Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder felt a bit of a nudge from his coaching staff this offseason when the team acquired veteran quarterback Matt Cassel to act as his backup—or the starter if Ponder should struggle.
It’s early, but Ponder is already struggling.
Per Judd Zulgad, of 1500ESPN.com, Ponder is struggling with footwork and more in camp (via NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal):
“Watching Christian Ponder out there, the footwork didn’t look great,” Judd Zulgad, of 1500ESPN.com, said Wednesday. “The passes didn’t look all that sharp.
“You know what’s not there? Crispness,” Zulgad said. “There’s not a sharpness. At times you would expect things to look second nature to Ponder. … That’s not what we’re seeing so far, but like I said, it’s minicamp.”
Remember, it’s only June, but any bad news out of camp now has to be at least covered. There aren’t many excuses you can throw Ponder’s way outside of the face he’s working with some new pieces. We’re talking about drills where contact is prohibited so we know Ponder isn’t worried about getting rid of the ball fast before getting hit.
Could there be a quarterback controversy in Minnesota?
You better believe it.
Ponder hasn’t shown enough in two years, especially with a running back like Adrian Peterson supporting him. Cassel has more experience in the league and could likely squeezed the most out of the talent on the roster. This doesn’t mean he’ll be great, but the Vikings need a quality game-manager and Cassel could fill that role.
It’s very early but all signs point to a bit more of a controversy in Minnesota than most expected.
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