The choices were limited and things could be a little awkward again this next season with a new coaching staff and bringing the same quarterback tandem back for Cassel/Ponder season two. Cassel was originally brought in to be a backup for Ponder and we all know how that turned out. Cassel got his first start and win against the Steelers and had a 248 yard game with two touchdowns. Greenway and Griffen secured the win when Roethlisberger fumbled late in the game. The next week Cassel was lackluster against a stout Panthers defense in a 35-10 loss but did put up 241 passing yards at home.
He did flash in the Eagles game to the tune of 382 yards but came back the next week against a good defense by our new head coach's team, at the time, the Bengals, in a 42-14 loss with a 114 yard performance. Cassel played in nine games and started six in the five win season. He had 11 touchdowns with 9 interceptions and 1807 yards on the season. So all the speculation can end about the veteran QB for next season. Zimmer came out and said he wanted Cassel, it was leaked to the media that the Texans were interested and then he was signed Friday evening. The course for Norv Turner's first season is now set.
I think most fans would agree Cassel had a better showing than Ponder last season. Was this a stop gap to fill the position while the defense gets rebuilt? Does this move take the pressure off selecting a quarterback in the first round? What is the long term plan at the quarterback position? Just how much better is Cassel than Ponder? Are Ponder's days with the Vikings numbered?
It looks like the majority of fans support the signing of Cassel. The reality is there wasn't a clear "better" option. Peterson sent out the tweet about Vick, go read the Vick article on DN. I was neutral on the Vick move as he has talent but then again he is always getting hurt. I read that article and at the end realized there was no way Vick was coming to the Vikings. I was thinking Turner may just bring in two rookies and roll with Ponder. It looks like he wasn't looking at that as an option.
I don't think anyone but our rivals think of Cassel as a long term plan. The Vikings still need an answer at quarterback and that needs to come by way of the draft. This is likely Norv Turner's last coaching stop and will help define his career. I'm thinking everyone involved with the Vikings wants the quarterback situation resolved but there are no easy answers. I would like to hear why Turner and Zimmer decided to go this route and that may happen in the fall, it will not be during draft season.