Sid Hartman: Johnson says Ponder has the talent

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 9, 2011 - 11:47 PM

The former Viking thinks his fellow Florida Stater has the stuff to be an outstanding NFL quarterback.

hide

Christian Ponder

Photo: Steve Cannon, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Add Brad Johnson, a former outstanding NFL quarterback, to the list of people saying Vikings No. 1 draft pick Christian Ponder of Florida State has a lot of talent. ¶ "I've only met him a couple times; obviously with me going to Florida State, I kept hooked to Florida State all these years," said Johnson, a former Vikings quarterback as well as a Super Bowl winner for Tampa Bay.

And Johnson has known about Ponder from his high school days in Dallas.

"When I played for the Cowboys, I went and saw my kids," Johnson said. "They played football at the same high school that [Ponder] went to in Colleyeville and just everything that you heard about him was good. He's a tremendously hard worker, graduated in 2 1/2 years, playing for Jimbo Fisher, he's tough on quarterbacks."

Johnson said there was a lot more demanded of Ponder than of most college quarterbacks.

"[Fisher's] the head coach now. He was the [offensive] coordinator when Christian got there," Johnson said. "He demands a lot from quarterbacks and makes them learn the game. Obviously, Christian is a quick study and hard worker and led those guys to a lot of wins down there. The program went through a lot of change when he first got there, so he fought through some tough times. Hopefully he has a great career. He did a lot of good things for Florida State, really kind of stabilized the program. The program went through difficult times when he got there, and he kind of led them back to a winning tradition down there."

Johnson mentioned how growing up in the competitive football state of Texas helped Ponder.

"Him growing up in Texas, where he was, there's all kinds of quarterbacks coming out of where he's from," Johnson said. "Obviously Matthew Stafford was 10 miles away in Highland Park, but he possesses those traits. He's got toughness about him, he's got enough arm to complete whatever kind of ball needs to be completed at that level. Obviously it's just being ready. It's going to be tough on him without training camp and minicamp. What happens with this lockout? He's been a quick study coming up, but any rookie is going to have a tough time adjusting. But he picks things up, and he should be ready to go."

Johnson, who played 17 years in the NFL, said Ponder is much more ready to play than he was.

"I didn't play much in college. He obviously started three or four years," Johnson said. "He's much more prepared than I was, but I was, when my time came I was ready. Some guys are ready faster than others, but when my time came I was ready."

Johnson played with the Vikings from 1992-98. He played with the Washington Redskins for two seasons and then with the Tampa Bay Bucs for four seasons, winning a Super Bowl in 2002-03. He returned to the Vikings in '05 and '06 and finished his career with two years in the Dallas Cowboys organization. As a two-time Pro Bowl performer, he surely knows how to judge a good quarterback.

Lehman to play at 3M Championship

Minnesota native Tom Lehman continues to have a dominant season on the Champions Tour, ranking first on the money list with earnings of nearly $1.3 million in 11 events. The former Gopher is one of only two golfers on the Champions Tour with earnings of more than $1 million this year, Nick Price being the other.

A year ago Lehman passed up the Champions Tour's 3M Championship here, but Hollis Cavner told me Saturday that Lehman definitely will take part in the tournament this year in Blaine. The dates of the tournament are Aug. 1-7, and Cavner said that for the second year admission will be free.

Last weekend marked the first time this year that all three Minnesotans on the tour made the cut in the same PGA tournament. Former Winona State standout Troy Merritt finished tied for 30th, former Burnsville high school star Cameron Beckman finished tied for 38th and Minneapolis native Tim Herron finished tied for 64th at the AT&T National. Herron is 87th on the PGA Tour money list with earnings of $675,318; Beckman is 134th with $407,370, and Merritt is 203rd with $107,397.

Valencia hot this month

Twins third baseman Danny Valencia has been picking up a lot of big hits for the Twins this month, hitting .382 in July with two home runs and 10 RBI in nine games. That's a good sign since he was hitting just .218 through the end of June.

Going into the Twin-White Sox series, Joe Mauer had the highest career average (.368) in the American League at Chicago's park.

Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano has posted a 5.06 ERA through 15 starts this year compared to a 3.47 ERA through 15 starts last season.

