Christian Ponder: Excited to have McNabb, but I’m fighting to start

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The Vikings appear to be close to a trade to acquire Donovan McNabb from the Redskins, likely as a starter for a brief time while rookie Christian Ponder learns the ropes. Ponder says he wants to make that time very brief — or nonexistent.

In a message on Twitter Wednesday morning, Ponder said he wants to be McNabb’s teammate and thinks he can benefit from the veteran’s presence. And then he added that he wants to prove he’s better than McNabb in training camp.

“Excited to have McNabb join. Will learn a lot from a Pro Bowler. But that doesn’t mean I’m not still fighting to start week 1!” Ponder wrote.

Ponder’s attitude is exactly the right one, but it also points to why there may be some reluctance on McNabb’s part to agree to a pay cut to get the trade done: He knows he’ll only last as the Vikings’ starter until Ponder is ready to go.

But the Vikings are probably going to give McNabb a better chance to start than any other team will. Taking the deal and trying to hold off Ponder for as long as possible may be McNabb’s best bet.

50 responses to “Christian Ponder: Excited to have McNabb, but I’m fighting to start

  1. Well, at least Ponder will get to run the two-minute drill for the vikes; since mcnabb is apparently unable to keep up with the rest of his team during those…

  2. Dude- John Beck (!) is starting over Mcnabb. I doubt you’ll have a lot of trouble getting in the lineup.

    As long as you can throw at receivers hands rather than feet, you’re in.

  3. After Suh gets a hold of McNabb, Ponder will be there for Suh to hunt down in the second game. Why any qb would want to face the Lions revamped D-line twice a year is beyond me

  4. Now that his beloved Vikes have “gone a different direction” Favre will be looking to make a deal in Chicago or Detroit!

  5. What? The deal is already done? Says who? This is a BAD move for the Vikings if this deal goes through.

    Not sure why the Vikings would want to do this. McNabb complained his way out of Philly, and loafed his way out of Washington. Now he’s going to bring his bad attitude to MN? Not exactly what Leslie Frazier needs.

    The Vikings need to quit worrying about acquiring another washed up veteran QB, and start rebuilding their OL. Otherwise, the only QB they have who’ll survive the season is Joe Webb, who’ll spend most of his time running for his life.

  6. Not sure what I would do if I were the Vikings. I can see why they would like Ponder to sit behind a veteran and learn, sort of like Rodgers behind Favre, but in this case I don’t believe the Vikes will be good for the next few years, so why not just throw him in there and get his feet wet? McNabb is not what he was, and isn’t going to react well knowing that Ponder is sitting on the edge of his seat waiting to take his job.

  7. Ponder or McNabb? Either way it looks like a good move for the rest of the NFC North!

  8. McNabb will ressurect his career in Minnesota. Especially if Rice comes back healthy. They have an O-Line, Great RB, Good D…basically everything the Redskins lacked.

    Ponder will have to wait…

  9. I am not a McNabb fan, but their is no way in hell Ponder starts week 1. If I was McNabb, I refuse to renegotiate my contract, force them to cut me (which they would), and then sign with the Vikings.

  10. I hope McNabb decides to alter his thinking a little bit. If I were a waning starting QB who just can’t quite put it together, I’d be happy to stay in the league for another three or four years as a backup…

    With all the injuries that happen, there’d still be good possibility of playing time. I understand having the mindset and will to be a starter is to be commended, once you refuse to do anything else, you’re career is done.

  11. Mcnabb is thinking to himself “Back-up in Minny or Washington? Man, has my career went down the crapper”

  12. Ponder’s attitude is exactly the right one, but it also points to why there may be some reluctance on McNabb’s part to agree to a pay cut to get the trade done: He knows he’ll only last as the Vikings’ starter until Ponder is ready to go.

    Not saying it is, but if that’s McNabb’s attitude, it goes a long way to explaining his recent performance.

    For one thing, how do we know for sure that Ponder will ever be “ready to go”?

    For another, If McNabb goes in there and plays great, do you honestly think the Vikings couldn’t put Ponder on ice for a couple of years?

    It isn’t like Ponder went number 1 overall, for god’s sake. There are plenty of people who don’t think he was even worthy of being a first round pick.

