Vikings GM Spielman: “Ponder is our guy”

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Christian Ponder could do no wrong as the Vikings got off to a 4-1 start. But even though he proceeded to look exceedingly human, the Vikings still think he’s the right guy.

General manager Rick Spielman just finished a talk with Vikings beat writers, and made it clear where the organization stood on their second-year quarterback.

“I know everybody in this organization believes Christian Ponder is our guy,” Spielman said, via Tom Pelissero of “And I have full, 100 percent belief that Christian Ponder’s going to be our quarterback heading into the future.”

Beating the Lions last week to go into a bye week 6-4 has quieted some of the criticism, but there’s been reasonable doubt about Ponder after a tough stretch of games that made the Vikings look like they could only do one thing well — run.

“Those are things that you look at when you’re developing a young quarterback, is OK, he had a hiccup for a couple weeks — how does he respond?” Spielman said. “Well, he came out of that and responded pretty well last week. I think he ended up with a 114 quarterback rating and was very productive and probably would have been more productive, but we had a few dropped balls here and there, too.

“So, those are the signs that you’re looking at, not only from his physical ability, but how he handles the pressure at that position from the mental standpoint, too.”

Speilman said he’s been encouraged by Ponder’s approach, even the way he joked about his sideline-reporter girlfriend, which became a topic during his slump.

“You have to have stuff roll off your back at that position, just like a head coach or general manager,” Spielman said. “You know there’s going to be — the praises come with that position, but the heavy criticisms come with that position, too. But you have to have the mental makeup to be able to handle all of that.”

Either way, Spielman said he was still well short of the time he needed to make a final determination on Ponder.

“I always have followed the three-year rule,” Spielman said. “The quarterback position — you’ve got to remember, our guy’s only in his second year. You look at the history of development of quarterbacks and I’ve talked to you guys a lot about that and where they come.

“I know they’re getting measured regardless if they’re a rookie or second-year [player]. They’re going to get evaluated from the outside and from the media on their performance that week. But you have to be, from an internal standpoint, looking at the whole picture and looking at a length of time.”

That’s good news for Ponder, especially if they use the time between his second and third year to add some weapons to the outside, which will allow him to look like more than a guy who hands off to Adrian Peterson.

30 responses to “Vikings GM Spielman: “Ponder is our guy”

  1. I don’t know if Ponder is going to be a long-term solution at QB, but it is no surprise for Spielman to say currently he’s the guy. After all, he was Spielman’s guy. What else is he going to say?

  2. I like Ponder and think he can have a decent career under the right circumstances.

    Unfortunately Joe Webb’s talents are being wasted while they decide if Ponder is the future.

    With the right coaching and gameplan Webb could be the future for some team.

  3. pencilmonkeymagic says:
    Nov 14, 2012 12:46 PM
    “Sanchez is our guy” “Ponder is our guy”

    “Look! Captain! Iceberg, dead ahead!!”

    “Sanchez is our guy” “Ponder is our guy


    Apples/oranges man. Sanchez’ rookie year was 2009, that’s almost 4 seasons of evaluation for the guy. Ponder hasn’t even had a full season of games yet to evaluate on.

  4. A few dropped balls??

    This is a lie. I watched the games. There were no drops. This is a flat out lie.

    I love the Vikings, Ponder is horrible. Every time he rolls out of the pocket I close my eyes.

  5. with all due respect, i would like to see what ponder could do with another quality receiver or 2 besides Harvin, maybe even a rb with better hands out of the backfield….gerhardt does a decent job but who is willing to take #28 off the field. simpson & jenkins r 3rd spot at best. this team has lacked a good set of quality wr’s for a long time. even with favre we only had 2 with rice & harvin

  6. While Ponder has looked terrible at times, the Vikings receiving corps is pretty weak. After Harvin, there are not too many options. A few more receivers who can actually catch the ball would open up the offense and, I think, make Ponder look a lot more solid.

  7. and all the other NFCN teams fans are happy to hear Ponder is the man. What’s Spielman going to say when the Vikes lose their next 6 games?

  8. I guess Trent Dilfer was the right guy with the right team. Better have a top line defense with Ponder and hope AP’s heath holds up.

  9. Enough with the Joe Webb talk. He is athletic, that’s it. When it comes to passing and reading the defense he is junk. I have never understood why people are still so high on him.

  10. What’s he going to tell you the truth? That ponder is slightly below average? You won’t get the truth until viks finish up at 6-10. You’ll also get the truth from harvin at that time.

  11. there is no way the vikes will win a title with Ponder at QB. He is a squirrel in the pocket.

  12. To my untrained eyes, Bethel-Thompson looks like more of a future franchise QB than Ponder. Give him the three years instead. He looks like a young Favre.

  13. What’s he supposed to say, deep down I think Ponder sucks? While most Viking fans are skeptical, you got to at least give him some time. He hasn’t even played one full season’s worth of games yet.

