Vikings coaches see value in keeping Christian Ponder


Apparently the Vikings have not been overwhelmed with trade offers for former first-rounder Christian Ponder.

So now they’re talking him up, and trying to salvage his value to their organization.

Clearly buried behind Matt Cassel and the latest savior Teddy Bridgewater, Ponder didn’t even play in Saturday’s preseason game against the Cardinals. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have a plan for him.

I don’t think there will be just two quarterbacks,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said, via Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Offensive coordinator Norv Turner knows — after blowing through Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer and Jason Campbell last year in Cleveland — how quickly things can change.

“I was obviously very disappointed in the opening game the way our fans reacted to Christian because I think he’s done everything he can do,” Turner said. “He’s working his butt off. I think he’s a guy who is going to be valuable to our team.”

That value might not be tangible, but Ponder has at least handled this the right way, and hasn’t turned into a distraction such that they’ll be glad to get rid of him. And while his prospects are dim, he did lead (or handed them off) them to the playoffs two years ago, so they may be hoping they can find that spark of acceptability again.

73 responses to “Vikings coaches see value in keeping Christian Ponder

  1. I always thought he had more talent than he showed. Last year with Khalil playing poorly and the line in general not pass blocking well, he was under fire. He didn’t have the arm strength and that is why Rudolph was so valuable. Ponder could throw the short to mid range ball. He also tended to stare down his receiver’s, and that is probably fixable. The offensive play calling was pop warner grade and that didn’t help either. I think he will be a serviceable backup.

  2. Seriously though, I hope they don’t waste a roster spot to hold Ponder as the 3rd QB. I’d much rather see that spot used to keep a 6th receiver (Adam Thielen/Rodney Smith), a LB (Watts, Mauti, Jackson, Dean), or a DB (Crocker, Exum). If the 3rd QB has to play, might as well sign someone that’s been in Turner’s system.

  3. Christian Ponder gets booed for being a bad player but a good person. Ray rice gets cheered for being a good player but bad person.

  4. He has been the starter for the last few years and now the new coaching staff will not even give the guy a chance.

    At least he won’t be the scapegoat this season for the team’s failures.

    The vikings put themselves in this position. Do they keep 3 QB’s on the roster? Only the rookie is practice squad eligible and that is unlikely.

    The Jaguars acted early and got a draft pick for Gabbert. If the vikings cut Ponder they admit to wasting a high first round pick on a bust and hypocrisy and untruths in press releases.
    Then they have to bring in a practice squad QB no body.

    The lack of foresight by the vikings is incredibly stupid.

  5. Vike fans booed when Christian came into the game in week 1. Nice. Nice way to treat one of your QBs. Is it his fault that he was drafted about 3 rounds too early? No, that was Rick’s fault. Rick Spielman has been destroying QBs for years. Yet, somehow you all think it will be different for Teddy. Skoal!

  6. Bwahahaha…where do you even start with this dysfunctional franchise? Sounds like the fans have not much class as well.

  7. Duh!! Of course they need him. Two shaky veterans and a newbie. You do the math. If Cassel doesn’t go 2-1 out of the gate and they pull him too soon for Bridgewater, the decision will likely fail. I know the trend is to put the heir-apparent out there ASAP as other teams have done, but the old rules still apply. If they want Bridgewater for the future, they better be smart about it or it will throw their QB situation into a tailspin for another three years. And no, my comments are not because I’m afraid of Bridgewater, so save your energy.

  8. Saying they will probably keep more than 2 QBs is not the same as saying they see value in keeping Ponder. And by most accounts Ponder hasn’t been handling it well, he’s been mopey and disinterested. Which is perfectly understandable given the situation, but isn’t exactly what you want hanging around the locker room.

  9. well Christian, if you get cut the TURD BAY Packers have an opening at LG, RT, C, OLB, S, both DE spots!!!! Yes, their roster of garbage is that bad!!!! Ever since John Elway steam rolled them in the big game they have never been the same!!!!! You yellow heads should recall that play!!!!

  10. Every time a Viking fan feels the urge to boo Christian Ponder, they need to stop and think, and then direct their derision at Rick Spielman.

    Ponder is a good guy who was put in a bad situation. His replacement is on the roster now; there’s no need for fans to pile on him at this point.

  11. Packer fans have no room to brag about depth at Quarterback. When Rodgers went down last year, they were pathetic. Backed into the playoffs, by default, then once there, needed a bank and the local Fox affiliate to buy up their tickets for them to avoid a blackout. Packer fans can say all they want about Christian Ponder. He is a lot better than anything you have for backups. In fact, he has beat the Packers. SKOL.

  12. This is the same organization that paid $3 million to Josh Freeman.

    If there is anyone left there from that decision they are destined to fail.

  13. I thought the clown music was coming from Green Bay. I think it’s been a lot closer this whole time! The dome must have just been muffling the sound.

  14. Remember last year Packer fans? Yeah, last year when you were booing your backup QB’s? Didn’t they teach you sportsmanship in 3rd grade……Oh wait…….!

