When we last left the storm of "meh" that is the Minnesota Vikings' quarterback situation, we had Matt Cassel voiding the final year of his contract and Josh Freeman searching for life on other planets, presumably by throwing footballs at them. That left 2011 first-round pick Christian Ponder as the only quarterback on the current roster.
Now, the mere mention of Ponder's name is enough to send a lot of folks into seizures and cold sweats, and that's understandable. However, in an interview with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, new Vikings' offensive coordinator Norv Turner expressed that he liked quite a bit of what he saw in Ponder.
"The hard thing in this league is you can be playing good and doing a lot of good things and at that position, if you have a negative play or a sack, fumble or interception, a play like that at the wrong time, it takes away all of the good things you've done," Turner said. "I've been impressed with Christian and the things he does in terms of his movement. He moves extremely well on the run. He's made a lot of big plays. The starting point with any quarterback to me is eliminating those [bad] plays. That would be one of our starting points."
But OMG FRANCHISE QUARTERBACK. Well, Norv addressed that as well.
"The guys I have been around that are so-called franchise quarterbacks, weren't considered franchise quarterbacks until they started winning," Turner said. "You have to get a guy in that everyone believes in and you start out and put good people around him and find out how far you can go.
"But you know I was with Brad Johnson in Washington and we went to the playoffs, won the division, and people were convinced he couldn't win a Super Bowl and we let him go to Tampa and the next year he won the Super Bowl. So I think you get a really good player and you give him a really good team and you find out how far you can go."
Look, I get that Christian Ponder is, for the most part, persona non grata in Minnesota. But if the season were to start today. . .well, he'd be the guy, because right now he's all the Minnesota Vikings have. I don't know how much of this is Norv-speak and how much of this is legitimate, because we are in the "silly season" at this point. (Hey, the guy's been in the NFL for 30 years. . .there has to be such a thing as "Norv-speak," doesn't there?)
But since he's relatively inexpensive and there really isn't anything to be gained for the Vikings by releasing him (from a financial standpoint, anyway), it wouldn't surprise me to see Turner get a chance to work with Ponder. Well that and, in case I hadn't mentioned it previously, he does make up the entire Vikings' quarterback depth chart as it stands right now. Hey, if Norv actually sees something in the guy, it's not going to hurt anything. . .and if he doesn't, well, then the team probably will end up getting rid of Ponder and we can just forget that this ever happened.
For some, your frothing at the mouth can commence. . .now.