Christian Ponder says his confidence has never been higher. He has several new weapons to work with, and of course, the finest runner since Phidippedes announced “Rejoice we conquer” after the Greek battle of Marathon, in Adrian Peterson.
“I have more confidence,” Ponder said, via the Associated Press. “It comes with experience. Last year, we were a playoff team. That gave everybody confidence.”
Ponder has shown steady progress in terms of improved statistics from his rookie season to last year. His completion percentage rose from 54.3 to a respectable 62.1. That includes tossing 18 touchdowns last season compared to just 13 in 2011. His interceptions dropped only slightly to 12 interceptions in 2012 compared to 13, but more importantly, his all-important quarterback rating rose from 70.1 to 81.2.
Solid progress… So what will it take for Ponder to make that next step from average towards being an elite QB? The revamped receiving corps should provide more support but clearly the pressure is directly on his shoulders to lead what is expected to be a strong offensive unit.
“Well, you can say that about any quarterback in the league,” Ponder said. “I think quarterback kind of dictates what the success of the team is going to be, and I’m not putting more pressure on myself. It’s already a high-pressure job. This year is no different than any other year. My approach is the same.”
Ponder says the Vikings can trust him.
“I want to be the guy with the ball in my hand and a chance to win the game,” Ponder said, adding: “The biggest thing is my decision-making. I want to play smart football.”
“Smart football” is something to be expected from a 3rd year starter in the NFL. So far, “consistency” is a term that has not been often used to describe the former Florida Seminole. But beginning this September, there are many Viking fans who are pulling for him to become just that.
In his 3rd season, it is truly time for Ponder to put up or shut up. Vikings fans want no more excuses. So to quote the great Major Payne…… “Now go out and get me my trophy!”