ST: Ponder debut impresses Packers

So I've said before that I have the respect of the Packers as a team, but some of their fans, not so much. But I guess that work both ways. But I'd like to share with you an article from StarTribune. Apparently us fans weren't the only ones to be impressed by Ponder.

Green Bay players saw potential in Christian Ponder, whom they figure they'll be seeing for a long time.

As the game progressed, as Christian Ponder's NFL starting debut was flowing and ebbing, Clay Matthews rushed Ponder, tried to hit Ponder and on a few occasions conversed with Ponder.

This is likely to be the start of a long-term relationship.

Sunday Ponder made his first start at quarterback for the Vikings against the undefeated Packers. Matthews, among many in the Packers locker room, came away impressed.

"I was joking around with him out there," said Matthews, the Packers' big-play outside linebacker, who sacked Ponder once. "And I thought he showed some poise for a guy who was getting his first start against a very good team. He was poised; he held it together. I think we'll be seeing him a couple times a year for a few years."

Matthews wasn't alone in that opinion.

Ponder opened the game with a 72-yard bomb to Michael Jenkins, wide open after beating Tramon Williams. Two plays later he threw his first TD pass. The Packers, playing man-to-man almost exclusively, saw the rookie keep plays alive with his feet, roll out of the pocket to make plays and do enough to give the Vikings a 17-13 halftime lead.

Then -- reality. Ponder didn't complete a third-quarter pass. He threw two picks, both by cornerback Charles Woodson, both of which resulted in Packers scores. By the time Ponder got back on track, the Vikings were down 33-17.

But here's the key: He did get back on track. And the Packers noticed that.

"I think they helped him out a little today," said Woodson, who said the Packers played almost exclusively man-to-man coverage Sunday. "They kept him outside the pocket, kept him on the move. He made some plays for them."

Packers nose tackle B.J. Raji noticed how Ponder didn't seem to get rattled, even when things weren't going well for him. Packers defensive end Ryan Pickett was impressed by how Ponder bounced back from that difficult third quarter to lead two fourth-quarter scoring drives. "At the end, he was converting on those third-down plays, and I was like, 'Are you serious?'" Pickett said. "The kid definitely has potential. He's a tough kid. He's going to be good. But we can't wait to see him in Lambeau."

Even Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers came away impressed.

"I think he has a bright future," Rodgers said. "I like the way he plays. He moves around really well. He made some plays with his feet, made some great plays in the fourth quarter, finding guys on the backside."

It's easy to be magnanimous after a victory, of course. Still, the Packers figure they'll be seeing Ponder for a long time.

"He's a special athlete," Matthews said. "To hang in this game to the end speaks volumes for a guy getting his first start."

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.

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