Christian Ponder's development throughout the 2012-2013 season is a bit of an enigma. On one hand, he led the Vikings to a 10-6 season and a playoff berth in his second season with the team. On the other, he had three games in which he failed to pass for over 100 yards and passed for over 300 in only one game (with most of those yards coming garbage time). While many will blame Musgrave's play calling or lack of wide receivers as the cause of his low yard totals, I tend to think that there is another reason.
Christian Ponder himself. He was quick to point out that his flaws in almost every post-game interview and was able to point out his own flaws. He promised hard work and determination to fixing the errors, but week in and week out, he committed the same errors. (Do I need to bring up the first Packer game?) He is considered small, lacks arm strength, and makes poor decisions in the pocket but he reminds me of a future HOF. Tom Brady. Here is a scouting report I found on Brady back before his draft:
Notes: Baseball catcher and football quarterback in high school who was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 18th round of the June 1995 baseball draft. Opted for football and redshirted at Michigan in '95. Saw limited action in '96 and '97 and started the past two years. Completed 3 of 5 passes for 26 yards, no touchdowns and one interception in '96, 12-15-103-0-0 in '97, 214-350-2,636-15-12 in '98 and 180-295-2,216-16-6 in '99, when he often shared time with super sophomore Drew Henson. Went all the way against Alabama in the Orange Bowl and completed 34-46-369-4. Unlike many Michigan quarterbacks, Brady is a pocket-type passer who plays best in a dropback-type system.
Tom Brady Positives: Good height to see the field. Very poised and composed. Smart and alert. Can read coverages. Good accuracy and touch. Produces in big spots and in big games. Has some Brian Griese in him and is a gamer. Generally plays within himself. Team leader.
Negatives: Poor build. Very skinny and narrow. Ended the '99 season weighing 195 pounds and still looks like a rail at 211. Looks a little frail and lacks great physical stature and strength. Can get pushed down more easily than you'd like. Lacks mobility and ability to avoid the rush. Lacks a really strong arm. Can't drive the ball down the field and does not throw a really tight spiral. System-type player who can get exposed if he must ad-lib and do things on his own.
Summary: Is not what you're looking for in terms of physical stature, strength, arm strength and mobility, but he has the intangibles and production and showed great Griese-like improvement as a senior. Could make it in the right system but will not be for everyone.
(Sorry this report is long)
The instant I read this I though of our starting QB. But how can Christian Ponder become a three time Superbowl Champ and league MVP like Brady? There is only one way to do it and I would like to quote Allen Iverson when I say, "We talkin' 'bout practice." Practice will make him better. Tom Brady was never been know for a strong arm, but has one of the most fundamental and perfect throwing motions of any quarterback in the league. A flick of the wrist sends the ball soaring 30 yards without hesitation. Going from a guy who "does not throw a really tight spiral" to being considered the best in the league, Brady practiced to make himself the best and has never looked back.
While I am not saying Ponder can be Brady, I am saying that he CAN be our franchise quarterback if he puts the time and effort in and he can get us a Superbowl victory. I have never played football, but I adore the game. If I was Christian, I would set a tire up in my backyard and throw 40 passes a day to perfect my motion. I would watch film everyday to learn my plays. I would practice my footwork and memorize defense reads. I want him to succeed and I know that he can if he realizes that the critics are wrong and he can excel. He just needs to prove it.
Mr. Ponder, you are not a bad quarterback. You have room for improvement, but that doesn't mean you can't achieve. I want to tell my kids stories of the time that Ponder drove down the field in the playoffs and won us the game. Or the year that Ponder won the league MVP. Or even bring the coveted Lombardi Trophy to the Great State. You can do it. I believe in you. Your Norsemen believe in you. Your coaches and teammates believe in you. Now believe in yourself and lead our beloved Vikings to victory.
To my Norsemen, thank you for hanging with me on my first post. I hope to be around our little purple corner of the internet more often.