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Christian Ponder: If I played better, I wouldn’t be in this situation

Philadelphia Eagles v Minnesota Vikings Getty Images

No one can accuse Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder of being delusional.

While the Vikings have been pushing the notion of a competition for the starting job that includes Ponder alongside Matt Cassel and first-round pick Teddy Bridgewater, Ponder has been taking fewer reps than the other two this spring. He can see that the “agenda” is to groom Cassel as the starter in the short term and that Bridgewater is the future of the position, a state of affairs he says he understands based on what happened when Ponder was previously in the starting lineup.

“I’ll get opportunities through training camp and preseason to try to earn a spot,” Ponder said, via Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press. “It’s not awkward — I understand what’s going on. I had some opportunities that I didn’t take full advantage of. If I would have played better, I wouldn’t be in the situation here right now. We’ll see how it plays out — football’s a crazy game.”

There’s no impetus to release him and trading him is probably a long shot, which means that Ponder should have plenty of time to mull those missed opportunities from the bench. It is a crazy game and crazy things can happen, but Ponder’s return to the lineup in Minnesota would be a sign that things are moving in the wrong direction for the Vikings.

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69 Responses to “Christian Ponder: If I played better, I wouldn’t be in this situation”
  1. explosionsauce says: Jun 15, 2014 11:01 AM

    Gabbert was traded, I’m sure someone can give up a conditional 7th or 6th.

  2. GenXJay says: Jun 15, 2014 11:05 AM

    Flynn & Ponder are synonymous rotten dirty scoundrels.

  3. 1973to1991packerssuckedbigtime says: Jun 15, 2014 11:10 AM

    At least he isn’t blaming anyone but himself. He has moments. Mostly bad but a few good ones sprinkled in. Like his best game ever in 2012 beating Green Bay to keep them from a first round bye.

  4. thereisfootballwestofjersey says: Jun 15, 2014 11:10 AM

    HOW REFRESHING! A modern-era NFL player taking ownership of his shortcoming’s and not pointing the finger at someone else! Or suing the league!

    It’s nice to see some humility Mr Ponder!

  5. 6ball says: Jun 15, 2014 11:12 AM

    .

    Ponder and Blaine Gabbert were in similar situations. The Jags were able to easily move on (getting SF’s 6th rounder) because Gabbert was drafted by the previous regime.

    For Spielman, who drafted Ponder in the first round, a similar trade would be more problematic.

    .

  6. jghs38 says: Jun 15, 2014 11:13 AM

    Well duh

  7. 700levelvet says: Jun 15, 2014 11:21 AM

    It’s funny how everyone on the planet knew he wasn’t a 1st round pick… Except the Vikings

  8. gforce4all says: Jun 15, 2014 11:27 AM

    We packer fans would love to see ponder start.

  9. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Jun 15, 2014 11:33 AM

    Matt Cassel is being “groomed” as the starter? It’s his 6th, if he was any good, he’d already be a starter. #3-13vikes

  10. cluelessdufus says: Jun 15, 2014 11:40 AM

    Ponder isn’t bad, he is just extremely average. You can’t expect him to take over a game or really keep a drive alive. Still deserves a second chance somewhere. Hopefully Bridgewater can save us.

  11. kmgpop says: Jun 15, 2014 11:41 AM

    At least he isn’t pulling coaches or teammates under the bus. This is a guy who could possibly turn it around with a change of scenery and proper coaching. I hope he gets the opportunity to turn it around.

  12. cluelessdufus says: Jun 15, 2014 11:42 AM

    Ponder isn’t bad, he is just extremely average. You can’t expect him to take over a game or really keep a drive alive. Still deserves a second chance somewhere. Hopefully Bridgewater can save us from being the laughing stock of the league.

  13. wayneflores says: Jun 15, 2014 11:48 AM

    Bring back Favre…at his age, he’s still better than any of them. The Vikings are a mess.

