Broncos fan Christian Ponder dropped everything to join the Broncos

AP

Christian Ponder got a phone call on Tuesday. By Wednesday, he was a member of the Denver Broncos.

“I’ve been in Phoenix — we live there for the offseason — just working out, waiting for the call to come and fortunately it did yesterday when I was shopping for groceries for Thanksgiving,” Ponder told reporters on Wednesday. “I had to drop everything and get on a flight.”

Ponder gladly left home abruptly for the opportunity to return to the NFL. The team that called him made it a bonus.

“I grew up a Broncos fan, a John Elway fan,” Ponder said. “I was No. 7 [in] little league baseball through college and four years in Minnesota because of that. I’m excited to be here.”

Ponder spent four years with the Vikings as a first-round pick in 2011. He joined the Raiders in the offseason, but he was cut before the regular season began. Those experiences could help him pick up the offense in Denver.

“I have a little bit of background with this kind of offense and what I ran with [Raiders Offensive Coordinator Bill] Musgrave in Minnesota and Oakland,” Ponder said. “There is a little different verbiage, but hopefully in a week or so, I’ll start getting stuff down, maybe shorter than that. I’m going to put in the time and the effort to do it as quick as possible.”

The Broncos need him to do that, because they realized based on Peyton Manning’s status that they don’t have much experience in Brock Osweiler and undrafted rookie Trevor Siemian.

“[W]e’re sitting here with a guy who has one start in this league and a kid who doesn’t have a play,” coach Gary Kubiak told reporters on Wednesday. “Me and [G.M.] John [Elway] started thinking about the concern if something happened. Good that Christian was out there. . . . He came in, worked out well. Hopefully we can catch him up a little bit.”

For now, Siemian will be the backup to Osweiler. Eventually, Ponder could take the spot.

Of course, eventually, Ponder also could be back in Phoenix buying Christmas presents, too. If/when Manning is healthy, there’s no way the Broncos will carry four quarterbacks on the 53-man roster.

41 responses to “Broncos fan Christian Ponder dropped everything to join the Broncos

  1. Upon hearing this, Jamarcus Russell left a full shopping cart in aisle 10, and rushed home to sit by the phone.

  2. Pardon me if I don’t show my overwhelming enthusiasm. If Brock goes down what’s left of their season is gone. Go with Trevor. He is the future. Ask Elway.

  3. A grieving family in Minnesota was given a much-needed distraction when Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder and wife Samantha met the Robbins family at a local mall.

    Maggie Robbins lost her life in a car accident earlier this month, leaving her husband and two young children to pick up the pieces. Justin Robbins took his two young daughters to their mother’s favorite store to buy them a headband and cheer them up. The family felt like their mother’s spirit allowed them to meet the Ponders that day.

    After getting some photos and exchanging pleasantries, the Ponders discovered why the family was at the mall and wanted to do their part. They told the store manager to put whatever clothes the girls wanted on their tab. It was a small gesture that helped brighten the day of a family in need, and proof that good stories still exist in the NFL.
    After reading this, are you still going to call him a bum? I wish him huge success in Denver.

  4. I lost a lot of hair watching this kid QB my team for 4 years . No fan base should ever have to endure is feeble attempt at quarterbacking in the nfl # jumpassnation

  5. Upon hearing this, Jamarcus Russell left a full shopping cart in aisle 10, and rushed home to sit by the phone.

    Are you sure he didn’t drop everything he was doing at the thought of an abandoned cart full of food?

  6. I never thought Ponder was a bum on a personal level, all indications are he is a tremendous person. With that said he just does not have the “it” factor to be a successful franchise quarterback. I wish him luck both personally and professionally, but I’m not optimistic if he ever finds his way into a game.

  7. My first impression of Ponder was that he inherited an ancient curse and his career was over after having been restricted to playing for two of the three worst organizations (Cleveland being the other) in pro football. And that we didn’t want or need that curse near the Broncos. After hearing him talk and express his respect for the GOAT #7 I realized how intelligent, how much character and class that this player has. Excited to see him get a chance with a real org that can develop talent.

  8. oh yea, hopefully they do as good a job “developing talent” with ponder as they did with tebow

  9. gysot – GOAT? Elway??? A great athlete and a really good QB, yes, but he’s got too many big game losses to be considered GOAT. I’d put him no better than 3rd behind Brady and Montana. He’s still ahead of Favre and Manning in my eyes because he did a lot with less around him than those two.