  14. Ponder is a tremendously smart guy which is why it frustrated the heck out of me when he threw back to back interceptions by throwing across his body while running. When he is flustered he makes dumb mistakes but when he is comfortable he looks to be every bit of a confident QB. I like him but I do have some reservations. Still, this will be his first full season behind center so I still feel he has a lot to learn and be the guy we all hope he can be.

  15. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Nov 14, 2012 1:33 PM

    What’s he going to tell you the truth? That ponder is slightly below average? You won’t get the truth until viks finish up at 6-10. You’ll also get the truth from harvin at that time.

    Whoa… Did you all catch that? Carl called Ponder only SLIGHTLY below average. Sounds like a politician trying to hedge away from a previous stance when it becomes obvious he was wrong.

    You know, like how now it is 6-10 instead of 2-14…..

  16. Look people as i’ve been saying forever about Ponder… He DOES NOT have to be Rodgers, Manning(s), Bree’s, Brady and the like. As long as they have a fairly healthy AP all he needs to do is get 200-250 yards and at least 1-2 TDs a game. He doesn’t need to get 350 and 3-4 TDs to win on this team.

    This defense is good enough to give up less than 24 points per game. Sure, against some of the better offenses they may give up more and against those teams he will probably HAVE to have multiple TD’s in those games. But, for 10 out of 16 games if he gets 200-250 yards and at least 1-2 TDs this team will win 75%+ of those games.

    Last week is a PERFECT example, what was his line 224 yds and 2 td’s and we win. Even if he gets 1 td we still win. The formula is pretty simple for this team to win. Get AP 120+yds and 1-2 td’s, Ponder get 200-250 1-2 TDs, play middle of the road defense and you will win games. Getting scoring out of Special Teams is just a bonus.

    If AP gets 120+ yds and Ponder gets 200-250 yds you can probably count on 2 or 3 FG’s in those games as well. A couple of TD’s out of the 2 of them gets you near that 24 points that the defense should give up less than in most games.

    The REAL question I have is can Ponder even be that guy… I don’t really think so. So far this year he has played ok in the first 5 games and pretty terrible in the last 5 games. Yes, inconsistency comes with young QB’s, BUT how many times does a young QB throw for less than 70 yards in ONE game much less multiple games. His bad games CANNOT be that bad, sure I can see 150 yds, but anything under 100 is remotely acceptable when AP is running around getting 150+ yds. They say he’s their guy so I guess we’ll all see if he can be a Hassleback or Alex Smith, is that good enough to win a Super Bowl, maybe if they can consistently run AP in the playoffs.

  17. ctattles says:Nov 14, 2012 1:09 PM

    A few dropped balls??

    This is a lie. I watched the games. There were no drops. This is a flat out lie.

    I love the Vikings, Ponder is horrible. Every time he rolls out of the pocket I close my eyes.

    Maybe if you opened your eyes you would see the dropped passes. Stephen Burton dropped an easy one right in his hands on about the 3-yard line.

  18. Three years sounds like the appropriate amount of time to evaluate a quarterback. If you’re a fan, however, you only need to see three passes before you’re ready to anoint the guy as a Hall of Famer or scream for the backup. Joe Webb is a poor man’s Tim Tebow.

  19. ctattles says:Nov 14, 2012 1:09 PM

    A few dropped balls??

    This is a lie. I watched the games. There were no drops. This is a flat out lie.

    I love the Vikings, Ponder is horrible. Every time he rolls out of the pocket I close my eyes.


    You might want to review the tape like Spielman did, because I clearly remember off the top of my head Stephen Burton dropping a pass that hit him in the chest and Adrian Peterson dropping a screen albeit hurried.

    You are clearly mistaken.

  20. He’s had just over a season of starts and one training camp. Somehow the Vikes are doing much better than expected this year. It comes down to Ponder being better than expected, AD recovering faster than expected, and the O-line improving a lot with the addition of Kahlil. Still need to get Ponder another decent receiver or two to go with Harvin and Rudolf. Then judge him.

  21. Hate to say it but they should trade Peterson after the season for a huge bounty of picks (Herschel Walker style). He’s got a few good years to chase a ring and I would like to see him get his chance (like Kevin Garnett did) while we can load up and build quicker for a championship. I don’t expect they’ll spend much until the year before the new stadium so pointless to waste what’s left of AP’s prime.

  22. I hope the Vikings double their 3 year rule and see how Ponder fares over a 6 year period. He is simply not a good QB, never was, never will be. The longer they keep him in there, the longer it will take to find their real QB and that is good news for the other 31 teams.

    Meanwhile the Vikings trophy case still sits empty.

  23. Everybody wants to bash Ponder! But look at how long other qb’s took to be a franchise qb! Ponder is still trying to fiqure things out! Give him a third year & a number one wide reciver I’m sure he will be a very good if not great Qb! And as far as Webb being the answer at Qb, He is a talented athlete, But can’t read defences. He has a run first attitude!!

  24. After a awhile teams get enough video on young QBs to have them figured out. It is how they adjust to the way team are playing them that will determine if they are able to bounce back. It is way too early to close the book on Ponder. Give the guy a chance to find his way.

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