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Vikings waiting to make call on this week’s quarterback

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It has become a Monday ritual in Minnesota this season to ask Vikings coach Leslie Frazier about the identity of the starting quarterback for the next game and this Monday was no exception.

This Monday was a little different than some of the others, however. The question wasn’t about whether he would stick with Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel or Josh Freeman after a disappointing performance but whether Cassel would start after playing well enough to get a win after replacing Ponder. Frazier said that Ponder’s recovery from a concussion will play a role in a decision that doesn’t need to be made right now.

“There’s no reason at this point on Monday at 12:40 [p.m.] that we have to make a decision,” Frazier said, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “We can talk it through and do what’s best. But Matt did a terrific job in relief yesterday afternoon leading our team to victory.”

Frazier said that Freeman is also a possibility, but it seems like a real long shot that the team would go to him after Cassel went 20-of-33 for 243 yards in Sunday’s win. The choice will only matter for draft position in Minnesota, but all four of the teams left on their schedule are fighting for playoff spots so it will impact their ability to play spoiler.

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54 Responses to “Vikings waiting to make call on this week’s quarterback”
  1. leatherface2012 says: Dec 2, 2013 3:26 PM

    duhhhhhhhh matt cassel. frazier, you are a true moron if you start ponder again…that experiment should leave the locker room

  2. filthymcnasty1 says: Dec 2, 2013 3:27 PM

    Like the Christmas shopping season, it seems like the Vikings are mathematically eliminated earlier and earlier every year.

  3. The Great Ted Thompson the Genius says: Dec 2, 2013 3:27 PM

    The starter for the rest of the season should be whoever is going to be here next year mentoring Johnny Football. Ponder is under contract for next year. Freeman is not and they obviously don’t want him around. Cassel has a player option. Ask Cassel if he plans on being here next year. If not, he can take a seat. Ponder needs experience to be the best backup QB he can be, and he probably gives us the best chance to lose.

  4. gallopinggilmore says: Dec 2, 2013 3:27 PM

    Who are they playing this week? Oh yeah, the washed up Ravens. Go ahead and give AP a break this week and let Freeman have some much needed practice. The massacre that ensues should really boost his confidence.

  5. thepftpoet says: Dec 2, 2013 3:28 PM

    Talent wise, Vikings have the best overall team around them in the NFC North excluding QB.

    A Hall of game RB, maybe one of the best ever

    A solid group of WR’s including all-pro Greg Jennings, Future Offensive Rookie of the year in Cordarelle Patterson & a widely improved Jerome Simpson who’d be a #1 reciever on half of NFL teams

    A young offensive line who’s greatly improved from earlier this season with not one rusty spot, (other than Charlie Johnson, which will be fixed through the draft)

    Our defense is full of young studs such as Harrison Smith & Xavier Rhodes & solid veterans on the D-line

    When we draft our franchise QB this year (and we will) we will run over our completion and the dynasty will be in full movement.

    #Skol

  6. balfe13 says: Dec 2, 2013 3:31 PM

    What possible benefit is there to starting Matt Cassel? He’s not going to be a starter next year; if they don’t give Freeman another look they are astoundingly short-sighted and borderline incompetent.

  7. blowpackblow says: Dec 2, 2013 3:31 PM

    What a horrible franchise. They make the Jets look normal.

  8. 2ruefan says: Dec 2, 2013 3:34 PM

    It won’t really matter.
    As well as Cassel played, we all have seen his biggest issue is the same as Ponder’s.. inconsistency.
    Cassel looked like a pro-bowler against Pittsburgh and then looked like the guy who they booed out of town in KC in the Carolina Game.
    Sorry, but neither can be counted on to play consistently well two games in a row.
    I’m convinced Cassel is one of those guys who plays great coming off the bench with no pressure really. On Sunday he was able to let it all hang out because if they lost it wouldn’t have been on him.
    Put him in as the starter… and he plays scared, tentative and panics when the pocket breaks down.

    BTW – They could have won going away if it hadn’t been for a couple of drops by the WRs (especially Ellison going into the endzone on a NICE pass by Cassel.) And his best play might have been that open field tackle on the ensuing INT in the open field. I was impressed by his hustle on that play.

  9. joecancun says: Dec 2, 2013 3:35 PM

    The reluctance of Frasier to recognize the simple fact that Cassel gives the Vikings the best chance to win is and should be reason enough for ownership to search for new leadership.

    Cassel may not be a long term solution but Ponder’s body of work proves time and again that he cannot compete at this level on a consistent basis.