    If anything, McNabb should see a situation where a team is putting all of it’s eggs in the basket of a very questionable draft pick as the ideal chance to grab a starting job and hold on to it for as long as two years.

    How different would history have been if Kurt Warner had said “I ain’t going to Arizona, they drafted Matt Leinart”?

  13. laughing at the Motor City Kitties fans all of a sudden flexing…

    nice little team Detroit…

    nice lil team…

  14. Trust me when I say Donovan McNabb is dying to show the world what an aberration last year was. He wants what we all want…….a chance to prove himself. Now he has a golden opportunity and I think he will surprise a lot a people and possibly do very well for the next two years.

  15. minivike77 says:
    @2011to2020lions – because they also get to go against the Lions secondary twice a year.

    That only matters if the QB is still standing. Which will be a big if.

  16. Poor kid. ESPN is already starting with the “this could have been done better” and a 6th round pick is an insult and McNabb deserves better.

    But this is what you get when you sign the NFL’s premiere drama queen and whiner.

    In a few weeks, Ponder will be cast as the villain upstart….the “weapons” will no longer be good enough…the coach and offensive line will be insufficient for what McNabb wants to do. The owner will somehow have slighted D-Mac.

    Teammates will be trashed by their QB, gameplans questioned.

    And all of it will be aired in public, because that’s who McNabb is. A drama queen, a whiner, an entitled complainer.

    And the first time he throws more than one TD in a game he’ll start leaking that his contract is insulting and below market value.

    At some point, a “financial apology” will be requested.

    Why? Because this is what happens EVERYWHERE he goes. Two for two.

    But he’s “classy”…

  17. its a move to retain key veterans, resign some of them and draw others to join.

    honestly though, it doesnt seem the organization has learned anything the last year.

    Mcnabb didnt exactly do to good with a new offensive scheme. is the new viking scheme closer to what Mcnabb is used to?

    would have much rather them go after Hasselbeck, wouldnt have had to trade for him. screw draft picks i guess, Vikes handing them out like paper flyers to whomever wants them, how about another 3rd pick? anyone?

  18. Lets look at this straight. McNabb has never played anything but a west coast offense, the exact thing the new OC for Minnesota does NOT do. The offensive line may be the most over-rated one in football. And anyone who thinks this will make Sidney Rice slap his forehead and say “What was I thinking? I have to go back to Minnesota,” is dreaming. Bad move all the way around.

  19. If they want Mcnabb for training camp they have to trade for him, the earliest the skins would drop him would be week 1 i believe, when his bonus is due. Mcnabb would be lucky to get someone to trade for him to get him out before then, or he may end up not playing at all this year

  20. I don’t see that McNabb is going to find a better situation. What team is going to want him as a starter? If he waits to be cut after training camp, he won’t be starting for anybody. At least he’ll get a chance to show what he can do, and he’ll be in there while he’s doing well. He isn’t going to sign a new contract without knowing what he’s getting into.

  21. Have to agree. The word “resurect” may be strong but if I were a Vikings fan I would be pretty darn happy.

    drop703 says:
    Jul 27, 2011 9:29 AM
    McNabb will ressurect his career in Minnesota. Especially if Rice comes back healthy. They have an O-Line, Great RB, Good D…basically everything the Redskins lacked.

    Ponder will have to wait…

  22. I think Ponder is going to be awesome. He looks like he has all the physical tools and other qualities to be a successful QB, but I don’t want him thrown to the wolves in Week 1. Frazier is smart to bring him along slowly, let him learn for a while on the bench and get in the game during mopup time. When he’s ready, he’ll start, and he won’t look back.

  23. As long as he’s winning games, McNabb will retain the starting job. But if the Vikings prove to be a mediocre team under his leadership, the door will open for Ponder sooner, rather than later.

  24. If true, throw in the towel on this season for the Vikes.

    I’d rather go into the season with Ponder, Webb and a corpse rather than McNabb.

    Bring back Favre, at least he’s able to throw the ball straight and doesn’t weigh 345 lbs.

  25. hawkrew says:
    Jul 27, 2011 9:25 AM
    What happened to McNabb? Just age?
    IMO he was never that good to begin with. Reid made him because he knew how to work around McNabb’s weaknesses.

