Frazier on Ponder: He’s our starter

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Vikings coach Leslie Frazier made sure to leave no wiggle room when he answered a question Tuesday about quarterback Christian Ponder’s status heading into the 2013 season.

“He’s our starter,” Frazier said, via Tom Pelissero of

Ponder missed the team’s Wild Card round loss to the Packers because of an injured elbow and had some serious struggles moving the ball through the air for much of the season, but Frazier focused on other things while discussing Ponder’s 2013 season.

“We’re pleased with the progress he’s made,” Frazier said. “We saw glimpses of what he can bring to our football team and the way he led us down the stretch, you feel like you have a chance to win every game when your quarterback plays the way he played.”

When Ponder’s at his best, like in Week 17 against the Packers, that’s definitely true. Too often, though, the Vikings appeared to be trying to work around their quarterback and basing their chances to win on Adrian Peterson and the defense. Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave’s play calling and the receiving corps have also received criticism for the limited passing attack, leaving the Vikings with work to do to avoid putting themselves in the same position again next year.

Frazier was less firm about Joe Webb’s role. He said Webb was in a “tough situation” on Saturday, but said only that he’d compete for the backup job “barring something that we may end up doing at our personnel meetings.”

38 responses to “Frazier on Ponder: He’s our starter

  1. I’m pretty sure the Vikings could have fired him–and maybe had him committed–if he said anything else.

    The real question is whether the Vikings go after a developmental QB in the draft, or take a journeyman veteran as a backup.

  2. Ponder’s numbers started going down when Percy Harvin was out of the line-up, and even then, he managed to lead the Vikings into the playoffs when they were favored to lose each week.

    And he shouldn’t be faulted for having Peterson in the backfield either. Peterson had the hot hand down the stretch, and a good running game is a QBs best friend.

    I have faith in Ponder, going back to his days as a Nole. He’s mobile and accurate with the ball, and if he can get another wideout alongside Harvin (if he re-signs that it) to go with the chemistry he has with Rudolph, a healthy Peterson and that O-Line (very underrated BTW) they could challenge the Bears and Packers for the division next season.

  3. Joe Webb has started his last game ever as a QB in the NFL. I’d say use him as a WR but Vikings fans who have seen way more than him than me say he can’t catch. Thats too bad because he has great athletic ability maybe it just won’t translate into anything in the NFL.

  4. Great news for the entire NFC. Ponder is the forth best QB in the NFC North, and not even in top 25 in the entire league.

  5. Ponder has done well this season. He played great over his last four games (all of which were essentially playoff games). The regular season finale against the Packers is especially memorable. Yes, AP made fools of the Packers defense, but Ponder made at least two fantastically clutch throws, and threw for three TDs and no picks. He’s been up and down, but he’s made a lot of progress over the last few weeks.

    He also finished the season with a respectable 81.2 passer rating. It took Eli Manning four seasons to post a rating that good.

    I’ll admit, I was ready to give him the boot after he basically wasted a brilliant game by AP at Lambeau, but the past few games we’ve really seen that he can come through in big games.

  6. I think Matt Moore would be an ideal backup — he could push Ponder and could also come in and play well if Ponder gets hurt, but he wouldn’t have Ponder paranoid and looking over his shoulder all season long.

  7. Webb got a bum deal in that game. Very little prep time to face a peaking Green Bay squad at Lambeau under the playoff microscope with a depleted wide receiver corp that wasn’t even that good at full strength after throwing exactly 0 passes this season beforehand.

    I still think that he would be a top prospect for any team trying to run a Chip Kelly-esque spread offense.

  8. Packer Nation realizes that they’re one blown-out knee or broken collarbone from fielding Graham Harrell, right?

  9. Lets throw some facts out there. Ponder led the Vikings to a 4-1 start, and a 4-0 finish. So, I’d say those 9 games he did ok. He absolutely struggled and played like crap for several games in the middle. Hardly the “much of the season” that some would have you believe.

  10. Ya think it has anything to do with the stinker that Webb put up as well as the recent development of another “mobile QB” going down in the playoffs?

  11. Same formula; Same results…….At best they get into the playoffs as a wild card but likely not. Seems a bit early to make these types of decisions about next season.

  12. Maybe Ponder is the answer, maybe he isn’t; however, he was good enough to make the playoffs and beat every NFCN team once (or twice), as well as San Fran and Houston.

  13. Ponder didn’t lead anyone anywhere. When you have a running back consistently hitting 200 yards per game, your QB rating should go up. Yes, he hit 3-4 passes in the packer game.. or any other game. but even an average QB would be having a field day with Peterson in the backfield. play action should be available on almost every play. Face it Vikings… keeping Ponder pretty much means the Vikes are going to waste the time they have with peterson… much like they did with moss. But hey, i look forward to see what type of overpriced old vets they will bring in this year that are the missing piece to their team… seems to work for them year after year!!