  10. dalcow4 says: Dec 2, 2013 3:41 PM

    Sure looks like Tampa was right about Freeman. He can’t even crack the Vikes starting lineup and then the Bucs go on a little run as soon as he goes away.

  11. fwippel says: Dec 2, 2013 3:47 PM

    The one call that should be made immediately is the release of Josh Freeman. For crying out loud, the guy isn’t even good enough to have the team make him the emergency QB, and they’re paying him $2 million to warm the bench? Hell, Joe Webb had better stats than Freeman in last year’s playoff loss than Freeman did against the Giants.

    As for Cassel being better than Ponder, well sometimes he is. He played very well yesterday, and against Pittsburgh in week 4. But the following game against the Panthers, Cassel started and played horribly, only managing a meager 10 points, with the only TD coming in garbage time, with less than two minutes remaining.

    What this means is that, regardless of how many games the Vikings win this year, they’ll still need another QB next year, because neither Cassel or Ponder are good enough to start full time.

  12. 25robrown says: Dec 2, 2013 3:56 PM

    Da Bears are the dirtiest team in football. First they injure Rogers with a questionable hit then they do the same to Ponder.

  13. trollsetter says: Dec 2, 2013 3:58 PM

    I can’t stand Ponder.

  14. deltaoracle says: Dec 2, 2013 4:02 PM

    “the dynasty will be in full movement.”
    That
    is
    absolutely
    hilarious!!

  15. summitmech says: Dec 2, 2013 4:20 PM

    thepftpoet says:
    Dec 2, 2013 3:28 PM
    Talent wise, Vikings have the best overall team around them in the NFC North excluding QB.

    ————————————————

    I think it’s pretty clear that the Lions have the best overall team in the division. You were right on some parts of our team, but drastically wrong in others, specifically these two: Offensive Line and Defensive Backs.

    The O-line was overrated after last year. AP is too classy to take all the credit he deserves for his running. It’s not just Charlie Johnson, but Phil Loadholt has been terrible his entire career, there’s no logic in all the people who say he’s so great. He’s done nothing but let defenders through and cause penalties. PLUS, his resigning is partially the cause for the next and most glaring problem – The defensive backs.

    We have Harrison Smith and Xavier Rhodes, both are turning out to be exceptional players (I just bought a Smith jersey this year, and don’t even care that he’s not playing), but other than them, we’re pretty aweful. Some of the other backs do ok – Raymond, Sanford, and now Sherels (whom I also like, but he isn’t great), but Chris Cook? Josh Robinson? Robert Blanton? At least AJ Jefferson is FINALLY gone.

    There’s a lot of talent on this team, but there’s a lot missing still. QB is sadly not even the biggest problem, though it’s the draft pick that may make the most difference in the long run.

  16. obsessedvikingfan says: Dec 2, 2013 4:30 PM

    6 minutes after this article was posted, the biggest Viking fan (troll) posted in the comments. I swear, some of the trolls must hit refresh every other second to make sure they get to comment early on Viking posts.

    Maybe because their team isn’t as good as the Vikings are now because their one good player is hurt. They may have tied with MN but the Packers were at home so they pretty much are worse than the Vikings in retrospect.

  17. msmith954 says: Dec 2, 2013 4:32 PM

    This is only a decision in Frazier’s very foggy mind… If you can’t recognize that Cassel is on an entirely higher level than Ponder, then you need to hit the street holding a pink slip.

  18. All-American Voltron says: Dec 2, 2013 4:37 PM

    The only thing that makes sense is that Frazier is tanking the season for the #1 draft pick, in exchange for a guarantee he’ll be HC in 2014. Why else would any NFL coach constantly start Christian Ponder?

  19. All-American Voltron says: Dec 2, 2013 4:39 PM

    Didn’t someone once say something like the definition of stupidity is doing the same exact thing over and over again, yet expecting a different result?

  20. threedeep1998 says: Dec 2, 2013 4:39 PM

    Biggest mistake was benching Cassel after Panthers game. What QB has looked good vs them this year?

  21. FlashPatterson says: Dec 2, 2013 4:45 PM

    thepftpoet says:
    Dec 2, 2013 3:28 PM
    Talent wise, Vikings have the best overall team around them in the NFC North excluding QB.