Look for the Twins to launch their 2012 season ticket campaign in mid-August. ... While there will be no major concert at Target Field this year, team President Dave St. Peter said the team is already in discussions about potential shows for the 2012 season and the Twins have a strong interest in hosting the NHL Winter Classic or a college showcase at Taret Field.

The Twins will host R.B.I (Reviving Baseball in the Inner City) World Series Aug. 2-14 at various sites across Minneapolis and St. Paul. The Twins will be home to the Major League Baseball-sponsored international event in 2012.

Jottings

• Now that the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has overruled U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson and allowed the NFL to maintain its lockout of the players, look for the two sides to make peace in time for most clubs to go to their normal training camps. The word is that there has been agreement on many things and lawyers are in the position of putting them in writing.

• Timberwolves No. 1 draft choice Derrick Williams has 9-2 odds to be the 2011-12 NBA Rookie of the Year, according to Online Sports Book Bodog, placing him ahead of Kyrie Irving of Duke, the player picked first overall by the Cavaliers.

• In 2002, when Joel Maturi became the Gophers athletic director, the administration was contributing $8 million to the men's and women's athletic budget. This year it will be $1.7 million. The department did receive $22 million from the Big Ten for television and other national events, but the rest of the $76 million budget has to come from gate receipts, fundraising and other miscellaneous income.

• Minnetonka's Rachel Ramsey, daughter of former Gopher and NHL player and coach Mike Ramsey, will be one of the outstanding freshmen on this year's Gophers women's hockey team.

• Former Gopher and outstanding NBA player Bobby Jackson is now a top scout for the Sacramento Kings.

• Chaska native Brad Hand pitched his best game as a major leaguer Thursday against the Astros, throwing seven innings and giving up no runs on just two hits and three walks while striking out four. Hand has been impressive in his five starts, posting a 2.77 ERA in 26 innings. But he has more walks (15) than strikeouts (14), and six of the 15 hits he has allowed have been home runs

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. • shartman@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago 17 FINAL
Detroit 34
Philadelphia 33 FINAL
Dallas 10
Seattle 19 FINAL
San Francisco 3
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
Atlanta
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Edmonton 0 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 1
ULM 54 FINAL
Robert Morris 71
Santa Clara 57 FINAL
Tennessee 64
Oklahoma 59 FINAL
Butler 46
Austin Peay 79 FINAL
Brown 58
Princeton 56 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 62
Coastal Carolina 67 FINAL
Chattanooga 78
Kansas 76 FINAL
Rhode Island 60
Wisconsin 68 FINAL
Georgetown 65
FIU 53 FINAL
USC Upstate 68
Long Island 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 73
San Diego 71 FINAL
Xavier 82
Illinois 88 FINAL
Indiana State 62
Cal State Fullerton 67 FINAL
Wright State 62
Western Ky 62 FINAL
Saint Josephs 59
Michigan State 77 FINAL
Rider 45
UCLA 56 FINAL
North Carolina 78
Long Beach State 73 FINAL
Western Mich 55
Marquette 72 FINAL
Georgia Tech 70
Stephen F Austin 73 FINAL
Prairie View 61
UAB 47 FINAL
Florida 56
Rice 71 FINAL
Mercer 77
San Jose St 56 FINAL
Washington 78
Washington St 10 1st Half 4:48
UC Santa Barbara 25
Baylor 39 2nd Half 15:50
Memphis 37
LSU 23 FINAL
Texas A&M 17
(6) TCU 48 FINAL
Texas 10
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
UCF 12/4/14 6:30 PM
East Carolina
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Calgary
Hartford 43 FINAL
Furman 53
Clemson 77 FINAL
Ohio State 86
Idaho State 53 FINAL
San Diego State 68
East Carolina 58 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 69
Santa Clara 0 Cancelled
Texas-El Paso 0
Florida State 68 FINAL
Washington 80
Wichita State 39 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 56
Wisconsin 44 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 67
Kansas State 0 Cancelled
LSU 0
BYU 73 FINAL
BYU-Hawaii 52
Charlotte 58 FINAL
Montana 67
Illinois 77 FINAL
(9) Kentucky 71
Central Michigan 61 FINAL
Richmond 56
Oklahoma 68 FINAL
South Florida 83
Princeton 72 FINAL
Wake Forest 55
(19) Oregon State 85 FINAL
Butler 53
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close