Rookie at QB not new for Vikings coaches

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 20, 2011 - 11:48 PM

Bill Musgrave worked with Matt Ryan in Atlanta, while Craig Johnson helped Vince Young in Tennessee.

hide

Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave worked with Matt Ryan (2) in Atlanta. Now he'll be bringing along another young quarterback in rookie Christian Ponder.

Photo: Nam Y. Huh, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave was Atlanta Falcons quarterbacks coach when Matt Ryan broke in as a rookie in 2008, leading the team to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth. Ryan now is ranked with the best quarterbacks in the NFL.

Vikings quarterback coach Craig Johnson was in that role with the Tennessee Titans when Vince Young joined in 2006 and ended up winning the NFL Rookie of the Year Award.

So the two coaches were asked to talk about their experiences with rookie starters in the past and how they compare to Christian Ponder.

"[Ryan and Ponder] played in good offenses at college, [were] well-schooled and asked to do a lot of pro concepts," Musgrave said. "They have some good time on task from college."

Both Young and Ryan were the No. 3 overall draft picks. Ponder was the No. 12 selection in April.

Musgrave said that, like most rookies, Ryan was green as grass when he started.

"They've got a lot to learn, and the only way to learn is to get out on the field and experience it," Musgrave said. "Same with Ponder. He'll see some things that he's never seen before, but if history is any indication, he'll learn from his mistakes and get better all the way."

Musgrave said he didn't know if anybody ever anticipated Ryan progressing at the rate that he did that 2008 rookie year in Atlanta, but he said Ryan, who played four years at Boston College, was a good student and did a good job of learning from his mistakes, a skill essential for any quarterback.

As for Ponder, Musgrave said: "He was a fearless runner at Florida State. He knows he needs to use better judgment at this level so that we can keep him upright."

Both Ryan and Ponder were four-year players at Atlantic Coast Conference schools, but Musgrave said as quarterbacks, they are a little different.

"Ryan is taller [6-4 to 6-2], maybe a little bit more of a pocket passer. I think Christian's movement will be one of his fortés," Musgrave said.

Musgrave believes Ponder has the traits to be a good starting QB in the NFL.

"His background, his competitiveness -- he's awfully sharp, and again, his athletic ability [is] really a strong suit," he said. "He just has to get out there and butt his head up against it, a little bit like he did on Sunday night. You have to be on the field to experience the speed and the vitality of all those defenders and bring yourself up to that speed and start executing."

Recalling Young

Young also had a reputation as a scrambling quarterback coming out of Texas, where he led the Longhorns to the 2005 national championship. Johnson said every young quarterback has his own skill set, and that applies to Young and Ponder as well.

"I think every guy is unique and every guy has their own style," Johnson said. "I think that the biggest thing with Christian is, he's done a good job on the practice field, as we've talked about. I thought that the game did not overwhelm him coming in against Chicago. As I said, it's a little different role when you come in as a starter. But he's practicing fast, he's working hard at it, and we're going to do everything we can to try to get him to be ready to play this week."

Like Ponder, Young didn't start right away; his first start came in Week 4.

"In fact," Johnson said, "the roles were somewhat similar. ... This will be our seventh game for Christian. But the bottom line is [Ponder] had a chance to watch a little bit, both guys had a chance to.

"They kind of had a chance to learn from a veteran with [Young behind] Kerry Collins and now [Ponder] with Donovan [McNabb]. Now it's his chance to take the reins, and I'm excited to watch and see what he's going to do. But I've been blessed, like Bill, that have had rookie quarterbacks that have played pretty well for us."

Johnson said there won't be a limited offense with a rookie making his first career start.

"We're going to go in and try to make sure he's comfortable," Johnson said. "Right now, we've got a lot of it up. We'll maybe pare it down a little bit at the end of the week, make sure he's comfortable with the calls that we have -- that's standard procedure -- and then make sure he can get out there and play fast. I think that's important."

Jottings

• McNabb said he was happy with the way coach Leslie Frazier handled his demotion. "I appreciate the way he handled it and the way everything has been handled," McNabb said Wednesday. "We sat down and talked and ironed some things out. After the conversation we moved on, and again I'm preparing myself for what could happen. I'm just making sure I'm ready to go."

• Pictures of 42 Gophers football players who had at least a 3.0 grade-point average last semester are in the recreation room at the Bierman Building. And more than half of the 42 are players who see a lot of action.

• Gophers coach Jerry Kill and offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover were on the road last week watching highly recruited lineman commitment Jonah Pirsig play for Blue Earth in a 15-13 loss toFairmont.

• Among Big Ten teams, Nebraska has faced the Gophers more than any other conference school, 51 times dating to 1900. Minnesota has had nine- and 10-game winning streaks against the Cornhuskers as a nonconference rival but has lost the past 14 meetings.

