coach.”
    Rodgers was a threat and Favre acted like it. Then he wavered on retirement for 5 years, forcing the Packers hand and making them have no choice but to draft Rodgers in the first place….yet die hard Favre fans and nearly every Viking fan somehow dismiss this like it was a bogus rumor or never happened.

    The only tutelage Favre ever did for Rodgers was making bad decisions in front of him and that stuff is what taught Rodgers what NOT to do. You don’t become the all time leader in INTs by being smart with the ball, and that may be the only NFL record the Dongslinger has left when it’s all done, other then the consecutive starts by a QB.

  54. goawayeverybody says:
    Sep 27, 2013 1:29 PM

    Aaron Rodgers had the benefit of working under the tutelage of Brett Favre for SEVERAL YEARS before seeing any meaningful play on the field.

    **************************

    Huh????

    Favre’s mechanics weren’t quite as messed up as Tebow’s, but he won’t be making any instructional videos any time soon. Rodgers probably leaned more about what not to do from Favre than anything.

    Rodgers is a product of his own talent, and the QB school of Mike McCarthy and Tom Clements.

  55. Packers fans, sorry but you are quite mistaken. McCarthy insisted that Favre take Rodgers under his wing and Favre did so. In any case, Rodgers got to watch and learn and adjust to the speed of the game for years. Ponder never had that opportunity. I’m not saying Ponder could be as good as Rodgers. I’m just pointing out the benefit that Rodgers had in not being thrust out on the field immediately the way Ponder was.

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