  10. As a Florida State alum and a longtime Vikings fan, I was as excited as anyone when Minnesota drafted Ponder. After the McNabb experiment failed, he took over the starting job and did as well as a rookie QB with no off-season training might be expected. Nerxt year he started all sixteen games and (with a little help from AllDay Peterson) led the Vikes to an unexpected playoff berth. Year three he struggled behind a porous O-line and, though the Vikes averaged 24 points a game, was saddled with the leagues worst pass defense. The team couldn’t hold a lead, and their quarterback roulette kept them from ever settling in on offense. Last season he was an afterthought for a new coaching staff with a new quarterback. I hope he does well in Denver. The Broncos have a great defense and a much better O-line than he’s used to working behind.

  11. I guess Sam ought to be OK with this; they spent a couple years in MN where it’s also snowy and cold. Denver isn’t much difference, except now he has to stand around outside at Mile High.

  12. I’m not sure real football fans in Minnesota ever questioned his character… When you are paid millions your talent become the issue..

    Ponder has always been one of the good guys with very little talent at QB… Might make a pretty good coach one day

  13. Come on, people, this is a great story. How awesome is it that Ponder gets to play for the team he grew up rooting for? It’s every kid’s dream! On top of that, Ponder has always been a class act. And who knows what he may have been if he had had time to develop on the bench before being thrown to the wolves?

    This idea that first-round quarterbacks must start right away is madness. For every Andrew Luck there are a dozen Ponders, Gabberts, etc. If Aaron Rodgers didn’t sit behind Favre for three years and had been thrown into the fray right away he might have become “just another bust.”

    Best of luck, Christian.

  14. Ponder is a good dude. He was never one you had to wonder about off the field. His biggest problem I think is that he never had a good QB coach. Maybe if he had a really good QB coach, or backed up a HOF type qb, he would have had a chance to learn.

    He came to MN, and started off the season backing up the wormburner himself. Mr McNabb. Then he was forced into duty because wormburner just couldn’t get the job done. The 2010-2013 seasons were a time in Vikings history that I try to do my best to forget about.

    He’s a nice guy, that probably just isn’t an NFL level QB. Maybe he does have it, just hasn’t had proper coaching. But maybe he never will have it. I think his days of catching on somewhere are about over though. But either way, he can always play Mr. Mom and let Sam be the breadwinner.

    He’s got something good going for him though. He landed her! Just not sure how he ever did.

  15. The Almighty Cabbage says:
    Nov 26, 2015 10:06 AM

    Come on, people, this is a great story. How awesome is it that Ponder gets to play for the team he grew up rooting for? It’s every kid’s dream! On top of that, Ponder has always been a class act. And who knows what he may have been if he had had time to develop on the bench before being thrown to the wolves?

    This idea that first-round quarterbacks must start right away is madness. For every Andrew Luck there are a dozen Ponders, Gabberts, etc. If Aaron Rodgers didn’t sit behind Favre for three years and had been thrown into the fray right away he might have become “just another bust.”

    Best of luck, Christian.
    ————————————————————

    Cabbage, you nailed it. The packers had 2 huge luxuries there. They had Favre, and then 31 other teams were dumb enough to pass on Rodgers in the first round and he fell to the Packers. Although, if one of those other teams had picked Rodgers, there’s no proof that he would have turned out to be as good as he is now. He had the opportunity to sit behind Brett and learn, and also had Clements as the qb coach. I think he’s seriously under-rated as a qb coach, and offensive coordinator. Have a feeling he’s going to be McCarthy’s replacement someday.

  16. getoveryourself999 says:
    Nov 26, 2015 9:52 AM

    gysot – GOAT? Elway??? A great athlete and a really good QB, yes, but he’s got too many big game losses to be considered GOAT. I’d put him no better than 3rd behind Brady and Montana. He’s still ahead of Favre and Manning in my eyes because he did a lot with less around him than those two.
    —————————-
    Montana is certainly in the conversation. Brady has disqualified himself from any serious consideration due to his direct involvement in the two largest cheating incidents in the history of the league.