• Duane Bennett needs 24 rushing yards to move into the top 20 in Gophers history. He has rushed for 1,737 yards in his career and could tie Kent Kitzmann, who rushed for 1,761 yards from 1976 to '78.

• Hassan Mead, the outstanding Gophers distance runner who had a lot of problems with injuries last year, finished fifth overall in the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational cross-country meet last week. The Gophers, who were ranked 17th entering the meet, finished seventh out of 39 teams, beating four teams ranked higher than them. They finished the meet third among the Big Ten teams.

• Three former Gophers are off to hot starts in the NHL. Phil Kessel has a league-leading 12 points (seven goals, five assists) for Toronto. Right behind him at No. 2 is Buffalo's Thomas Vanek, who scored twice Thursday night and has 10 points (six goals, four assists). Erik Johnson, in his first full year with Colorado, is tied for second in power-play points with five assists.

• Defenseman Brady Skjei, a Gophers recruit from Lakeville playing for the U.S. National Under-18 Team in Ann Arbor, Mich., is rated No. 29 in the International Scouting Services' list of NHL draft-eligible prospects for 2012. ... Apple Valley's Hudson Fasching had a goal and three assists in his first five games for the U.S. Under-17 Team.

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

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Dallas 6:00 PM
Orlando
Sacramento 6:00 PM
Indiana
Toronto 6:00 PM
Washington
Houston 6:30 PM
Detroit
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Cleveland 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Oklahoma City 7:00 PM
Memphis
Portland 7:30 PM
Milwaukee
LA Clippers 8:00 PM
San Antonio
Charlotte 8:00 PM
Denver
Phoenix 9:30 PM
Golden State
Washington 12:00 PM
Montreal
NY Islanders 1:00 PM
Detroit
Arizona 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Los Angeles 6:00 PM
Boston
Florida 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Carolina 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Toronto 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Dallas 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Columbus 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Edmonton 9:00 PM
Calgary
Chicago 9:30 PM
San Jose
Boston College 11:00 AM
Clemson
Western Mich 11:00 AM
Eastern Mich
NC State 11:00 AM
Georgia Tech
Wisconsin 11:00 AM
Iowa
Stony Brook 11:00 AM
New Hampshire
Notre Dame 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Providence 11:00 AM
St Johns
Davidson 11:00 AM
Saint Josephs
Xavier 11:00 AM
Seton Hall
Tulane 11:00 AM
Temple
Auburn 11:00 AM
Tennessee
Texas Tech 11:00 AM
West Virginia
Arkansas 12:00 PM
Florida
Penn State 12:00 PM
Illinois
Lipscomb 12:00 PM
Stetson
South Florida 12:00 PM
Tulsa
Bradley 12:05 PM
Indiana State
UMass Lowell 1:00 PM
Binghamton
Green Bay 1:00 PM
Cleveland State
Georgetown 1:00 PM
Creighton
Coll of Charleston 1:00 PM
Delaware
Villanova 1:00 PM
DePaul
Arkansas State 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Vermont 1:00 PM
Hartford
TCU 1:00 PM
Iowa State
Kennesaw St 1:00 PM
Jacksonville
Kansas State 1:00 PM
Kansas
Boston Univ 1:00 PM
Lehigh
Illinois State 1:00 PM
Loyola-Chicago
Albany 1:00 PM
Maine
Butler 1:00 PM
Marquette
LSU 1:00 PM
Miss State
Mount St Marys 1:00 PM
Sacred Heart
Richmond 1:00 PM
VA Commonwealth
Virginia Tech 1:00 PM
Wake Forest
IUPU-Ft Wayne 1:00 PM
Nebraska Omaha
Loyola-Maryland 2:00 PM
Army
Tenn Tech 2:00 PM
Belmont
Bethune-Cookman 2:00 PM
Florida A&M
Valparaiso 2:00 PM
Ill-Chicago
UAB 2:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Idaho State 2:00 PM
North Dakota
Evansville 2:05 PM
Drake
Rutgers 2:15 PM
Indiana
Ball State 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Southern U 3:00 PM
Alcorn State
UNC-Wilmington 3:00 PM
Drexel
Coastal Carolina 3:00 PM