    It’s funny how many people credit McNabb because of his low INT rate. As soon as I hear people drooling over that I know how little they watch him play. The real reason it’s low is that unlike most QBs he doesn’t throw too high that often which gives defenders chances at INTS. He throws too LOW…which doesn’t.

    And this morning Shcefter reports that the holdup in the McNabb to Minn deal is not the money or compensation to Wash. He thinks it’s because last night there was stuff floating around about other QBs like Thigpen who Minn was also interested in and it made McNabb feel unwanted. That makes sense to me because he’s all about being overly sensitive.

  26. What about the “best player plays” mentality? Regardless of who the QB is, the vikings should start whoever gives them the best chance to win each week. I don’t understand this infatuation fans have with starting inferior first round quarterbacks when superior veterans are on the roster.

    Why are we assuming that McNabb will only be a stop-gap QB? If he plays well, the vikings would be well served to keep playing him. God forbid an early round QB doesn’t start for a few years or gets traded to another team. Best player plays.

  27. Why are they going after McNabb? In all honesty I would go after Orton! The only thing McDaniels got right in Denver was bringing him in. He is a decent QB and Ponder could learn a lot about game management from him. Orton is still young able to play and he would transition into a great backup once Ponder takes the helm. McNabb won’t even be a good backup after this season. However the Redskins fiasco might not be McNabbs fault. Plummer said that Shannahan is so annoying that it made him retire because he took every bit of joy out of playing the game. “Shanny” is known for being a control freak and apparently his son isn’t much better.

  28. Just what do Lions fans think everyone should be afraid of? I don’t get this….

    Suh? Yeah, if he manages to put up 12 sacks this year, he’ll match what Kevin Williams did his first two years. Good for him.

    Fairley? Because one-year wonders always are great pros…. Alan Branch, Glenn Dorsey, Amobi Okoye, Sedrick Ellis, Justin Harrell…. We’ll just pencil Fairley in for a Pro Bowl nod right now. Right…..

    Vanden Bosch? 3 years older and only half a sack more over the last 3 years than Allen’s “off”2010, and Allen is old and washed up, so I guess that Vanden Bosch is….what, exactly?

    So that leaves Lawrence Jackson. Congratulations, you have your own Ray Edwards.

    And behind them, you have, at best, 3 LBs who deserve to be on the field at all, and only one who is starter-caliber, and a secondary that hasn’t improved much since Millen got the boot.

    Look, I get it, for the first time since Herman Moore was playing the Lions look like they are going to be contenders. Good for them, I’m glad to see it. But get a grip and return to reality.

  29. Ponder,

    Just keep your head down and learn the playbook. Even if you don’t win the QB job by the start of the season, you will be handed it when the inevitable benching happens in week 5.

  30. Ponder is going to have a lot of new distractions in LA (where the Vikings will be moving), so maybe having a respected veteran to mentor him will be a positive.

  31. drop703 says:
    Jul 27, 2011 9:29 AM
    McNabb will ressurect his career in Minnesota. Especially if Rice comes back healthy. They have an O-Line, Great RB, Good D…basically everything the Redskins lacked.

    Ponder will have to wait…


    Umm…they have 5 guys that play in an offensive line formation. Their O-Line was bottom 5 in the NFL last year and they haven’t done anything to improve.

    Rice may come back, or he may be with Seattle. Good D? I’d say an average D.

    Only thing that you said that was legit was they have a Great RB.

  32. I’ll finish-up with what brewdogg wanted to add….

    Not only will this fairly impressive defense be gassed, as seen in the past, because the offense can’t sustain a drive, Stafford will once again be lucky to get in 9 games this season, and may very well succumb to his own defense in camp. This guy gets hurt getting out bed. You can have all the D you want, but it’s pretty clear to almost everyone that your QB is the leader of your team and if he’s on his a$$, you’re not going anywhere.

    Worry about getting out of the basement….and by that, I mean the NFC North’s….not your parent’s.

  33. McNabb has no fire in the belly. He doesn’t have a competitive nature. His body language and attitude show that on and off the field.

    Can he get it back? Hard to say. But I’d think Orton would be a better choice in MN. Better game manager.

  34. McNabb signs a one year deal with the Vikings. Gets the start. Plays well with talent all around him. Then next year he can get a nice healthy contract to start for a team and finish out his career.