  17. jerrykill4pres says:
    Nov 26, 2015 10:20 AM

    Cabbage, you nailed it. The packers had 2 huge luxuries there. They had Favre, and then 31 other teams were dumb enough to pass on Rodgers in the first round and he fell to the Packers. Although, if one of those other teams had picked Rodgers, there’s no proof that he would have turned out to be as good as he is now. He had the opportunity to sit behind Brett and learn, and also had Clements as the qb coach. I think he’s seriously under-rated as a qb coach, and offensive coordinator. Have a feeling he’s going to be McCarthy’s replacement someday.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Thanks. I appreciate that. Rodgers has said himself that in those three years, his mechanics were completely overhauled and that he learned a lot from Favre, specifically about how to throw the ball, no matter what the public perception was.

    I also think there’s a lot to be said for the combination of QB, QB coach, OC, and Head Coach. Look at how well Jay Cutler is playing now that he’s back with Adam Gase. He’s like a completely different guy. Or back to being the same guy he was when he was with Denver.

    I just don’t get why teams are drafting these guys and just throwing them to the wolves right out of the gate. That never used to happen and there were a lot less “busts.”

  18. Ponder’s first year in the league was the lockout, so he missed “spring” workouts and was immediately behind.

    The following season he started every game and with some help from the running game (that kept the awful defense on the sideline) led the Vikes to the playoffs.

    When the defense was totally exposed the next season, he was the scapegoat. Minnesota gave up more points than any team and blew a half dozen late game leads but the narrative was that points were left on the field. He could’ve been better, no doubt, but he didn’t have many weapons and one those – Greg Jennings was a locker room cancer who clashed with Ponder and the coaching staff allowed it.

    He wasn’t Zimmer’s guy, that’s fine, fresh start and all. The Raiders were a bad fit, hoping it works for him in Denver.

  19. Ponder is a class act and a great guy. Sadly he is not a great QB. He does deserve a spot on an NFL roster though.

    As a Vikings fan, I admit, it was tough to watch him at times. His demise here was the drafting of Teddy and a new coaching staff. The recipe for success vs Ponder is bring everything including the kitchen sink after him. The Vikings still have O-line issues to this day but we have a composed QB that can manage it better than Ponder could. If you give Ponder a clean pocket he can be a West Coast QB just fine. He is accurate in the short passing game. He can run the football and rollout when/if needed. But on the medium to long passing game his throws seem to just float out there. Much like Manning’s passes seem to be doing at this stage in his career.

    I honestly believe that if Ponder was drafted where he should have been drafted (2nd to 3rd round) he would have faired better as a backup QB somewhere. We drafted him way too high at #11 overall. Wasting a 1st round draft pick and reaching very very high on a QB that is a 2nd stringer on most NFL rosters.

    Good luck to you, Mr. Ponder. I wish nothing but positive things for you and your family.

    -Vikings Fan

  20. Ponder sounds like a great guy based on that mall story, should be a good locker room guy.

    As for the rest of you, going back and forth ad nauseam about the guys pros and cons… who’d you think the Broncos were going to call up in week twelve of the NFL season? No need to debate as though there were four or five guys to choose from. If all goes well, we never see him take a snap – and if a situation arises where he is, then the season is over anyways.

  21. Obviously, this is just a measure to fill up the QB depth in case of an extremely desperate scenario.

    Stop the “nice guy” schtick already. Too bad football players are judged for their performance, eh?

    As any Viking fan knows, Ponder is an abysmal quarterback. You want someone that scrambles for his life at the first glimpse of a collapsing pocket? You want a QB that struggles to surpass 130 yards a game? Ponder is your man.

    He probably will never, and probably should never, play in another NFL regulation game. If the Broncos actually use him, they have bigger problems..

  22. Ponder is a smart guy and a class act. He didn’t fit in well with Frazier and Musgrave, but I have to believe that in the right system he may succeed. Call me naive, but I still feel he’s serviceable.

    The NFL needs smart people, and people of character. Ponder is both.

  23. Things didn’t work out in Minnesota, but a character guy deserves a real second chance. Best of luck in Denver, Christian Ponder. This Vikings fan hopes you can fit into their system and have a great career.

  24. Nobody doubts what a nice guy Christian ponder is off the field. But some of his games were pretty bad, especially his last start against the packers. However, he always played rather decently when coming off the bench, so he will be a dependable third string guy who has a lot of experience. He also is very mobile, but sometimes he leans on that too much. He will fit in better in that offense for sure with the bootlegs Kubiak likes to run.

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