McNabb seizes Mankato spotlight

  • Article by: JUDD ZULGAD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 1, 2011 - 1:08 AM

The veteran quarterback said he's excited to work with Christian Ponder, who is now third in line to start.

MANKATO - Brett Favre played in the NFL until he was 41 years old. Donovan McNabb said Sunday after reporting to training camp that he plans to exit before Favre did, but then made it clear that won't be anytime soon.

"I feel like I've got five more years left, five or six more years left," said McNabb, who will turn 35 on Nov. 25. "If that puts me at 40, so be it. The whole thing about it is playing at a high level, still competing at this game, and I still feel like I have gas [in the tank]."

If McNabb accomplishes this goal, his career isn't likely to end in Minnesota. The Vikings did not draft quarterback Christian Ponder with the 12th pick in the first round last April to put him on a five-year development plan.

Ponder realizes this but also understands McNabb's outlook.

"Obviously, I think anyone in this league is always trying to be here as long as they can," Ponder said. "Of course that's going to be his mentality. And he's good enough to do that.

"My attitude is I'm going to go out there and compete and try to win the starting job but at the same time try to soak as much information from a guy who has been to the Pro Bowl six times and has been to several NFC championships and a Super Bowl."

Ponder and many of his new teammates will be on the field for the first time Monday afternoon for a single practice that will open camp. McNabb, obtained in a trade from Washington last week, won't be eligible to begin practicing until Thursday, when the new collective bargaining agreement is expected to be ratified.

(The rule impacts veterans who received new contracts; McNabb was traded to the Vikings and then had his contract redone.)

Ponder will be practicing one day after signing a four-year contract that will pay him around $10 million and is all guaranteed. Under the new CBA, all first-round picks get contracts that include a non-negotiable fifth-year option. Without McNabb on the field, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier plans to give the first-team reps to Joe Webb because he finished last season as the starter.

Ponder, however, is sure to get plenty of work as the Vikings try to make up for the fact that the rookie did not get any offseason work with the team because of the lockout.

"I'm definitely excited," he said. "It's kind of been a weird week because everything happened so fast. The lockout ended. I got my contract signed. And all of a sudden, now we're in Mankato.

"It's been a whirlwind, and now it's finally great that football is starting. The crazy thing is down in Florida State, in college, you practice four or five weeks before you have a game. Two weeks from yesterday, we're playing in Tennessee for a preseason game."

McNabb is expected to start that game and all others the Vikings will play this season. Ponder said he was not surprised Frazier named McNabb his starting quarterback after the trade was completed.

Ponder had hoped to start the regular-season opener Sept. 11 at San Diego but at the same time realized that would be a tall order given that the offseason was wiped out.

"The guy deserves a starting job," Ponder said. "He's been in the league for a while."

Ponder and McNabb got an opportunity to talk on Saturday in what Ponder called a brief introduction. Ponder said McNabb seemed like a great guy and will be "awesome" to work with; McNabb, in turn, said he is "very excited" to work with Ponder.

Ponder is a guy who earned his master's degree after his junior year at Florida State, so it's safe to say he will be absorbing anything McNabb tells him.

"The biggest thing that I'm going to soak up from him is his preparation," Ponder said. "How he handles being an NFL quarterback. He's successful at doing something. I've just got to figure out what that is and then copy it and hopefully use it against him to win that starting job."

Or would it be a good idea for Ponder to show some patience? Aaron Rodgers spent three years playing behind Favre, and that worked out OK for the quarterback and the Packers, who won the Super Bowl last season.

"There's an advantage to getting thrown in early and trying to get some playing time," Ponder said. "That's what everyone wants. But there's an advantage to sitting back and waiting and learning from a guy like Brett Favre or Donovan McNabb.

"Those guys are successful, and you can learn something from them. I think it paid off for Aaron. A Super Bowl ring isn't a bad deal. I'm looking to do that here."



    Today: First practice, 3-4:35 p.m., Minnesota State Mankato • Aug. 11: Preseason opener at Tennessee

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Team Irvin 32 FINAL
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 99 FINAL
LA Lakers 87
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters



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 NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9




question of the day

Poll: Who will win the Super Bowl?

Weekly Question