Why Leslie Frazier is Wise to Commit to Minnesota Vikings QB Christian Ponder

Zach Kruse@@zachkruse2Senior Analyst IDecember 29, 2011

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 24: Quarterback  Christian Ponder #7 of the Minnesota Vikings looks for open teammates against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field on December 24, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. The Minnesota Vikings won, 33-26. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier told the media Wednesday that first-round pick Christian Ponder, not Joe Webb, will be his starting quarterback in Week 17 against the Chicago Bears. 

Yeah, Christian made it back today and finished practice well, and hopefully it’ll just continue throughout this week, but the plan is for him to start on Sunday.

Frazier mentioned earlier in the week about the possibility of Webb, who orchestrated an offensive masterpiece for the Vikings in the second half against the Washington Redskins, being in the Vikings' long-term plans at quarterback, despite the fact that Minnesota drafted Ponder in the first-round last April.

Even if those long-term plans do hold true, Ponder is Frazier's quarterback to close the 2011 season.

And that's exactly how it should be in Minnesota.

Look, I understand the feeling amongst some regarding Webb. He's an electric athlete and there's a pretty good argument to be made that the offense has clicked better under Webb than Ponder.

Webb might even give the Vikings a better chance to win in their season finale against the Bears. I'm willing to go that far.  

But there's no reason to give up on Ponder as the starting quarterback in Minnesota yet, and there's more reasons for that thinking than starting Webb right now. 

Most of the Webb supporters are simply a prisoner of the moment. You see the magic he put together last Sunday and think, "Well, that just knocked the socks off what we've seen from Ponder."

You can't be so near-sighted. No one expected Ponder to come into Minnesota and save the day in his first season. Is the small sample from Ponder, who has had his moments, enough to close the door on his career in a Vikings uniform? 

The Vikings have to let Ponder develop, and Frazier is sending a strong message to his team about that development. Any chance of the locker room being split on who is the starter ended with Frazier's announcement Wednesday. 

This is Ponder's team. And it should be.

Webb is a fantastic backup quarterback, one that should be used in certain packages during each and every game.

However, Ponder is the quarterback who gives the Vikings the best chance at long-term success. Gadget quarterbacks don't survive.

Credit Leslie Frazier for keeping the future of the Vikings in mind instead of allowing himself to become a prisoner of the moment, which could have been a locker room divider heading into one of the most important offseasons in Vikings' history.