    That is the best possible scenario McNabb can hope for if his goal is to start NFL games and make as much money as possible. No NFL team is looking at McNabb right now as “the guy”, Vikings included. But the Vikings are one of the few teams with talented offensive players that would give him the start.

  35. sterling7 says:Jul 27, 2011 9:48 AM

    Trust me when I say Donovan McNabb is dying to show the world what an aberration last year was. He wants what we all want…….a chance to prove himself. Now he has a golden opportunity and I think he will surprise a lot a people and possibly do very well for the next two years.

    Or not…..and some words why.

    1) McNabb is about as mobile as his former coach, Andy Reid. The NFC North defenses are ALL big, fast, ruthless, and nasty.

    2) McNabb has played with some very good O-lines in front of him over the years…not so this coming year, and he will be running for his life.

    3) The “stop-gap” QB has gone into how many situations similar to this and succeeded? Very few. One being Mr. Crank Wanker himself in the same town a few years ago already. I don’t see lightning striking twice in the Twin Cities.

    Ponder is starting by Week 10. McNabb goes on the DL after Week 8 or during the bye in week 9….at the very latest, after seeing Green Bay twice in 3 games between October and November. Aromashodu may be starting at QB by season’s end.

    Vikings will be lucky to be 3-9 after the first 12 games, looking at the schedule that I see.

  36. First up, I saw that benching thing as proof of Shanahan’s crack habit. And the excuse was pitiful.

    That being said, I think it’s smart to get Mcnabb. He’s a veteran that may have some left in the tank. If he does, keep winning with him. If not, go with your future and let McNabb get on with his sportscasting career.

  37. The offensive talent in MN is much better than the Skins had last season. Not saying McNabb would set the world on fire but he could at least put up some good numbers and put the abortion that was last year far behind him.

  38. Bring in 10 QB’s from College and you are lucky if 3 become good enough to start in the NFL. With the Vikings being one of the only Teams in the NFL that thought Ponder was valuable enough to take where they did in the Draft, should McNabb decide to go there he will run the show. Ponder?, you are joking right, Pigpen? give me a brake.

  39. McNabb cried in Philly after being booed on draft day, now he will cry because a rookie wants to start week 1. I feel bad for Minnesota. The writing is on the wall with this guy. I can tell you that they are doing cartwheels in Washington.

  40. ****I wonder if the trade for McNabb will cause the Vikings to fly up the MGM Resports List???

    You never know????

    The oddmakers at MGM Resorts International released their NFL win totals for 2011, and they set the Packers and New England Patriots at the highest mark with 11½ games.

    Win totals predictions allow bettors to choose whether a team will finish with more or fewer victories than the total projected by oddmakers.

    Here are the win totals predictions for all NFL teams in 2011, from highest to lowest projections:

    Team Wins
    Green Bay 11½
    New England 11½
    Baltimore 11
    Pittsburgh 11
    Atlanta 10½
    Baltimore 10
    New Orleans 10
    San Diego 10
    Philadelphia 10
    N.Y. Jets 10
    Chicago 9½
    N.Y. Giants 9½
    Dallas 9
    Tampa Bay 8½
    Houston 8
    San Francisco 8
    Miami 8
    Kansas City 8
    Cincinnati 7½
    Detroit 7½
    St. Louis 7
    Oakland 7
    Seattle 7
    Cleveland 6½
    Tennessee 6½
    Washington 6½
    Minnesota 6½
    Arizona 6
    Jacksonville 6
    Denver 6
    Buffalo 5
    Carolina 4½

  41. favreblows, why is Balt on there twice?? I assume one is supposed to be Indy. Probably the 11.

  42. @ favreblows

    So who wins the NFC East?


    On a much more sarcastic tone, “Ya right kid you’re going to battle a pro bowl, border line hall of famer, with years of experience”. I’ll believe that sh#$ when I see it. If this was a written test I’d give it to the kid with his 3-4 degrees according to wiki, but this is football & Ponder already has one strike against him with his knee. If McNabb wins 7-8 games next year in that division it only proves Shanny sucks and lost his touch years ago “according to Jake Plummer”. Just give Ponder a chance and he’ll prove to be just as good as the great Joey Harrington or Brady Quinn looks the part just can’t play it.

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