  14. luz56 says: Jun 15, 2014 11:49 AM

    Taking responsibility isn’t something most people do in society today… My like level went up with Ponder… Not sure about skills though. Could be a decent back up

  15. bostonfrogs says: Jun 15, 2014 11:55 AM

    Ponder has a good head on his shoulders–he’s just not a very good QB. But be could develop into a Trent Dilfer type passer if the Vikings could give him a little help, and they’d certainly be better off sticking with Ponder and helping him develop than casting their lot with Matt Cassel (seriously, Matt Cassel?? What, was Gus Frerotte *not* available?)

  16. seatownballers says: Jun 15, 2014 12:00 PM

    Bridgewater will go 6-10

  17. whatjusthapped says: Jun 15, 2014 12:12 PM

    Today’s NFL demands a franchise Qb, preferably with a cannon of an arm, ability to read defenses on the fly, immediately find the 2nd or 3rd option and if all else fails, tuck the ball and run.

    Unfortunately, Ponder only meets the last criteria. Fortunately for the rest of the NFL, the Vikings reached for him at #12 overall when he probably would have still been available in the 3rd round or maybe 4th round. Just think had the Vikings done the logical thing and pick up a defensive stud (Quinn, Farley and Kerrigan were still all available) with that pick and saved picking Ponder until later. Or Kaepernick or Dalton, both 2nd rounders.

    Could someone remind me how Spielman got his “Genius” label?

  18. leagueobservr says: Jun 15, 2014 12:14 PM

    “Christian Ponder: If I played better, I wouldn’t be in this situation”

    Thank you Capt. Obvious! :-D

  19. spfripp says: Jun 15, 2014 12:20 PM

    Can’t help but respect a guy who puts the blame square on his shoulders.

  20. jimmysee says: Jun 15, 2014 12:22 PM

    Something further for Christian to Ponder.

  21. kaeptaincrunch says: Jun 15, 2014 12:28 PM

    Thank you, Captain Obvious!

  22. onbucky96 says: Jun 15, 2014 12:35 PM

    1st Rd pick and he married Sam Steele. Ponder has already won. Only a matter of time before he shows up on a certain network college football pregame show.

  23. fartweasel says: Jun 15, 2014 12:37 PM

    At least he’s honest. Ponder shows signs of being a serviceable QB, then just as quickly shows that he is terrible. He seems like a smart guy, until he gets on the field where he keys on one receiver, doesn’t go thru progressions or throws late. He’s a perfect bench QB, probably a better coach than player.

  24. srock68 says: Jun 15, 2014 1:05 PM

    Spielman has the chance to draft Manziel, gets gunshy, drafts Bridgewater and a LB no one has heard of.

  25. jimthebuilder27 says: Jun 15, 2014 1:46 PM

    Ponder could be a decent QB, just had to high expectations thrown on him right away. He also didn’t have very good coaching (Bill Musgrave was a joke) Coaching makes a world of difference!

  26. purpleguy says: Jun 15, 2014 1:50 PM

    Good guy, just not a starting caliber NFL QB.

  27. packerbackernj says: Jun 15, 2014 2:00 PM

    Is and was terrible. Spielman should have been fired on the spot the moment he drafted him where he drafted him.

  28. tmilla19 says: Jun 15, 2014 2:08 PM

    They are going to regret passing on Johnny Football

  29. vegaskid21 says: Jun 15, 2014 2:11 PM

    Great! You’ve pinpointed the problem. The next step is to eliminate it.

  30. thenewguy12 says: Jun 15, 2014 2:17 PM

    Wow, I never knew that Christian Ponder also moonlighted as that fabled superhero Captain Obvious.

  31. fordmandalay says: Jun 15, 2014 2:25 PM

    Now THERE’S a college graduate! 1+1=2.

  32. thelastwordyaheard says: Jun 15, 2014 2:45 PM

    drafting future busts like Bridgewater will never get you off the schnide.. Ponder that

  33. f1restarter says: Jun 15, 2014 2:57 PM

    Ponder sucks, but in the end his career will be much better than Teddy Bridgewater’s.