    A Hall of game RB, maybe one of the best ever

    A solid group of WR’s including all-pro Greg Jennings, Future Offensive Rookie of the year in Cordarelle Patterson & a widely improved Jerome Simpson who’d be a #1 reciever on half of NFL teams
    A young offensive line who’s greatly improved from earlier this season with not one rusty spot, (other than Charlie Johnson, which will be fixed through the draft)
    Our defense is full of young studs such as Harrison Smith & Xavier Rhodes & solid veterans on the D-line
    When we draft our franchise QB this year (and we will) we will run over our completion and the dynasty will be in full movement.
    #Skol
    —————————–
    I dig the optimism, but the offensive line is complete garbage. Sullivan is the only good player, Kalil took a step back from last year but still can be great, Loadholt is good for the running game but terrible in pass protection, and both of the guards need to go.

  22. blahblahblah1313 says: Dec 2, 2013 4:51 PM

    If having 2 QB’s means you have no Qbs where does that leave the Vikings/

  23. aldante66 says: Dec 2, 2013 4:51 PM

    Why is everyone so dam surprised when they go with Ponder every week? The Vikes picked Ponder because of his smarts.
    They want a ball control offense: short passes, mixed with running and a few bombs, but the idea is keep making first downs. That is the goal of this team. Keep making first downs.
    It takes a QB with smarts to make this happen and they still believe he is the deliverer.

  24. oshkoshoz says: Dec 2, 2013 5:02 PM

    If Frazier had played Cassel all year the Vikings might be in the NFC North division race, but no, we’re stuck seeing if Rick Spielman’s No. 12 overall draft choice from three years ago can ever learn to acquire “feel” for the quarterback position. Ponder doesn’t have a feel for the game, and he won’t. Minnesota fans call him “Checkdown Charlie.” Ponder doesn’t even know Greg Jennings is on the Vikings because he never throws to him. I hope ownership fires Speilman after the season, and the new GM drafts a franchise quarterback. Cassel should start next year and the rookie can watch and learn for some of the season or all of the season. But to keep up this charade of Christian Ponder giving the Vikings the best chance to win is insulting to Vikings fans. Ponder’s future is not with Minnesota. He might be a good guy but he’s a consistently bad quarterback.

  25. oshkoshoz says: Dec 2, 2013 5:05 PM

    Not only is Spielman responsible for reaching for Ponder, he spent $2.5 million of Ziggy Wilf’s money to sign Josh Freeman, who had one start after four practices and threw 53 mostly bad passes on a Monday game in New York. Mr. Wilf, who is running your embarrassing franchise? Rick Spielman. Please show him the door.

  26. FlashPatterson says: Dec 2, 2013 5:06 PM

    aldante66 says:
    Dec 2, 2013 4:51 PM
    Why is everyone so dam surprised when they go with Ponder every week? The Vikes picked Ponder because of his smarts.
    They want a ball control offense: short passes, mixed with running and a few bombs, but the idea is keep making first downs. That is the goal of this team. Keep making first downs.
    It takes a QB with smarts to make this happen and they still believe he is the deliverer.
    ————————————–
    He didn’t look real smart throwing into triple coverage when he had open receivers.

  27. purpleguy says: Dec 2, 2013 5:08 PM

    It was weird being at the game cheering for a victory, but deep down knowing a loss would be better for the team long-term. However, the same conflict doesn’t apply to watching the Packers fall apart while their fans remain under the delusion that all will suddenly be okay when Rodgers returns.

  28. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Dec 2, 2013 5:19 PM

    Who cares? They’re just going to keep pounding the ball with AD even though these games are all meaningless, thus, closing even tighter his window for a shot at Super Bowl. It’s a travesty how they’ve wasted AD’s career. Truly. A horrible travesty.

  29. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Dec 2, 2013 5:20 PM

    They should have done the right thing 2 years ago and traded AD to a contender like the Timberwolves did with Kevin Garnett. It’s the only decent thing to do.

  30. tjacks7 says: Dec 2, 2013 5:21 PM

    aldante66 says:
    Dec 2, 2013 4:51 PM
    Why is everyone so dam surprised when they go with Ponder every week? The Vikes picked Ponder because of his smarts.
    They want a ball control offense: short passes, mixed with running and a few bombs, but the idea is keep making first downs. That is the goal of this team. Keep making first downs.
    It takes a QB with smarts to make this happen and they still believe he is the deliverer.

    ————————————–

    Hmm he may be book smart. I heard he obtained a masters degree at FSU. However, he has no football smarts at all. Three years in, and he still can’t read defenses, he still stairs down receivers. I can’t tell you how many crossing patterns Greg Jennings hasn’t had a defender within 20 yards of him and Ponder didn’t even realize he was on the field.

