Ponder aiming to be an immediate starter

  • Article by: JUDD ZULGAD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 30, 2011 - 12:27 AM

The new Vikings quarterback wants to organize informal workouts with his teammates as soon as possible.


Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier and the team's first round draft choice, Christian Ponder, the Florida State quarterback, posed with a team jersey at the start of a news conference where Ponder was introduced to the news media Friday afternoon.

Photo: Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Christian Ponder's intelligence level has been a frequent topic of conversation since the Vikings caused a stir by making the quarterback their first-round pick on Thursday. Ponder earned his undergraduate degree in 2 1/2 years at Florida State and had his master's degree before he started his senior year.

Certainly this type of intellect means that Ponder realizes the potential benefits of spending time next season learning behind a veteran quarterback. Right? Ah, not exactly.

"Obviously, you can see the advantage of that, but my goal is to start right away," Ponder said Friday at Winter Park after his introductory news conference. "I think that is anyone's [goal]. Maybe someone wants to sit back and learn a little bit, but I'm going to prepare myself that way and I know that it's really what I do leading up to that point that's going to determine my success rate. So I'm going to do as much as possible, given the circumstances, to get to that point and be prepared."

Ponder, who played four seasons at Florida State and went 22-13 as a starter, almost certainly will be expected to take over as the Vikings starter at some point in 2011. When that will happen is unclear right now.

The Vikings current depth chart at quarterback includes Ponder, Joe Webb and Rhett Bomar. There will be a fourth name added to that list before training camp begins, assuming the NFL lockout isn't still in progress, and it very possibly could be a veteran who could help ease Ponder's transition.

"I think that balances out a position," offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said of adding a veteran. "Not just [at] quarterback but to have some young developmental talent and also have some veterans. Because players not only learn from coaches, they also learn from their fellow players, so it is important to have a veteran in that room, really at all positions."

Musgrave, though, added there definitely is a chance that Ponder will start from Day 1.

"The No. 1 thing is that I have to earn my role," Ponder said. "Whatever that may be. I am preparing myself like I'm going to be the starter, but I have to earn that. Obviously, Joe Webb is here and Rhett Bomar is on the roster. Guys that are here that are a step ahead of me. I have some ground to make up and whether I have to sit behind a guy for a couple games, for a season or for a couple seasons, whatever that role might be I will be fine with it. But I will prepare myself as the starter."

That means taking an immediate leadership role, and Ponder is prepared to do exactly that. He already talked to wide receiver Percy Harvin on Friday -- the two were rivals when Harvin was at Florida -- and would like to set up off-site workouts with his offensive teammates if the lockout continues.

"I'm going to try and start reaching out to them ASAP," Ponder said. "I'm hoping Percy has the numbers for those guys and we can get something together as soon as possible."

Ponder said he feels he has an advantage entering the Vikings system because he said Musgrave plans to use an offensive system similar to what he ran at Florida State.

"We did everything. We were very multiple," Ponder said. "We could spread it out to four wides, two tight ends, two backs. We could do it all. The thing that is awesome about what Musgrave was doing is a lot of the plays, the passing concepts. That stuff is very similar. Even how we call plays. The pass protections are very similar in what we called them, and the formations."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Kansas City - LP: B. Chen 1 FINAL
Cleveland - WP: C. Kluber 5
Cincinnati - WP: T. Cingrani 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: B. Cumpton 1
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Quintana 4 FINAL
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 7
St. Louis - LP: L. Lynn 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: B. Colon 4
Minnesota - WP: R. Nolasco 9 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: E. Bedard 7
Arizona - WP: M. Bolsinger 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson 2
San Diego - WP: A. Torres 4 FINAL
Washington - LP: C. Stammen 3
Baltimore - WP: B. Norris 11 FINAL
Toronto - LP: B. Cecil 4
NY Yankees - WP: C. Sabathia 14 FINAL
Boston - LP: F. Doubront 5
Oakland - WP: S. Kazmir 10 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Oberholtzer 1
Philadelphia - WP: M. Adams 7 FINAL
Los Angeles - LP: B. Wilson 3
Indiana 85 FINAL
Atlanta 98
Oklahoma City 95 FINAL
Memphis 98
LA Clippers 98 FINAL
Golden State 96
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Detroit 2
Colorado 1 FINAL
Minnesota 2
San Jose 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 6
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters



Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2013 preseason     
Aug 9 - vs. Houston 7 pmX27-13
Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
Sep 15 - at Chicago NoonX31-30
Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland NoonX31-27
Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
Oct 6 - Bye
Oct 13 - vs. Carolina NoonX35-10
Oct 21 - at. NY Giants 7:40 pmX23-7
Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay 7:30 pmX44-31
Nov 3 - at Dallas NoonX27-23
Nov 7 - vs. Washington 7:25 pmX34-27
Nov 17 - at Seattle 3:25 pmX41-20
Nov. 24 - at Green Bay Noon26-26
Dec 1 - vs. Chicago NoonX23-20
Dec 8 - at Baltimore NoonX29-26
Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia NoonX48-30
Dec 22 - at Cincinnati NoonX42-14
Dec 29 - vs. Detroit NoonX14-13




question of the day

Poll: How many regular season games will Vikings win?

Weekly Question