Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Ponder not sure what to think about future with Vikings

Posted by: Mark Craig under NFC Updated: October 7, 2013 - 1:56 PM

So what exactly does today's official signing of former Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman mean for current Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder's future or lack thereof with the Vikings? We have our obvious thoughts, but, for now, let's step aside and let Ponder and Vikings coach Leslie Frazier answer the obvious question:

What do you think signing Josh Freeman means to Christian Ponder's future with the Vikings?

Ponder: "I don't know. I mean I'm not management and my focus right now is what I can control, which is getting healthy and preparation. We'll see what happens. It's their decision. It's not my decision. Obviously, I can control how I play."

Frazier: "I think Christian still has a bright future here with our football team. It may not look like that on the surface, but Christian is a professional. He's going to work as hard as he can every day to prepare and get back on the field and help our team win. He's a pro."

More highlights from Ponder:

On how his fractured rib felt in practice today:  "It felt good. Very little pain, if any. Felt like I threw the ball pretty well, so it was a good start back. I threw over the bye week and things kept getting better and better every day. So I'm feeling pretty good right now."

On how he's handled the news that Freeman has been signed: "I'm just focused on what I can do. We'll see how it plays out. I'm a man of faith, so I believe that God has my future in His hands. I don't know what that means, but I'm trying to get healthy and ultimately I think this will make be a better quarterback."

On whether it's affected his confidence: "No. It wasn't my decision and it's, I guess, what's best for the team. In my eyes, I'm getting prepared to play. As long as I play well, then I'm the one on the field."

On what Frazier told him: "We'll keep what we talked about in private, but he said that he has full confidence in me and everything. I understand his explanation on things and he told me to just continue to focus on getting healthy."

On whether he can believe that considering the Freeman signing: "Leslie is a man of faith, so I'm going to take him at his word and I believe what he and [General Manager] Rick [Spielman] say."

On how hard this has been: "It's just competition. It's more competition. It makes everybody better. It makes me better, it makes Matt better. It's more frustrating that I haven't been healthy and I missed the game last week. I'm just trying to get back on the field."

Frazier also was asked who will start on Sunday, Ponder or Matt Cassel, who started the Week 4 win over Pittsburgh.

"We'll see how Christian does [in practice] and then we'll make a decision," Frazier said.

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