    The simple fact is that Ponder can’t keep the offense on the field. The idea may be to control the ball. But Ponder doesn’t do that. Ponder doesn’t have the football “smarts” to do it. He also clearly doesn’t have the accuracy, charisma, passion, etc of someone who can command a huddle and play QB.

  31. IamtheBucsFan says: Dec 2, 2013 5:30 PM

    If there was a trophy for the best and biggest con job of the season, Freeman would win it hats down. With what he did to the Vikes make it a big trophy. With 3+mil Josh, you earned it.

  32. Jikky Jax says: Dec 2, 2013 5:31 PM

    Nice, smart move, Leslie. Keep the Ravens guessing at the starter! They won’t have any clue who to prepare for!!! Skol Vikes!

  33. filthymcnasty1 says: Dec 2, 2013 6:32 PM

    Larry, Moe or Curly?

  34. f1restarter says: Dec 2, 2013 6:37 PM

    When healthy, the talent level in the NFC North should be ranked like this:

    1. Green Bay
    2. Detroit
    3. Chicago
    4. Green Bay’s 2nd stringers
    5. Green Bay’s 3rd stringers
    6. Minnesota without Christian Ponder
    7. Minnesota with Christian Ponder

  35. obsessedvikingfan says: Dec 2, 2013 6:38 PM

    filthymcnasty1 says: Dec 2, 2013 6:32 PM

    Larry, Moe or Curly?
    _______________
    No, we are not talking about the next great Packer Running back. 1.6 yards a rush. LOL

  36. kproffo says: Dec 2, 2013 7:16 PM

    I know the Vikings are bad, but it’s gone far enough when their own fans are calling them a full movement.

    #dookie

  37. stellarperformance says: Dec 2, 2013 8:17 PM

    Send in Webb and let him hand it off to Peterson 55 times. Who cares if they lose, right ? Draft pick position….isn’t that what the “fans” want?

  38. GenXJay says: Dec 2, 2013 8:18 PM

    filthymcnasty: “Like the Christmas shopping season, it seems like the Vikings are mathematically eliminated earlier and earlier every year”

    What?
    Anyway, lets talk about the eerie qb comparisons of Josh McCown & ShAaron. They both have very close #’s in every 2013 category. Except that one it’s grossly overpaid to ride the pine.
    Lets all face it. ShAaron may never be the same. #12 will be gun-shy & have a “new” unorthodox throwing technique due to his discombobulated collarbone situation.

  39. tokyosandblaster says: Dec 2, 2013 8:47 PM

    What’s interesting to me is that this is the same team as a year ago, with supposed upgrades at several positions.

    Last year was the aberration. This year is the new normal for Minny.

    Your defense is terrible, and even if you DO draft a great QB, by the time he develops into a great QB, peterson will have retired, jennings will have retired, and Patterson will have been cut for the bust he is.

  40. stellarperformance says: Dec 2, 2013 8:54 PM

    GenXJay says:
    Dec 2, 2013 8:18 PM
    Lets all face it. ShAaron may never be the same. #12 will be gun-shy & have a “new” unorthodox throwing technique due to his discombobulated collarbone situation.
    //////////////////////////////////////

    Who?

  41. mediasloppy says: Dec 2, 2013 9:25 PM

    Everyone knows it should be Matt. Everyone also knows he’s nothing more than a backup QB in the NFL. Before the Vikings fully invest in a QB again via the draft they will want to make sure Ponder is nothing more than a backup QB too. The 3rd year is where a QB either shines or busts and it’s not looking good for Ponder…

  42. sevensixtwonato says: Dec 2, 2013 10:26 PM

    Patterson is a bust huh? Tokyo, don’t you have some lie to come up with about an exotic city you pretend to have gone to?

  43. airmoss18 says: Dec 2, 2013 10:39 PM

    The most frustrating part of this whole QB carousel ordeal for many of us Vikings fans is the lack of a straight answer from Leslie Frazier. The guy is nothing but a string of clichés and general answers to direct questions about the QB situation, and it’s maddening.

    The main question that Vikings fas have is:
    What exactly was the point of signing Josh Freeman? Does the coach think he has any chance as a future QB for the Vikings or not? If so, why not let him play? If not, why continue paying him to only practice? The bizarre handling of Freeman has some Vikings fans think that they actually really like him and want to keep his value as low as possible by not playing him, but that seems a bit far-fetched to me (although I would be somewhat impressed by the Vikings brain trust if true), but then again, what purpose does it serve to pay him over $2mill to only practice?

