It's the offseason, a time for basisless speculation and what-ifs because there's absolutely nothing better to do.
After a good free agency and draft period, most of the more glaring holes are filled on the roster, we've got our potential QBOTF in TB, and the new season is sort of a fresh start with a brand new set of coaches implementing a brand new offensive and defensive game plan. Despite all of the progress made in rebuilding, there are still some questions in the secondary, and the RB depth chart looks like it could be kind of bare depending on how well Kendall James fits as a back-up to AP.
While I'd love to see Bridgewater start week 1, the coaches have said they aren't going to rush him onto the field until he's ready. It's assumed that going into the new season that Cassel's the starter to beat, but what happens if Ponder's actually the better fit for the Norv! offense? Ponder's most glaring weaknesses (skittishness/bad mechanics/whatever) are potentially coachable by competent coaches like the Turners, and Ponder was at his best when he had more control over the offense like during those hurry-up stretches that were quickly abandoned by Muskrat. Since the TB-led offense is probably going to play to Bridgewater's strengths of being able to read defenses and make adjustments at the line, it's at least conceivable that Ponder's a better poor-man's Bridgewater than Cassel is.
And if he's at least as good an option as Cassel to act as a bridge/stopgap for our QBOTF, that could give us the opportunity/option to trade Cassel and plug some remaining holes on the roster. I'm not sure what a great deal would be for us, since an adequate vet QB is worth a lot more than an adequate safety or back-up running back, but a team desperate for a QB after a disappointing camp/pre-season might be ripe for the fleecing by Darth Spielman. And knocking a QB off our roster gives us flexibility to start working on a project UDFA/waiver wire QB this year, so we've potentially got a cheap back-up ready for when the vets are gone in 2015.
It's probably a long shot that Ponder will outcompete Cassel in camp/pre-season, but if he does, do you guys think you could stomach starting another year with him at the top of the depth chart? Or does everyone have the feeling that Ponder's name is so toxic to the team at this point it doesn't matter if he winds up being a better fit for the new offense than Cassel, he shouldn't be allowed to start.