Miss the live Chat? Here are some highlights
A Vikings beat writer has a Live Chat each Tuesday at noon. Here are excerpts of this week’s session with Mark Craig:
Q: Josh Freeman? Thoughts?
A: Let’s see. A former first-round pick who’s 25 years old — 43 days older than Christian Ponder — with a big arm, who’s strength is throwing the ball down the field. And it doesn’t cost a draft pick because the guy’s former head coach let his emotions get in the way of sound judgment? Yeah, looks pretty good to me.
Q: Will Josh Freeman make his Vikings debut on Monday Night Football in New York?
A: New York might be too soon. But they didn’t bring him in to evaluate him in practice. So sooner rather than later.
Q: Was Christian Ponder afraid to make mistakes? His tentativeness reminded me of Tarvaris Jackson’s admission to Brad Childress that he didn’t want to make a mistake, and that basically sealed Tarvaris’s fate with the team. Fair comparison?
A: One of Christian’s problems is being tentative in the pocket. He doesn’t have a huge arm, so that makes it tough to push the ball down the field. Where I compare him to Tarvaris is when it comes to accuracy, or the lack thereof.
Q: Do you think Rick Spielman will try to trade Ponder to a QB-starved team, and even so, what do you think the Vikes can get for him? Maybe a fifth- or sixth-round pick?
A: At this point, he’s not much of a meal for a QB-starved team. Not sure what he’d fetch, but it wouldn’t be enough to throw him away.
Q: Regardless of Ponder’s performance, he was a class in representing himself and the Vikings. Let’s not kick him when he’s down … he’s still a person.
A: Christian does seem like a solid guy. And he does represent the Vikings well. But he also plays QB in the NFL. Getting kicked and praised is part of the deal.
Q: Do you think Adrian Peterson really did endorse Cassel after the Pittsburgh win? Or did fans read too much into his comments?
A: Yes, I do think Peterson endorsed Cassel. But put it in perspective. After an 0-3 start in which the offense was struggled and turned the ball over, the Vikings won a game with the offense in rhythm and not turning the ball over. It was nothing personal toward Ponder. Peterson was kind of giving it the “you-do-the-math” answer.
Q: Is it time to bench Josh Robinson and go with Chris Cook and Marcus Sherels, with Xavier Rhodes in the nickel? Rhodes looks like he can play.
A: Josh has struggled. No question. But there aren’t a whole lot of options. I will say, however, that Rhodes needs to be on the field for every play.
Q: Is the Viking brass happy with the performance of punter Jeff Locke thus far? Do they regret burning a draft pick the left-footed punter from the left coast?