    Ponder has the potential to be a solid NFL backup, and that is it. He’s not going to suddenly develop the innate ability to recognize pass pressure and occasionally make plays from the pocket (when protection has broken down) that is an absolute requirement for becoming a top-15 NFL QB; Ponder is only capable of running when he senses pressure, so he will make a few first downs with his athleticism/speed, but he will also take a ton of sacks (especially on third down – it’s almost shocking how many sacks he takes on the most important down) and he will not find open receivers downfield when he’s on the move. Additionally, the guy gets hurt and can’t finish the game at least 3 or 4 times per season; this pattern is not new to Ponder, he was much the same way at Florida State.

    Continuing to play Ponder will help the Vikings get a higher draft pick in April, and I’m fine with the team playing him for that reason, but it’s beyond frustrating listening to Frazier continue to use the phrase that ‘Ponder gives us the best chance to win this week’ over and over and over again when 1.) it’s a complete stretch to believe that basic premise when Cassel has generally looked far better than Ponder this season; and 2.) most Vikes fans don’t even want them to win any more games at this point because of where Ted Bridgewater and Marcus Mariota will likely go in the 2014 draft (1 and 2 overall).

    We get that playing Cassel now doesn’t do much for our long-term goal of developing into a better team, but the Vikings coaching staff has to now clearly understand that they have now seen the potential of Ponder and can start looking at other options at the position.

  44. bobnelsonjr says: Dec 2, 2013 11:39 PM

    If you like football follies then you like laughing at the vikings, a team that has won only 22 games in the last 4 years. The stumblebums provide comedy and a lot of embarrassment to the NFL.

    The three ring circus at QB is just another example. Does it really matter to anyone who plays QB for the vikings?

    Five and a half wins a season for the last 4 years and delusional psychos think the team has talent??!! No wonder everyone laughs at those weirdos. The vikings haven’t won two playoff games in the same season for over a quarter century.

  45. artworkworld says: Dec 3, 2013 12:46 AM

    Cassell may not be very good, but just about every game that the Vikings win, he was the quarterback playing for Minnesota at the end of the game. If they want to win, they should play him.

  46. cptkickurass says: Dec 3, 2013 10:30 AM

    Would the Wilfs hurry up and fire Frazier already….enough is enough

  47. purpleforroyaltygreenandgoldforbugars says: Dec 3, 2013 10:43 AM

    Oh my… when will packer fans come up with anything besides “stop wasting Ad’s career” and “you have no superbowls and we have 13 “championships”?”.. Ok, we got it, you have those two lines memorized, congrats!

    On another note, if they fire Frazier without Spielman they are bananas. It’s spielman who purchased the bed, sheets, and pillows before asking frazier to make it each week.

    Lastly, Erin Henderson better never see the field as a starter ever again. Yeah we are brutal in the def backfield outside of Harrison and Xavier, but our linebacking is atrocious!

  48. filthymcnasty1 says: Dec 3, 2013 11:08 AM

    The Vikings have never won a Superbowl.

  49. sevensixtwonato says: Dec 3, 2013 12:09 PM

    Yes they have, they have won 13…in a row. (see I can troll too)

  50. burntmule says: Dec 3, 2013 12:50 PM

    LOL at the fool who thinks the Vikings have the best WR’s in the NFC North.

  51. filthymcnasty1 says: Dec 3, 2013 12:56 PM

    So the Vikings have as many pretend World Championships as the Packers have actual World Championships?

    Congratulations on your imaginary success!!!!

  52. msmith954 says: Dec 3, 2013 1:16 PM

    Put Ponder on IR with a permanent concussion. It does explain his horrible lack of vision and inability to pull the trigger in time.

  53. msmith954 says: Dec 3, 2013 1:19 PM

    The Vikings won the NFL Championship in 1969. If Packer fans count their pre-merger championships, Vikings fans can count their pre-merger championship, too.

  54. ejmat2 says: Dec 3, 2013 1:35 PM

    filthymcnasty1 says:
    Dec 2, 2013 3:27 PM
    Like the Christmas shopping season, it seems like the Vikings are mathematically eliminated earlier and earlier every year.
    —————————————–
    Really??? Every year???? That’s pretty funny since they’ve made the playoffs a heck of a lot more than the Packers have in their history. I guess the same can be said about the Pack now can’t it?

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