Dec 30, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (7) throws during the first quarter against the Green Bay Packers at the Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Packers 37-34. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Jared Allen to Christian Ponder: "You have to be the guy"

The Minnesota Vikings are sticking with Christian Ponder for now at quarterback. Matt Cassel, the back up quarterback, even stated that he is going to be the best back up he can be for Ponder. And despite Adrian Peterson’s desire to try to reach 2,500 yards rushing, the Vikings need the offense to be balanced.

And now players in leadership roles with the team are telling Ponder he has to step up and be the guy.

“I tell him all the time, you have to be the guy,” defensive end Jared Allen said on Jim Rome’s show. “Adrian can carry this team so far, our defense can carry this team so far. You know, you look at teams that historically win championships and they have consistent play from the quarterback position.”

And the keyword is consistent, not elite. Teams like the Trent Dilfer led Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens, or the Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers led by Brad Johnson all followed this mold. A strong defense and an offense that doesn’t hurt the team (turn overs, unproductive) can go a long way.

“I hope he makes leaps and bounds,” Allen said. “He’s a great dude.”

Last season he was 21st in the NFL in quarterback rating, 23rd in passing touchdowns and 25th in passing yards. His main target Percy Harvin was injured for roughly half the season. The Vikings though added Greg Jennings via free agency and drafted Cordarrelle Patterson in the first round. With more weapons and the attention Adrian Peterson will certainly command after one of the best rushing seasons of all time can set up Ponder to succeed.

Tags: Christian Ponder Jared Allen Minnesota Vikings

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