Gardner-Webb
Morgan State 3:00 PM
Howard
William & Mary 3:00 PM
James Madison
North Carolina 3:00 PM
Louisville
Coppin State 3:00 PM
MD-Eastern Shore
Ole Miss 3:00 PM
Missouri
Wichita State 3:00 PM
Northern Iowa
Loyola Marymount 3:00 PM
Pacific
Winthrop 3:00 PM
Radford
George Washington 3:00 PM
Rhode Island
Bryant 3:00 PM
Robert Morris
Long Island 3:00 PM
St Francis-NY
Fair-Dickinson 3:00 PM
St Francis-PA
Massachusetts 3:00 PM
Saint Louis
Georgia 3:00 PM
South Carolina
Central Conn St 3:00 PM
Wagner
SIU Edwardsville 3:15 PM
Eastern Ill
Ohio 3:30 PM
Central Mich
Eastern Ky 3:30 PM
Morehead State
Incarnate Word 3:30 PM
Nicholls
Campbell 3:30 PM
UNC-Asheville
Vanderbilt 3:30 PM
Texas A&M
South Alabama 4:00 PM
ULM
Western Carolina 4:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Detroit 4:00 PM
Milwaukee
Idaho 4:05 PM
Eastern Wash
Marshall 4:30 PM
Louisiana Tech
Jackson State 4:30 PM
Miss Valley St
Houston Baptist 4:30 PM
Sam Houston St
Louisiana 4:30 PM
Texas State
Denver 4:30 PM
South Dakota St
Oral Roberts 4:30 PM
South Dakota
Texas 5:00 PM
Baylor
Citadel 5:00 PM
Chattanooga
Fresno State 5:00 PM
Colorado State
Yale 5:00 PM
Cornell
Ark-Pine Bluff 5:00 PM
Grambling St
Nebraska 5:00 PM
Minnesota
Hampton 5:00 PM
Norfolk State
Purdue 5:00 PM
Northwestern
Alabama A&M 5:00 PM
Prairie View
Dartmouth 5:00 PM
Princeton
Pepperdine 5:00 PM
St Marys-CA
NC A&T 5:00 PM
Savannah State
Delaware State 5:00 PM
SC State
Western Ky 5:00 PM
Southern Miss
Nevada 5:00 PM
Wyoming
Akron 6:00 PM
Bowling Green
Colgate 6:00 PM
Bucknell
FIU 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Brown 6:00 PM
Columbia
George Mason 6:00 PM
Duquesne
NC Central 6:00 PM
East Tenn St
Saint Peters 6:00 PM
Iona
Alabama 6:00 PM
Kentucky
Abilene Christian 6:00 PM
Lamar
Char Southern 6:00 PM
Liberty
Hawaii 6:00 PM
Long Beach State
New Orleans 6:00 PM
McNeese State
Lafayette 6:00 PM
Navy
Elon 6:00 PM
Northeastern
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
Old Dominion
Harvard 6:00 PM
Penn
La Salle 6:00 PM
St Bonaventure
Furman 6:00 PM
Samford
TX A&M-CC 6:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
Duke 6:00 PM
Virginia
Mercer 6:00 PM
Wofford
Northern Ky 6:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
USC Upstate 6:00 PM
North Florida
Longwood 6:00 PM
Presbyterian
Ark-Little Rock 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
SE Missouri St 7:00 PM
Austin Peay
CS-Northridge 7:00 PM
UC Riverside
Towson 7:00 PM
Hofstra
UT Martin 7:00 PM
Murray State
San Jose St 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Rice 7:00 PM
North Texas
Toledo 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
Oklahoma 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
San Francisco 7:00 PM
San Diego
Utah State 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Northwestern St 7:00 PM
SE Louisiana
UCF 7:00 PM
SMU
Southern Ill 7:05 PM
Missouri State
Troy 7:15 PM
Texas-Arlington
Jacksonville St 7:30 PM
Tennessee St
Alabama State 7:30 PM
Texas Southern
Stanford 7:30 PM
Washington St
Santa Clara 8:00 PM
BYU
TX-Pan American 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
Northern Ariz 8:00 PM
Southern Utah
Middle Tennessee 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Weber State 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
Chicago State 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
UC Santa Barbara 9:00 PM
UC Irvine
Memphis 9:00 PM
Gonzaga
Air Force 9:00 PM
UNLV
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Seattle 9:00 PM
CS-Bakersfield
Montana State 9:05 PM
Portland State
Montana 9:05 PM
Sacramento St
Colorado 9:30 PM
UCLA
UMKC 9:30 PM
Utah Valley U
Mount St Marys 6 1st Half 13:01
Sacred Heart 17
Texas-El Paso 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
Arkansas State 11:00 AM
Georgia State
Bryant 12:00 PM
Robert Morris
Central Conn St 12:00 PM
Wagner
Fairleigh Dickinson 12:00 PM