  15. I think I saw Teddy Bridgewater getting some extra reps in a Pop Warner game this weekend. He looks BIG compared to those kids.

  16. Remember last year when Packer fans were talking so much trash about our “Revolving door” at the quarterback position, when they, in fact, started a larger number of them than Minnesota?
    Talk about hypocritical.

  17. Please let’s not forget that the reason Ponder got elevated to starter so quickly is because Donovan McNabb was completely, utterly awful. He was supposed to be a bridge until Ponder was ready. I will never forget that he managed only one first down in the second half of his first 3 games COMBINED. Or his dazzling 3 years passing in the first half of his last game. The decision to bring him in was worse than just paying him “money for nothing”. It forced Ponder to start prematurely and really set the stage for years of struggle. The McNabb decision was the worst one I have seen in years.

  18. Ponder isn’t just bad, he’s absolutely one of the worse qbs to ever throw a football. Have any of you watched him? He’s scared every time he snaps the ball, can’t make any read, can’t throw a 20 yard pass without getting picked off. He stares down every target, couldn’t get a Hail Mary to the end zone from 40 yards out and threw his whole body into the throw nonetheless. He’s just bad, flat out horrible. I’m sorry idk how to put it…..but he is a nice guy

  19. Ponder has shown nothing but class, but truth is he is at best a serviceable backup QB. With his draft status he was setup for failure.

    Even in year 4 he stares down receivers, has a substandard NFL arm and never learned how to hit a receiver in stride. He’s a nice guy, but that doesn’t go very far in the NFL. He’s got a hot wife and some cash in the bank, I think he’ll be alright and some team will pick him up to sit on the bench next year after the Vikes eat his guaranteed money.

    Every team makes mistakes at QB. Lynn Dickey, David Whitehearst, John Hadl, Don Majkowski. Viking are allowed one.

  20. Does it really matter ??? They aren’t going anywhere this year or next. Heck, they aren’t even paying in an NFL stadium. The only Super Bowl they have is one they won’t play in. HaHa !

  21. Viking futility began with Childress and will end with Zimmer. You know it’s true. I hope the NYC north rubes have enjoyed it. Don’t be angry though, that only leads to hate and suffering.

  22. They are just saying this to increase his trade value. He is done as a Vikings QB. Fans are booing him in pre-season as the 3rd string..

  23. Think about it for a second — Ponder is a lousy starting QB, but could be a pretty decent back-up QB, especially when you look at what’s out there. His salary is guaranteed, the Vikes have traditionally kept 3 QBs, and rarely does a starting QB make it through the whole year healthy, so cutting him makes little economic or practical sense. The guy is and will never be a great NFL QB, but why everyone trashes him so mercilessly is a bit weird (well, other than cheesers, who apparently don’t have much else to do).

  24. I’ve never understood why stuff like this is a story. Are coaches supposed to talk poorly and throw their players under the bus that are still on the roster? No…. By the way Packers fans, you’re insecurities are more evident than ever

  25. I used to think that Ponder had a lot of potential, especially after he carved up that Green Bay defense in a must-win game. But I’ve seen too many times when he’s been wildly inaccurate on 3-yard passes or completely missed a wide open receiver who crossed right in front of his field of vision. Sure, he was drafted too high, but would he be a better player if he had been drafted in the third round? Zimmer is going to think twice about keeping him when he sees who he’s going to have to let go on that last cut.

  26. I’m not a Vike fan per se but living in Minny I see the moves the GM has made and he has out drafted and out foxed all other GM’s the past three years.

    The guy is a real genious. With that said I got to thinking, Bridgewater lit it up the other night. So much so that Matt Cassell is a great trade prospect right now if they keep Ponder.

    Why not dump Cassell for a 1 and 4 pick to a needy team, go with Bridgewater and keep Ponder for backup. Me thinks the GM’s brain is on the same page. A couple more top picks to go with their own picks and this team is loaded top to bottom for a long run of success.

  27. Here’s an observation you may find interesting. In 2005, there was a great debate over whether Alex Smith or Aaron Rodgers should be the first overall pick. The 49ers chose Smith and Rodgers tumbled to the next team that needed a quarterback, which happened to be the Packers. If the 49ers had chosen Rodgers, is there any doubt that the Packers would have chosen Smith? The QB genius Ted Thompson might not seem so smart in that case.

  28. Ponder is extremely bright and impresses people around him with his brain. Coaches are leary to let people like that go. He gets it.

    I would not be shocked to see a deal being made to ship Cassell out. They did not draft Bridgewater to sit on the bench and he out played Cassell the other night.

    The Texans are in desperate need of a Qb as are a couple other teams. Could get interesting in the next 10 days?

  29. As tough of a concept as it to understand, let’s try reality for once Viking fans.

    Ponder has a high first round draft pick so you would think there is value for him somewhere even if its not on the Vikings. But you would be thinking wrong, he has mobility but no arm. His value as a back up can only be if another team decides he is a better option than one they have in camp. But he wouldn’t be with another team because the Vikings are delusional enough to think he has trade value. Classic Catch 22.

