Let's be clear: Any new Vikings QB is a backup Vikings QB

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 25, 2013 - 10:23 AM

The Vikings are searching for a quarterback but leave no doubt that Christian Ponder is No. 1.

INDIANAPOLIS - The Vikings aren't exactly dancing around their offseason wishes at quarterback. Without question, they're looking to heighten the competition. Just not for incumbent starter Christian Ponder.

This weekend at the NFL combine, both coach Leslie Frazier and General Manager Rick Spielman expressed interest in potentially searching free agency or the draft for quarterback aid. Just so long as it's perfectly clear to everyone that Ponder is the starter heading into 2013.

Said Frazier: "[That] creates some clarity for our football team as we are giving them direction about where we want to go and what we want to achieve."

Frazier continues to laud the drive and equanimity Ponder showed in aiding the Vikings' four-game winning streak to end the season and told the 25-year-old quarterback to bottle that progress as he heads into the offseason.

But when a severely bruised throwing arm prevented Ponder from playing in the Vikings' first-round playoff loss in Green Bay, the Vikings got a glimpse at just how shaky things can become when backup Joe Webb proved wildly inaccurate and too easily flustered on his way to an 11-for-30, 180-yard, one-touchdown, one-interception night.

So now comes a quest to find someone who can push Webb for the backup's role. And that could mean offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave and quarterbacks coach Craig Johnson were intensely dialed in during Sunday's quarterback workouts at the combine.

The Vikings might not draft a quarterback at all but certainly won't waste an early pick. So the pre-draft exploits of such guys as West Virginia's Geno Smith, Southern Cal's Matt Barkley, N.C. State's Mike Glennon and Arkansas' Tyler Wilson are mostly irrelevant.

But it's not impossible that the Vikings would pull the trigger in the later rounds if they found a quarterback they really liked.

"Why wouldn't you look at every position?" Spielman said.

Before the draft arrives, though, the Vikings will first browse the free-agent market and a quarterback shelf that figures to include Derek Anderson, Tyler Thigpen, Rex Grossman and Matt Moore. Spielman said the team has had discussions about the importance of having a veteran around. But for any of those players to work out, they'd have to come accepting a reserve role.

Said Frazier: "It's got to be a guy that comes in and understands Christian is our starting quarterback. ... If the guy comes in and has the mindset that I'm going to create a problem in the locker room because he feels he should be the starter, that would not be a good fit."

In a quarterback draft class with few sure bets at the top, several intriguing prospects could be available in the mid to later rounds.

Syracuse's Ryan Nassib, for example, continues to impress scouts and draft experts with his acumen. And Oklahoma's Landry Jones has exhibited great productivity as a pocket passer.

Duke's Sean Renfree, unable to throw at the combine as he recovers from a torn pectoral muscle, also has the intelligence that will wow GMs. And he was tutored throughout his college career by David Cutcliffe, the Blue Devils head coach who worked closely with Peyton Manning at Tennessee and Eli Manning at Ole Miss.

"Coach Cut's a perfectionist with the instinct to tweak quarterbacks not only in terms of decision-making but fundamentals," Renfree said. "He looks at every part of your game. And he does it every day."

As far as the Vikings are concerned, finding a No. 2 quarterback they feel confident in will be a priority. That's not to say Webb won't remain that guy as Frazier and Spielman insist they won't write him off based solely on that one sloppy night in Green Bay. But a push is being made to make certain things won't totally derail if Ponder is lost.

"I still have confidence in Joe," Frazier said. "I just feel like he had a tough situation to go into. I'd like to see him compete with whatever we end up doing, whether it be a veteran guy or we draft a guy. But we definitely need to solidify that backup position so we all go into the season feeling pretty good about whoever has to step in."

  • related content

  • Speedily, Texas receiver Goodwin cites other strengths

    Sunday February 24, 2013

    Marquise Goodwin is a two-time NCAA long jump champion whose time in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine could elevate his draft stock.

  • Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder scrambles for yardage d...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Toronto - D. Hutchison 12:05 PM
NY Yankees - M. Tanaka
Washington - S. Strasburg 12:10 PM
Miami - N. Eovaldi
NY Mets - J. deGrom 12:35 PM
Atlanta - E. Santana
Boston - J. Kelly 12:35 PM
Baltimore - M. Gonzalez
Milwaukee - W. Peralta 12:35 PM
Pittsburgh - V. Worley
Chicago WSox - J. Danks 12:40 PM
Tampa Bay - N. Karns
Cleveland - C. Kluber 1:10 PM
Minnesota - A. Swarzak
Detroit - R. Porcello 1:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Guthrie
Seattle - H. Iwakuma 1:10 PM
Houston - C. McHugh
Los Angeles - J. Wright 1:20 PM
Chicago Cubs - J. Turner
Texas - N. Tepesch 2:35 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Philadelphia - A. Burnett 3:05 PM
Oakland - S. Kazmir
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong 3:10 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Arizona - W. Miley 3:10 PM
Colorado - C. Bergman
Cincinnati - A. Simon 7:05 PM
St. Louis - L. Lynn
San Diego 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Columbus 12:30 PM
Carolina
Buffalo 4:00 PM
Washington
St. Louis 5:30 PM
Columbus
Calgary 7:00 PM
Edmonton
Edmonton 7:00 PM
Calgary
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(13) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(11) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(21) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
(18) Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
Miss State 34 FINAL
(8) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 23 FINAL
Toledo 34
(14) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
UNLV 14 FINAL
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(24) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
(22) Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 45 FINAL
Arizona 49
San Diego St 7 FINAL
Oregon State 28
(2) Oregon 38 FINAL
Washington St 31
Louisiana 9 FINAL
Boise State 34
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(20) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(23) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
(18) Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(8) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(9) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(17) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Chivas USA 2:00 PM
Toronto FC
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan

ADVERTISEMENT

Advertisement
Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Countdown to great deals

Bid Sept. 21-29

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings do on Sunday in New Orleans?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close