St Francis-PA
Long Island 12:00 PM
St Francis-NY
Bethune-Cookman 12:00 PM
Florida A&M
Longwood 12:00 PM
Campbell
Charleston Southern 12:00 PM
Winthrop
Louisiana Tech 12:00 PM
Marshall
Ohio U 12:00 PM
Central Michigan
Western Mich 12:00 PM
Miami-Ohio
Coppin State 1:00 PM
MD-Eastern Shore
Incarnate Word 1:00 PM
Nicholls
Samford 1:00 PM
East Tenn St
Western Carolina 1:00 PM
Furman
UNC Greensboro 1:00 PM
Wofford
Gardner-Webb 1:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
Liberty 1:00 PM
High Point
Morgan State 1:00 PM
Howard
Presbyterian 1:00 PM
UNC-Asheville
Kent State 1:00 PM
Akron
Northern Ill 1:00 PM
Ball State
Houston 1:00 PM
Cincinnati
SIU-Edwardsville 1:00 PM
Eastern Illinois
Eastern Kentucky 1:00 PM
Morehead St
Holy Cross 1:00 PM
American Univ
Army 1:00 PM
Loyola-Maryland
Niagara 1:00 PM
Manhattan
Lehigh 1:00 PM
Boston U
Navy 1:00 PM
Lafayette
Saint Josephs 1:00 PM
Davidson
Duquesne 1:00 PM
Fordham
George Washington 1:00 PM
George Mason
St Bonaventure 1:00 PM
Massachusetts
Milwaukee 1:00 PM
Youngstown St
Jacksonville 1:00 PM
Kennesaw St
North Florida 1:00 PM
USC Upstate
Buffalo 1:30 PM
Eastern Michigan
St Marys-CA 2:00 PM
Pepperdine
Nebraska Omaha 2:00 PM
IUPUI
Houston Baptist 2:00 PM
Sam Houston St
Mercer 2:00 PM
(25) Chattanooga
No Dakota State 2:00 PM
South Dakota St
Oral Roberts 2:00 PM
South Dakota
Southern Miss 2:00 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 2:00 PM
UAB
East Carolina 2:00 PM
Tulane
South Florida 2:00 PM
Memphis
New Mexico St 2:00 PM
TX-Pan American
Utah Valley U 2:00 PM
UMKC
Jackson State 2:00 PM
Miss Valley St
Louisiana 2:00 PM
Texas State
South Alabama 2:00 PM
ULM
Saint Louis 2:00 PM
Dayton
Cleveland State 2:00 PM
Oakland
Grand Canyon 2:05 PM
Chicago State
UCLA 2:30 PM
Oregon
Washington St 2:30 PM
(12) Stanford
Kansas State 3:00 PM
Texas Tech
UNLV 3:00 PM
Air Force
UCF 3:00 PM
Tulsa
Delaware State 3:00 PM
SC State
San Diego State 3:00 PM
Utah State
Sacramento St 3:00 PM
Montana
Portland State 3:00 PM
Montana State
Northern Colorado 3:00 PM
Weber State
Hampton 3:00 PM
Norfolk State
NC A&T 3:00 PM
Savannah State
Alabama A&M 3:00 PM
Prairie View
Toledo 3:00 PM
Bowling Green
Ark-Pine Bluff 3:00 PM
Grambling
Southern U 3:00 PM
Alcorn State
Marist 3:00 PM
Iona
Bucknell 3:00 PM
Colgate
North Dakota 3:00 PM
Idaho State
Ark-Little Rock 3:30 PM
Georgia Southern
BYU 4:00 PM
Santa Clara
Gonzaga 4:00 PM
Portland
Pacific 4:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Abilene Christian 4:00 PM
Lamar
Colorado State 4:00 PM
Fresno State
New Mexico 4:00 PM
San Jose St
UC Davis 4:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
San Diego 4:00 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 4:00 PM
McNeese State
TX A&M-CC 4:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
Old Dominion 4:00 PM
Florida Atlantic
Tenn Tech 4:00 PM
Belmont
Eastern Washington 4:00 PM
Idaho
Stetson 4:00 PM
Lipscomb
Washington 4:30 PM
California
USC 4:30 PM
(7) Oregon State
IUPU-Ft Wayne 4:30 PM
Western Ill
Northwestern St 4:30 PM
SE Louisiana
SE Missouri St 4:30 PM
Austin Peay
Columbia 5:00 PM
Brown
Charlotte 5:00 PM
FIU
(19) Princeton 5:00 PM
Dartmouth
Penn 5:00 PM
Harvard
UT Martin 5:00 PM
Murray State
Troy 5:00 PM
TX-Arlington
Alabama State 5:30 PM
Texas Southern
Jacksonville St 5:30 PM
Tennessee St
Wyoming 6:00 PM
Nevada
Oklahoma St 6:00 PM
Iowa State
CS-Bakersfield 6:00 PM
Seattle
La Salle 6:00 PM
VA Commonwealth
Cal-Irvine 6:00 PM
Cal Poly
Fla Gulf Coast 6:00 PM
Northern Ky
Southern Utah 7:00 PM
Northern Ariz
Green Bay 7:00 PM
Illinois-Chicago
Cal State Fullerton 9:00 PM
Long Beach St
CS-Northridge 9:00 PM
Hawaii
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 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

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who will win the Super Bowl?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close