  34. oldcracker says: Jun 15, 2014 3:08 PM

    Maybe if the Vikings had given you better players to work with you could’ve played better.

    Teddy Bridgewater?…..bwahahahahahahah!

  35. guruvious says: Jun 15, 2014 3:08 PM

    Invest wisely for this is your last year.

  36. nicofthenorthstar says: Jun 15, 2014 3:09 PM

    And thus ponder sets himself apart as possessing greater honesty and integrity than at least 75% of people associated with the NFL. Too bad he’s just not good enough at football.

  37. deafcone says: Jun 15, 2014 3:20 PM

    The rest oft he NFL likes Ponder as the vikings starter.

  38. tokyofilthblaster says: Jun 15, 2014 3:29 PM

    Viking fans really don’t understand QB play at all.

  39. cannonballdookie says: Jun 15, 2014 3:37 PM

    I hope he doesn’t go by the way of Vince and Leinart and disappear from the league. He shouldn’t be starting anywhere but he can carve out a niche for himself as a quality backup. He’s always had a good attitude and is a hard worker, and he’s shown success in small stretches so hopefully he’ll stay around somewhere.

  40. Paul M. says: Jun 15, 2014 3:52 PM

    These Ponder fan boys are something else. He has one good game in three years and they say he’s not a bad quarterback.

    Zimmer is a fool to keep the player who got the last coach fired.

  41. iamdinguskhan says: Jun 15, 2014 4:04 PM

    Wow this guy is a rocket scientist. Is he just realizing you have to play good to keep your starting job?

  42. bordner says: Jun 15, 2014 4:10 PM

    “No one can accuse Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder of being delusional”.

    Too bad the same can’t be said for viking fans.

  43. kferguson2002 says: Jun 15, 2014 4:21 PM

    SKOLOL

  44. bobnelsonjr says: Jun 15, 2014 4:42 PM

    I agree with vikings fans who have said over the past few years that Ponder needs better coaching and some experience.

    A college QB has to be made NFL ready. You don’t just throw him in to sink or swim without coaching.

    Ponder should show great improvement this season as the starter due to better coaching.

    The vikings are just shooting themselves if they start Cassel. Cassel may be good enough to start for the vikings but he was not good enough to start at USC.

    Give Ponder the opportunity to start at QB because he has earned it.

  45. Satanic Hell Creature says: Jun 15, 2014 4:43 PM

    Zimmer is a fool to keep the player who got the last coach fired.

    –Ponder’s contract is fully guaranteed this season. If he’s the #3 QB, or cut and gone, they still have to pay him his $3M this year. He’s probably a better option than anybody else that would be sitting at the #3 QB spot.

    The last coach got fired because he had no clue of how to run a team and keep them organized in any sense of the word, not just the bad QB play of Ponder.

  46. slick50ks says: Jun 15, 2014 4:44 PM

    Keeping the same terrible GM and expecting different results = dumb.

  47. tokyosandblaster says: Jun 15, 2014 4:49 PM

    No, you were picked too early by a GM who has no idea how to get an idea about talent.

    Look at who he has picked. Not one of them would start for the Packers, Bears, or Lions.

    >

  48. evansvc says: Jun 15, 2014 4:59 PM

    What would it hurt to take a look at Vince Young….. Don’t let this guy retire without bringing him in for a tryout….
    (NFL Rookie of the Year, 2 Pro Bowls, Playoff experience and Mobility). Vince has a career winning record of 31-19…
    He can help this team…even if it’s only to upgrade the team’s quarterback pool…

  49. minnesotablizzard says: Jun 15, 2014 5:04 PM

    My favorite Ponder moments were last offseason when the delusional homer Viking fans were trying to convince the realistic side of the fan base that Ponder was going to improve and be the answer. It was like they had never wintnessed his (lack of) arm strength, pocket presence, and on field leadership.