    Viking fans think because Spielman has missed on every QB draft pick he ever made, he is due for a good one. They would be wrong about that also.

  30. The only value they see is keeping him on the roster until his deal expires and pray to god he signs somewhere and sees playing time so they can get a 6th or 7th round compensatory selection.

  31. Cassel could get injured in the first few games. Now your down to one QB and scrambling to find a backup with no knowledge of the system. It would be a Josh Freeman project all over. Ponder is insurance and a better alternative than any other 3rd string backup. Thank the Browns for Uncle Norv. Our QB stable is in much better shape and hands. We will easily be a top 10 Offense!!!!!!

  32. In truth, I would be happy if the Packers took a flyer on Ponder. He’s an intelligent guy with starting experience. Plus, he’s played in a very negative media market with the least loyal and knowledgable fans in the country. He will never be Peyton Manning, but he could be a very good backup in a positive situation.

    Remember, Ponder was benched after an 0-3 start last year…but the team averaged 27 ppg. Normal people would have considered that a problem on the defensive side of the ball, but this is Minnesota we are talking about. Ponder, like all other Vikings quarterbacks since Joe Kapp, was doomed to fail the minute he touched the soil of Minnesota.

  33. Ponder’s real value lies in what he hasn’t done. Ponder has not:

    1) Sued the team.

    2) Gotten a DUI.

    3) Been suspended for substance abuse.

    4) Gotten shot at a nightclub.

    You don’t often see that with Viking players.

  34. Ponder has has his chance for the last three or so years. Dont even think about putting him in front of the other two. If we can keep him as a third string QB at the league minimum, do it.

  35. In Teddy We Trust says:
    Aug 20, 2014 10:10 AM

    Here’s an observation you may find interesting. In 2005, there was a great debate over whether Alex Smith or Aaron Rodgers should be the first overall pick. The 49ers chose Smith and Rodgers tumbled to the next team that needed a quarterback, which happened to be the Packers. If the 49ers had chosen Rodgers, is there any doubt that the Packers would have chosen Smith? The QB genius Ted Thompson might not seem so smart in that case

    What are you even talking about its like you have a conversation with yourself. First off the Packers didn’t need a qb which is evidenced by Rodgers sitting for 3 years. However the hapless queens did need a qb and passed on him twice, yes ladies and gentlemen twice! And for what you ask? Two of the franchises biggest busts ever Williamson and James. Look up that 2005 draft and it even states the Vikings draft might be the worst draft in NFL history. Is it any wonder why the Packers are in first and the queens are in last. Looks like old Ted seen the talent and the promise and we are laughing to this day

  36. You’re kidding yourself if you think that support is anything but the expected etiquette from an NFL coach when referring to a player that they never plan on playing who is still on contract. Ponder is done.

  37. In 2004, Brett Favre was 35 years old and talking about retirement. The Packers had no idea how much longer he would play. Therefore, I’ve concluded that the Packers were in need at quarterback at the 2005 draft and would have been stupid to pass on a guy projected to go #1 overall.

    In 2004, Daunte Culpepper was 27 years old and passed for 4,717 yards, 39 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions, with a passer rating of 110.9. He added 406 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns. He also led the Vikings to a playoff victory at Lambeau Field. Therefore, I’ve concluded that the Vikings were not in need at quarterback at the 2005 draft.

  38. So let’s get this straight Viking fans. When the Vikings got Jennings and Bishop we were all led to believe this was the team to beat, because Jennings needed a better QB like Ponder to play at his best, and Bishop wasn’t used right in GB. Now Ponder gets booed, and Bishop is in Arizona. I’m scratching my head because I thought those two guys were all you needed to win the North? You know, because the Packers are old and regressing, and the Vikings are young and on the rise.

  39. Actually, I like the idea of trading Cassel and getting a pick to be used in the building a team.

    Bridgewater will be fine as the starter and Ponder is a serviceable back up they have to pay anyway. It is a good year for Bridewater to have his growing pains.

    Playing Cassel is only holding Bridgewater back. It is best Teddy learn on the job.

    Maybe Ponder will blossom as a back up working on his mechanics and film study on reading defenses.

  40. Someone said Ponder did well against Green Bay. The Vikings always try to play their best against Green Bay. That’s because playing the Packers is the SuperBowl for the Vikings and their fans.

  41. Ponders first week sucked, he would be the first to tell you. But then so did the whole 3 squad offensive line. I guess there’s a reason they are in the 3rd squad. No protection on any side. They pushed the line like is was jelly. (And it was)Yeah, its ALL on him.

  42. He has value for me, I date a Vikings fan, as long as there is a chance he is playing I will still when those fun game days bets when they play the Packers.

    The best part about dating a Viking’s fan though is they aren’t too worried about getting that ring.

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