Sid Hartman: Rodgers, Ponder share swagger

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 13, 2011 - 12:14 AM

Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell, who played for Green Bay when Rodgers was drafted 24th overall in the first round in 2005, compared his current quarterback with Green Bay's as a rookie.

hide

Ryan Longwell was in his ninth year with the Packers in 2005, the year they drafted Aaron Rodgers in the first round. Longwell says Rodgers’ three years backing up Brett Favre proved invaluable in making him the star he is today.

Photo: Mark Hoffman, Krt

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The Vikings will face the hottest quarterback in the NFL Monday night in the Packers' Aaron Rodgers. Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell, who played for Green Bay when Rodgers was drafted 24th overall in the first round in 2005, was asked to compare Rodgers in his first year with Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder.

"We had picked late in the first round, 24, 25 or something, and picked [Rodgers]. But you could tell right away, much like when we drafted [Matt] Hasselbeck in the sixth round [in 1998] and some of the other quarterbacks that were there, that he had that X-factor that you need as a great quarterback.

"It's that swagger that good quarterbacks have. It's not like ego, it's not one of those things. It's more of a quiet confidence. Hasselbeck had it, Aaron Rodgers had it, and Ponder has it. So if he can develop it, the sky is the limit for him."

One big difference: Ponder is playing right away. Rodgers spent three years behind Brett Favre reworking his throwing motion and tweaking his skills.

"Obviously those three years that he spent not playing and with Brett there, he was able to really develop his physical skills on throwing the ball," Longwell said. "He throws as good a ball as anybody I've ever seen now.

"I think even if you ask Aaron, I think the ability to come in and learn for a few years was instrumental in how much success he's having now. Because of the tweaks that he had to make to his throwing motion and some of the physical things he had to tweak, he couldn't have done that coming in and playing right away. I think those were definitely years gained for him, and I don't think he feels like they're years lost."

Tough to win in Green Bay

Longwell spent nine years with Green Bay and now is in his sixth with the Vikings. Asked how tough it is to win in Packerland, the kicker recalled his first team meeting as a Green Bay rookie.

"[Then-coach Mike] Holmgren stood, got up and said what he had to say. And then his final thing was, 'We never lose at Lambeau.' That was kind of the mantra that everybody kept. It was 2 1/2 or three years before we lost [at home]," Longwell said.

"We lost to the Vikings on a Monday night game [in 1998, Longwell's second season]. But we just always felt like we never lost at Lambeau. It's kind of a mentality that helps you through tough games, and they've kind of returned that to how it was when I first got there, it's currently like that now."

Longwell said the difference between the Packers' relationship with their fans compared to other NFL teams indicates just how deeply ingrained the team is to the community. "I think it's everything. It's the coaches, it's the fan base, the town, the city," he said. "Green Bay is a better place on Sunday nights after a win than it is going out to dinner after a loss. I think when you get into that environment, it breeds that this is a special place, and you want to win for your fans. It gets into the fabric of how you think as a team."

On another subject, Longwell said he believes he has learned the reason he has missed three field goals over the past four games, something that's quite unusual for him given that he had missed a total of three field goals over the past two seasons.

"We spent the bye week, [long snapper] Cullen [Loeffler] and [holder Chris] Kluwe and I, looking at what was different, and what's changed and I think we have a pretty good answer for what happened," he said.

"There's so many moving parts in a short amount of time [when kicking a field goal], you know everything has to be right on. We all worked hard over the bye week and we feel we have a pretty good rhythm now."

Longwell is confident if it comes to a winning field goal Monday, he won't miss this time.

Gophers take a step back

After the Gophers had played better in the past few weeks, coach Jerry Kill expected that type of performance Saturday. Instead, he got what he described as a lack of execution in a 42-13 loss to Wisconsin, special teams accounting for the Gophers' only two touchdowns.

Field position killed the Gophers all day, with punter Dan Orseske averaging only 31.2 yards on four punts.

It also didn't help that the Gophers faced maybe the best quarterback in the nation in Russell Wilson, who completed 16 of 17 passes for 178 yards and four touchdowns while also rushing seven times for 19 yards.

On the other hand, Gophers quarterback MarQueis Gray was playing despite a bad back injured last week at Michigan State. There was some question whether he would play, but he still rushed 19 times for 68 yards. He completed only six of 14 passes for 51 yards, but Kill called attention to the fact that some of those incomplete passes were drops.

Unlike the Iowa and Michigan State games, the Gophers didn't take advantage of the opportunities Wisconsin gave them. But the truth of the matter is that the Gophers had no defense for Wilson and Montee Ball, who rushed 23 times for 166 yards and two touchdowns.

The only way the Gophers were going to make a respectable performance against this great Badgers team was to keep the Wisconsin offense off the field, and on this day the home team offense did anything but.

And like Kill said, it was apparent that the Gophers offensive line didn't come close to its performance of a week ago, when it did a great job against a Michigan State defense that is one of the nation's best.

Jottings

 While Terry Ryan talked about a reduced payroll from some $115 million in 2011 to $100 million in 2012, the Pohlads have never turned down a request by a general manager to add payroll. One example was the re-signing of free- agent righthander Carl Pavano last season.

Jack Morris, the pitching great who did some radio work for the Twins and was talking with them about being a minor league coach, said, "I have nothing going with the Twins for next year at the present time."