  50. minnesotablizzard says: Jun 15, 2014 5:06 PM

    Ponder is wide eyed out there and gun shy. From what I’ve seen in Teddy Bridgewater he seems to have a switch he can flip that Ponder didn’t possess and go into Marlo Stanfield mode.

  51. akboot says: Jun 15, 2014 6:05 PM

    A brilliant statement.

  52. masher1965 says: Jun 15, 2014 6:20 PM

    Nice to see Ponder isn’t blaming anyone for his situation, that’s called manning up . When you consider he had a terrible head coach ( who knew little offensively ) and a worse OC , that really shows character . It’s nice to see a grown up for a change

  53. omniscientmoi says: Jun 15, 2014 7:21 PM

    Of course, if the Packers were to sign Ponder, all their fans would be saying that Ponder’s a very good QB, Ted Thompson is a genius for signing Ponder and Ponder will turn into the next Rodgers as soon as he comes under the miracle-working tutelage of the Packers’ stellar coaches.

  54. stellarperformance says: Jun 15, 2014 8:33 PM

    Look at the size of his hand holding the ball? It’s huge! It goes halfway around the ball……similar to Rodgers. I think Minnesota is giving up on this guy too soon. They want to replace him with someone with hands so small he needs two fingers to pick his nose. Good luck with that.

  55. ssraebel says: Jun 15, 2014 9:15 PM

    Ponder has not been great but who is he throwing to? Traded away Harvin. But with AP and the D focused on the run he probably should be doing better. But he does seem like a QB that has some potential still. My Jags just got rid of Gabbert but in both of the guys defense look at the situations they have been in – neither franchise is what you would call a good situation to be in. Oh well it’s the way of the NFL.

  56. tokyofilthblaster says: Jun 15, 2014 9:57 PM

    Ponder would flourish in Green Bay because they know what to do with QB’s.

  57. crownofthehelmet says: Jun 15, 2014 10:38 PM

    It could be worse Viking fans. You could have your hopes resting squarely on an overrated diva’s shoulders, whose past success was aided by a peculiar friendship with a proven doper.

    So it could be worse, but honestly, only marginally worse.

  58. jedyknyt says: Jun 15, 2014 11:05 PM

    WOW, What a revelation!

  59. Aaron Rodgers Has Tiny Hands says: Jun 15, 2014 11:20 PM

    Spielman has made one bad first round pick and you’d think he was the worst GM in the history of the game. Meanwhile, Ted Thompson has one good first round pick in nine years and he’s a genius.

  60. Aaron Rodgers Has Tiny Hands says: Jun 15, 2014 11:21 PM

    Ponder would flourish in Green Bay because they know what to do with QB’s.
    ____

    Put them in yoga pants?

  61. Aaron Rodgers Has Tiny Hands says: Jun 15, 2014 11:23 PM

    Ponder would flourish in Green Bay because they know what to do with QB’s.
    ____

    Worship them for pulling their team out of the worst 25-year stretch in NFL history, then ride them out of town on a rail as soon as the replacement is ready?

  62. johnnytarr says: Jun 15, 2014 11:40 PM

    My guess is he ends up with Reid in KC next year. It worked out OK for Smith.

  63. lukekuechlyrocks59 says: Jun 16, 2014 3:42 AM

    Ponder has always been a stand-up guy. He’s never went the route of placing blame on someone else for his shortcomings. I’ve always admired him for that.

    While at Florida St., he wasn’t a bad QB at all. In fact, he amassed some pretty decent passing yardage and TD passes during his three full seasons there. Even though he wasn’t exactly throwing to household name WR’s, (I don’t think there are any of them in the pros) his college numbers would suggest that he was a QB well worth a look by the pros.

    For the first 3 years at Fla. St., Ponder was being coached by Bobby Bowden. Nuff said. The Head Coach during his senior year was Jimbo Fisher. Jimbo is ALSO a proven winner…a successful QB at Salem(Mass.) International University for 3 years, and a Division lll All-America QB at Samford University(Birmingham, Ala.) where he had transferred for his senior year.

