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Christian Ponder says he needs to play more relaxed

Christian Ponder AP

Christian Ponder has his job back as the starting quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings and he vows to play with a different mindset after getting a second opportunity.

Ponder will start this week for the Vikings in place of Josh Freeman against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night. Freeman suffered a concussion that will keep him from playing and allow Ponder another chance under center for the Vikings.

He vows to play more relaxed this time around. According to Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Ponder said he had been putting a lot of pressure on himself and felt he was never able to feel in sync with the offense this year.

“Now is the opportunity to take that deep breath and go out and have fun again. I already got benched, so it can’t get worse than that,” Ponder said.

The numbers prove it. Ponder has thrown just two touchdowns compared to five interceptions in three games started this season. He’s completing just 59-percent of his passes, has been sacked 10 times and has a passer rating of 65.9.

With another chance to show he can play more consistently, Ponder plans to play with a different mindset in hopes it improves the results on the field.

“The biggest thing for me is to play more relaxed,” he said. “I feel like I came out here running the scout team and stuff and practiced relaxed and then came out here running the first team and practiced relaxed, too. That’s going to be big for me.”

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32 Responses to “Christian Ponder says he needs to play more relaxed”
  1. swaggyy says: Oct 23, 2013 11:09 PM

    He needs to not play at all

  2. green41563 says: Oct 23, 2013 11:10 PM

    Look, quarterbacks can and do develop, but Ponder’s never going to be anything more than a marginal player in the league for a simple reason: he doesn’t make enough plays.

  3. sillec28 says: Oct 23, 2013 11:19 PM

    Having followed Ponder during his time at FSU I was amazed that anyone took him in the first round. He’s always had a noodle arm, good on short passes, mostly to a sideline receiver, but longer than maybe 20 yards max he was never very good. Nice guy, smart guy, hot wife, but not a very good QB.

  4. 6kings says: Oct 23, 2013 11:20 PM

    Don’t relax too much Christian. Did you see how much Freeman was hit?!

  5. chawk12thman says: Oct 23, 2013 11:23 PM

    It can get worse than being benched last time Ponder….getting benched this time around…..

  6. amazingguy101 says: Oct 23, 2013 11:25 PM

    He be getting replaced next year so doesn’t matter anymore

  7. trbowman says: Oct 23, 2013 11:34 PM

    Why is he playing over Cassel who actually led them to a W two weeks ago?

  8. staffordsyear says: Oct 23, 2013 11:34 PM

    Sacked 10 times? I doubt he will have time to relax.

  9. trbowman says: Oct 23, 2013 11:35 PM

    “At least I’m not named Blaine.” – Christian Ponder

  10. lgbarn says: Oct 23, 2013 11:39 PM

    You can play as relaxed as you want in the coming months. Your job is safe until the end of the season. We now know that Josh is worse than you.

  11. italianhorn says: Oct 23, 2013 11:57 PM

    Beat the Pack and you’re okay in my book!

  12. northstarnic says: Oct 23, 2013 11:58 PM

    Don’t relax too much, Ponder. That noodle arm of yours is barely al dente as it is. Nobody likes mushy noodles.

  13. mataug says: Oct 24, 2013 12:39 AM

    should have figured this out before the organization went out and spent 2m on Freeman :)

  14. darkneptune73 says: Oct 24, 2013 12:54 AM

    Pretty hard to play relaxed when your trusted offensive line crumbles after 5 seconds.

  15. mclovin07 says: Oct 24, 2013 1:32 AM

    I’d feel more relaxed with Sam Ponder.

    Why don’t you send her over for the game…

  16. pootytang66 says: Oct 24, 2013 2:39 AM

    It’s going to be hard to relax when you are constantly running for your life every time you drop back to pass!!!

  17. whoknowsnothing says: Oct 24, 2013 3:02 AM

    Ponder might not even be on the team next year if he doesn’t play better, but Viking fans will feel better going into this weeks game know Freeman isn’t the QB.
    I’m just glad I didn’t watch MNF this past Monday!

  18. runtheball says: Oct 24, 2013 6:23 AM

    Only 59%? That is Manningesque compared to Freeman.

  19. tirdbirgler says: Oct 24, 2013 7:54 AM

    They need to bring back Tice to restore respectability to the program

  20. phukurmouf says: Oct 24, 2013 8:31 AM

    Can they PLEASE flex this game?!

  21. johnnyjagfan says: Oct 24, 2013 8:34 AM

    Yeah, that’s it. Just chill.

    However, Joe Montana’s famous “hey, isn’t that John Candy” while he was in the 2-minute drill to win the Super Bowl is a good example of calm under pressure bringing success.

  22. adantsa says: Oct 24, 2013 8:50 AM

    Say what you will about Ponder but the kid says the right things. I hope he can keep the game close on Sunday night.

  23. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Oct 24, 2013 9:53 AM

    Ponder is a great guy and I hope he succeeds. I have no hope for Josh Freeman. That said, I think the best case scenario is that Ponder is good enough to allow next year’s rookie to ease into the starting lineup midseason.

  24. FlashPatterson says: Oct 24, 2013 9:55 AM

    4 games, not 3. he got us to 0-4 before he got benched.

  25. purpleguy says: Oct 24, 2013 10:55 AM

    John Madden said it best, if you are deciding between 2 QBs to start, you don’t even have one starter. In this case, the Vikes are choosing between 3.

  26. stellarperformance says: Oct 24, 2013 11:04 AM

    If by some chance the Packers totally dominate and win big…like 42-10, then Frazier may be fired mid-season. Ponder is playing for more than his own job.

  27. truvikingfan says: Oct 24, 2013 11:59 AM

    I have always thought that as a football player, you need to be consistent. Consistently good, consistently bad, or consistently mediocre.

    Ponders problem is that he is consistent……consistently inconsistent.

  28. rickspielmanisamortician says: Oct 24, 2013 12:23 PM

    Ponder’s noodle arm has always looked pretty relaxed to me.

  29. shoddymnbridgerepair says: Oct 24, 2013 1:14 PM

    The Packers can’t afford to get distracted with who’s starting this week for the Vikings while they’re concentrating on preparing for the task at hand – beating the Bears next week.

  30. vikes89allday says: Oct 24, 2013 3:03 PM

    Ponder needs to watch the tape from last year’s game vs the Packers at the metrodome 120 passer rating 3 touchdowns no turnovers. Peterson got the ball 34 times this could be a trap game for the Green Bay Packers. Ponder just needs to keep this game at least close a win would be nice….We’ll see?

  31. beerbratscheese says: Oct 24, 2013 5:02 PM

    The Vikings are quickly going from SKOL Vikings to LOL Vikings.

  32. beerbratscheese says: Oct 24, 2013 5:14 PM

    vikes89allday says: Oct 24, 2013 3:03 PM

    Ponder needs to watch the tape from last year’s game vs the Packers at the metrodome 120 passer rating 3 touchdowns no turnovers. Peterson got the ball 34 times this could be a trap game for the Green Bay Packers. Ponder just needs to keep this game at least close a win would be nice….We’ll see?
    ==================================

    All three TDs were from five yards or less. You think maybe the Packers were paying more attention to AP at the goal line?

    Yes, he was able to execute, but without AP running for 199 yards, the Vikings would not have been in position for Ponder to throw those TDs.

    The Vikings won, and they won fair and square, but AP isn’t playing like last year and the Packers run D is significantly better. If the Packers can hold AP to 100-125, this game won’t be close.

    That said, I agree that this could be a trap game, as all division games can fall under the heading of trap game. With that being said, if both teams play their best football, the Packers should win this going away.

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