Rest assured that former Vikings coach Brad Childress can have a spot on the Philadelphia Eagles coaching staff under Andy Reid next season. But don't be too surprised if Childress winds up as the coach of the Miami Dolphins.

Harvey Mackay points out in his new book "The Mackay MBA of Selling in the Real World," which is his seventh New York Times bestseller, that four of the best NFL coaches had poor first-year records before winning the Super Bowl. Tom Landry was 0-11-1 with the Cowboys in 1960, and also with Dallas, Jimmy Johnson went 1-15 in 1989. Chuck Noll went 1-13 with the Steelers in 1969 and Bill Walsh 2-14 with the 49ers in 1979.

• Roseville's Mike Muscala, the Patriot League Player of the Year who had 12 points Friday in Bucknell's loss to the Gophers, was recruited to the Pennsylvania school by Dane Fischer, a 1998 Rochester John Marshall graduate in his fourth year as a Bison assistant. Former Gophers player Mitch Ohnstad, who coached Muscala in AAU ball, was in attendance Friday.

• Former Gopher Nick Leddy, a 2009 Wild first-round pick traded to Chicago in 2010, is having a great start to the season. The 20-year-old leads all Blackhawks defensemen with 10 points (two goals, eight assists) and is fifth overall in scoring for the Central Division leaders.

  • related content

  • Sid's jottings

    Sunday November 13, 2011

    • While Terry Ryan talked about a reduced payroll from some $115 million in 2011 to $100 million in 2012, the Pohlads have never turned down a request by a...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Kansas City 4 Bottom 7th Inning
San Francisco 7
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New Orleans 10/30/14 7:25 PM
Carolina
Buffalo 2 FINAL
San Jose 1
Boston 4 FINAL
Toronto 1
NY Rangers 1 FINAL
Montreal 3
New Jersey 3 FINAL(OT)
Ottawa 2
Dallas 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 7
Detroit 2 FINAL
Philadelphia 4
Chicago 2 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL
Nashville 0
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Minnesota 7
Florida 1 3rd Prd 10:10
Arizona 0
Washington 2 2nd Prd 12:45
Calgary 1
So Florida 17 FINAL
Cincinnati 34
Troy 13 FINAL
South Alabama 27
BYU 30 FINAL
Boise State 55
(6) Oregon 59 FINAL
California 41
North Texas 21 FINAL
Rice 41
UAB 17 FINAL
Arkansas 45
Rutgers 24 FINAL
(16) Nebraska 42
Maryland 7 FINAL
Wisconsin 52
Texas 0 FINAL
(11) Kansas State 23
Minnesota 24 FINAL
Illinois 28
Memphis 48 FINAL
SMU 10
North Carolina 28 FINAL
Virginia 27
San Jose St 31 FINAL
Navy 41
Northern Ill 28 FINAL
Eastern Mich 17
(25) UCLA 40 FINAL
Colorado 37
Akron 21 FINAL
Ball State 35
Massachusetts 35 FINAL
Toledo 42
Ohio U 21 FINAL
Western Mich 42
Ga Southern 69 FINAL
Georgia State 31
Kent State 3 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 10
Oregon State 14 FINAL
Stanford 38
Fla Atlantic 16 FINAL
(23) Marshall 35
Louisiana Tech 31 FINAL
Southern Miss 20
(1) Miss State 45 FINAL
Kentucky 31
Georgia Tech 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 28
(22) West Virginia 34 FINAL
Oklahoma State 10
Texas Tech 27 FINAL
(10) TCU 82
Michigan 11 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 35
Boston College 23 FINAL
Wake Forest 17
Central Mich 20 FINAL
Buffalo 14
Vanderbilt 14 FINAL
Missouri 24
Old Dominion 51 FINAL
Western Ky 66
UNLV 20 FINAL
Utah State 34
Temple 14 FINAL
UCF 34
(15) Arizona 59 FINAL
Washington St 37
Texas-El Paso 34 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 0
Wyoming 31 FINAL
Colorado State 45
Syracuse 6 FINAL
(21) Clemson 16
Texas State 22 FINAL
ULM 18
(3) Ole Miss 7 FINAL
(24) LSU 10
(4) Alabama 34 FINAL
Tennessee 20
So Carolina 35 FINAL
(5) Auburn 42
(13) Ohio State 17 4th Qtr 4:05
Penn State 14
(20) USC 7 2nd Qtr 5:08
(19) Utah 10
(14) Arizona State 0 1st Qtr 5:18
Washington 0
Nevada 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Memphis
Purdue 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
(17) Oklahoma 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa State
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(22) West Virginia
Texas 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Texas Tech
Northwestern 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa
Maryland 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Penn State
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(18) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Texas State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico St
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
(20) USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(5) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(1) Miss State
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(6) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(7) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(15) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(19) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(14) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
Seattle 2
D.C. 1 FINAL
Montreal 1
Toronto FC 0 FINAL
New England 1
Portland 2 FINAL
FC Dallas 0
Colorado 0 2nd Half
Vancouver FC 0
Montreal 23 FINAL
Ottawa 17
Saskatchewan 27 FINAL
Calgary 40
Hamilton 24 FINAL
Toronto 26
Brt Columbia 28 FINAL
Winnipeg 23
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
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 Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
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: How will the Vikings do Sunday in Tampa Bay?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close