  14. So..Webb can’t throw, he can’t catch…can he play running back? How about CB? It’s weird that a guy can be that athletic with no place on a team…

  15. Everyone is ripping Webb when they should be bashing the coaching staff that tried to use him like a traditional QB. He was pretty efective against Det and Philly when they let him do Joe Webb things.

  16. Ponder did not win a single game for the Vikings cept for the last one vs pack..though he was decent vs 49ers. every other win was in spite of him……u cannot tell me when 28 is averaging 200 yds rushing that passing for under 100 yds in 3 games is remotely acceptable. …and he single handedly cost the vikes the first game at lambeau, only had 2 completed deep balls to wright and not a single decent fade ball to any wr all season. no qb in this league should hang around if u cant throw more than 20 yards, & musgrave also should be questioned, not only did it take them 10 games into the season to learn to take the ball out of ponders hands & give to 28 more but left webb a sitting duck in the playoff game. musgrave has no clue how to prep a qb or put them in best spot for success.

  17. @vikefan –

    Ponder played a huge role in winning the Houston, St. Louis, San Francisco, Jacksonville, and Green Bay games. Sorry he had a few bad games. I think it looks like he came out of that slump pretty well and I’m anxious to see what he can do with an NFL-quality wide receiver on the roster. You’re probably one of those who has been calling for Webb to start the last three years.

  18. Tony Dungy feels Joe Webb would be a better starter for the Vikings.

    Best post in this thread! No one ever points out Dungy’s obvious bias towards black qb’s.

  19. Ponder This… Few ‘bad’ games… throwing for less yards than your RB for a few games is not bad… its utterly terrible. A bad game for most QB’s is 225 yds and a pick or 2. A bad game for Ponder is throwing for under 100 yds and a pick or 2. Just a slight difference in what you consider bad and what the rest of the NFL considers bad.

  20. I think Sanchez was the last guy to get a similar vote of confidence. Obviously when the coach uses words like “glimpses”, they’re pretty unhappy with the bulk of what they’re seeing.

  21. That game was totally unfair to Joe Webb. I’m failry sure he found out he was going to be the starter just like the rest of us did – when we watched the pre-game show.

  22. Ponder forth best Qb in the NFC north? Remind me Who made the playoffs? Bears, Nope! Lions no way! Now I’m not saying we would have beaten the Packers in the playoff game! But would have liked to see Ponder playing QB. Webb can not read defences he’s a run first Qb

  23. There’s only one reason that Frazier had to clarify Ponder’s status – because he played so bad that it wasn’t clear if he’d be the starter heading into 2013. Frazier saw “glimpses” of competency in a sea of noodle armed throws and bad reads.

  24. So some of you seem to think, Ponder is not a good QB because he has Peterson in the backfield! Has it ever ocured to anyone that Ponder is doing exactly what he has been asked to do!! And not that he can’t!! And for the life of me I cannot see why anyone would want Webb to be a QB!! He can’t even get threw his first read! Webb should have shined against the packers Defence, With them not planing on him playing!! GET PONDER SOME WIDE RECIEVER HELP! PLEASE

  25. Ponder was asked to throw for less than 100 yards in 3 games? He did not no exactly what he was asked to do till he FU-D ED up bigtime at lambeau and musgrave FINALLY learned to keep the ball out of his and give to 28 more!

    How many completed deep balls did he have all season? 2? How many completed fade routes over 20 yards? maybe 2? 10 times more were thrown out of bounce. Bottom line is if he cant throw a regular deep ball or fade route now, he never will be able to! in order to win at the highest level a team NEEDS to be able to stretch the field, the only time that happens now is when 28 bounces the run outside against the grain.

  26. vikefan says:
    Jan 9, 2013 11:06 AM
    Ponder was asked to throw for less than 100 yards in 3 games? He did not no exactly what he was asked to do till he FU-D ED up bigtime at lambeau and musgrave FINALLY learned to keep the ball out of his and give to 28 more!


    Yes, as a matter of fact he was asked to throw for less than 100 yards. We were 2-1 in the games he threw for under 100 yards. Educate yourself and go root for another team. Its fans like you who want Ponder to fail that deserve to have a 2-14 team every year. That way you can constantly have top 5 picks. It’s worked for the Lions right?

  27. Vikefan, First of all it’s “out of bounds” not bounce? But your right about one thing he can’t throw deep! Cuz he has no recievers to catch the damn ball. Webb everybodys go to guy couldn’t even get it deep!! Tell me one thing? If you were asked to throw deep to recievers who never! caught the ball! Who’s fault would it be? Yours? Musgraves? Or the damn recievers? Qb’s are only part of going deep!! Everybody wants to throw Ponder under the bus! The one thing that leaders do is take the blame them selfs, seams to me he has done that!!!

  28. Christian Ponder is already the 2nd best QB in the division. He had a better QB rating than Stafford, and the same as Jay Cutler. That doesn’t take in the fact Ponder is better at running than both those guys as well. He also passed the intangibles test of winning 4 straight games when the Vikes weren’t favored in any of them to get your team into the playoffs. I wonder what Ponder would do if the Vikings had Calvin Johnson or Brandon Marshall…?

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