What am I missing here? The Vikings replaced a disgruntled employee who came to work approximately ½ of the time. A player who didn’t want or appreciate being a Minnesota Viking. A person who at every opportunity took the low road by throwing his quarterback under the proverbial bus, and replaced him with:
A) A first round draft pick who turned out to be Xavier Rhodes ( a prospect that could potentially be a shut-down, pro-bowl corner for the next 10 years).
B) Shifted the monetary resources previously used on this malcontent and gave it to a player who not only wants to be here, but has a long history of being a positive locker room presence. An asset who actually “Likes” his new Quarterback, who is willing to mentor those with less experience and who is the equal (or better) down field threat, as well as being an excellent slot receiver to boot. (Two attributes that the Vikings desperately need).
Although Christian Ponder is saying all the politically correct things, you can bet that he’s not crying himself to sleep at night over this.
Seriously, how does a team put its faith in a receiver that only plays on occasion? I’m not talking a missed game here and there. Between the Migraines, hamstrings, etc., it is difficult to game prep when your most talented offensive weapon cannot be relied upon.
It’s just my opinion, but I think that the development of Christian Ponder as a legitimate franchise QB is this team’s greatest challenge. A point so important, that it most likely makes the difference between being a middle of the pack non-contender and being one of the “Elites” who could challenge for football supremacy.
It is the very reason that Rick Speilman and co. concentrated so much of its time and energy bringing in the likes of Greg Jennings. (There is a reason the Packers offered $10 million per year for this guy). Then spent four picks to draft Cordarrelle Patterson, re-signed Jerome Simpson et al. These are important steps necessary to ensure that Ponder is surrounded with more viable offensive weapons to work with.
Another important, albeit possibly underrated variable to consider is whether or not offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave is willing and/or con
fident enough to “take off the training wheels” and allow Ponder more opportunities to attack the secondary down field.
The Vikings were last in the NFL in passing plays of 20+ yards last season. It can be argued that this was NOT an area where Percy Harvin excelled. The additions of Jennings and Patterson tell me that the team is looking at this as an offensive imperative.
In summation, for Ponder to excel, he has to have the weapons available AND the confidence of his coaches to aggressively game plan in full attack mode if the Vikings Ship is to ever set sail.
Presently is the time of year where speculation and opinions run rampant. Everyone has visions of glorious expectations to come. But soon, the time of putting these expectations into fruition will be upon us. The hope here is that the changes made will support these expectations and the best laid plans of the coaching staff and fans will bring it all to fruition.
– Dawgg !