Donovan McNabb is a quarterback who is arguably Hall of Fame worthy. He likely won't get in, but it's at least arguable. Now, Canton doesn't look at what a guy is doing now, it looks at what a guy has done over his career. He may be remembered fondly for what he did in Philadelphia, but if he continues playing the way he has, he will certainly not be remembered fondly for what he has done here. He's been terribly inaccurate and has made bad reads. He's done a very poor job running this offense. For what it's worth, he hasn't been making many blindingly bad decisions and throwing INTs all over the field, but it's very clear that his career is over.
This has lead to many people calling for the most popular man on a losing team, the backup QB. Christian Ponder is clearly the QB of the future for the Vikings and many people are calling for Frazier to put him out there and see what he can do. I've been thinking about this scenario, and I actually agree with Frazier's decision to keep McNabb out there. Why? Look at the title of this post. I've been a huge supporter of Ponder ever since I did some research on him after watching the Senior Bowl. I think he will be a phenomenal NFL QB, but these are just my opinions. However, the absolute worst thing for a young professional ball player is to lose his confidence. In many cases, QBs busted because they were completely overmatched and lost their belief in themselves, eventually resigning themselves to the fact that they are unable to compete.
Would Ponder play better than McNabb? Maybe. Would it be nice to see what Ponder is capable of? Maybe. But I honestly don't see the rush in doing so. Give Ponder a year to learn the position and the offense. Give the Vikings a year to learn Ponder, and how best to use him. Above all the problems I think the Vikings have is that this team is still very new. This is a coaching staff that is unfamiliar with each other and the players and the players are unfamiliar with each other and the coaching staff. Throwing Ponder into this mess is just asking for him to get killed. He showed some nice plays in the preseason, but scrambling like that will against first team defenses will destroy his confidence and risk injury. It may not sound compassionate, but keep Donovan McNabb out there as cannon fodder. Let this team figure out themselves before putting Ponder out there.
This year is all but lost. We could definitely pull it out, but it's not likely with the way this team plays in the second half. I think we will learn more about ourselves enough to right the ship towards the end of the season, but I still only see 5 or 6 wins with this team. Finish out the season with McNabb, get a top 10 pick, and draft a Blue-Chip tackle like Matt Kalil from USC or Jonathan Martin from Stanford so that Ponder has a better line. Make Charlie Johnson a swing backup, as he can play almost any position along the line. He can push or replace Herrera to improve that position. The Vikings need to improve this team before they risk having Ponder take over; the last thing this organization needs is for Christian Ponder to fail.