    Since his graduation, Fisher has held jobs as quarterbacks coach/offensive coordinator at his alma mater, Auburn University, one season @ Cincinnati University, 6 years at LSU, and was also QB coach/OC at Florida State when he took over the Head Coaching job when Bobby Bowden retired in 2010.

    Being surrounded by skilled teammates and good/great coaches has been proven time and again to raise the performance level of another player. So, when we take a better look at the players/situations w/said players/coaches that Ponder had to deal with his first couple of years with the Vikings, it speaks volumes about his caliber of play, so far.

    Take into account who Ponder has around him now. The coaches are indeed a notch or two above what he had before, the key here being that his new offensive coordinator is considered a genius by most. This echoes positive sentiment from the players, instilling in them the meanings of hard work, dedication, perseverance, and teamwork needed to achieve their ultimate goal.

    IF Ponder recognizes these things happening around him, making changes for the better…who knows? He’s a good kid..honest…with himself AND others, doesn’t point fingers, and smart,(despite what some believe). Hell, if he could just get in some GOOD reps before training camp ends, he just MIGHT be a Viking for the 2014 season.

    I really want to see Ponder succeed…REALLY. If he’s to do that wearing the purple and gold, so be it. And since I am not a Ponder hater, that would make me all warm and fuzzy inside. SKOL VIKINGS!!

  64. golforepar says: Jun 16, 2014 7:16 AM

    With another wasted draft pick, the Vikings have perfected the art of knowing how to do the little things to stay in last place year in and year out!

  65. jollyjoker2 says: Jun 16, 2014 8:05 AM

    he shouldn’t have been given an opportunity. He stinks.

  66. weable65 says: Jun 16, 2014 8:36 AM

    Okay. I think that you all may be a little rough on Ponder. Let’s look at it. Yes he may have been drafted a little high but he is a smart guy. graduated with a double Master’s in 2-1/2 years. He was brought in during a shortened season with NO OTA’s during the strike. Was supposed to sit behind and learn from a veteran QB,(anyone remember The McNabb experience) who pooped the bed when he came into Minnesota so Ponder was thrown to the wolves. Ponder was continuously beat up and took many hits, due to an aging and injured offensive line, yet kept returning so that in itself proves that the guy has heart. Then he was also coached by a Defensive minded coach and a horrible QB coach. Had we kept Favre around another year or two, even as a qb coach, to mentor and teach Christian, he would be in better shape. Then for you idiots to say that our GM is terrible. Ummm, I believe that Ponder is THE ONLY “Bust” that this guy has drafted. I mean he has drafted Kyle Rudolph, who when healthy is one of the best Tight Ends in the league. He has also drafted Cordarrelle Patterson, Smith, Xavier Rhoades, and Floyd. Slamming the team andf its members is the one thing that I dislike about my beloved Vikings fans. Heck even if Peterson has a bad game, these “Fans” will want him traded.

  67. southpaw0609 says: Jun 16, 2014 10:31 AM

    Methinks this is the last year you will see Ponder in an NFL uniform of any stripe

    If Ted Bridgewater shows any sand at all at QB, its a done deal. The Great Christian Ponder Experiment at Minnesota will be over

  68. gbmickey says: Jun 16, 2014 10:51 AM

    “Worship them for pulling their team out of the worst 25-year stretch in NFL history, then ride them out of town on a rail as soon as the replacement is ready?”

    Maybe if Minnesota and the fans had a clue you would see the philosophy works quite well doesn’t it. Favre dominated the Vikings for years and Rodgers is doing the same while the Vikings wallow in futility. I sense a little jealousy.

  69. Satanic Hell Creature says: Jun 16, 2014 11:48 AM

    Maybe if Minnesota and the fans had a clue you would see the philosophy works quite well doesn’t it. Favre dominated the Vikings for years and Rodgers is doing the same while the Vikings wallow in futility. I sense a little jealousy.

    –I believe Favre’s record as a Packer vs the Vikings is 17-15. Hardly dominating, but a troll knows no truth.

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