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The Secret Of Christian Ponder’s Success

July 6, 2011

Rookie quarterback Christian Ponder has made it clear that he wants to be under center when the Vikings open the regular season on September 11 against the San Diego Chargers. Whether or not he is destined to be the starter remains the question. Unfortunate timing – not Ponder’s skill set – may be the biggest obstacle in the way of the former Florida State Seminole achieving his dream of quarterbacking his team this fall.

The longer the lockout lasts, the less coaching Ponder will be given. In a typical offseason, Ponder would have already participated in Organized Team Activities and Mini-Camp. He and his teammates would have worked together, gone through plays and schemes, and most importantly, he would have received the tutelage of the Vikings coaching staff.

Ponder already has a Vikings playbook, and is known for his ability to quickly pick up a new system, but a playbook without a coach is like a television on mute – you get a general sense of what’s going on, but the nuances and finer points are lost.

ESPN’s Matt Williamson opines that Ponder is “the most pro-ready quarterback in the 2011 draft class” but cites the Vikings offensive line, aging defense and divisional foes as forces working against the team making the playoffs in 2011.

Williamson’s concerns are valid, but I don’t think Ponder’s success will be measured by whether or not he leads his team to the postseason. Although it would be a pleasant surprise, I believe that all Ponder has to do to be successful is show enough promise for Vikings fans to forget about the revolving door of quarterbacks that have preceded him.

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