Minnesota Vikings 2012: Ponder's Offseason to-Do List
With the promotion of Rick Spielman, for good or bad depending on where you stand, Christian Ponder appears to have gotten a boost of confidence, and for a kid who seemed to lose a little bit of it toward the end of the season, this is good news.
As Ponder heads into the offseason, it was good to hear of his commitment to stick around the land of 10,000 lakes to workout and immerse himself in the playbook.
I have put together a to-do list for our franchise quarterback, and I say that with confidence because I believe in this kid. So, let’s get to it. Christian, if you are reading this, and I am sure you are a Bleacher Report subscriber, check these out.
No. 1 to-Do: Playbook, Playbook, Playbook
Yes, it’s redundant, but it bears repeating. Whenever you have a rookie quarterback, there is a limited amount of plays, information, formations, etc. that he can absorb. Perhaps that is why so many of us thought that the Vikings offense lacked creativity this year.
I think we all know why: information overload.
I am glad to hear that Christian is staying in the Twin Cities to work with Coach Musgrave. This is going to enable Ponder to hopefully slow down the game. It will enable him to know where all his check downs are, to examine if they blitz in this particular situation, here are my options.
I will make a bold prediction that you will see a very different offense next year. Of course, much of that depends on the health of our running backs. I mean, good day to lose both in back-to-back games; talk about snake bit this year.
No. 2 to-Do: Call Drew Brees
Ponder spoke glowingly of Brees as he watched the surgeon slice the Vikings defense in an embarrassing way, so Ponder should pick up the phone, call Brees and ask him what he does to prepare for a season.
Set aside your ego. Successful people follow successful people. They may not do exactly as others do, but sometimes, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel; you just give it a new set of rims.
Of the top 10 quarterbacks in the league, Ponder resembles Brees the most, but is more mobile. He resembles him in that his delivery is simple and their builds are similar, with Ponder being a few inches taller. Neither has the strongest arm, but accuracy is their strong point.
How many movies have we seen, or books we’ve read, where the novice seeks out the master to learn what it takes to become the master? Christian, seek thy master.
No. 3 to-Do: Develop a Camaraderie with Harvin and Rudolph
Easier said than done, I know. But you never know. If these guys all want to be part of something special, then it would behoove them to get together and create a second nature to one another’s nuances on the field.
How does one create success? By doing and practicing over and over. I think it would serve all of them well, and they don’t need to hang out for six months; just get together a week here a week there and watch the chemistry develop.
No. 4 to-Do: Don't Let the Media Get to You
The media, for all its so-called integrity, can be a real cruel place sometimes. In the advent of 24 hour news and Internet, journalists look for an edge to get readers or viewers. One technique is to sensationalize.
For example, the most recent headline from a Minneapolis newspaper cast Toby Gerhart’s future with the Vikings as being in doubt. What? Doubt? How so? I stupidly clicked on the article and saw that his MCL tear would have to be evaluated for surgery. That was it; nothing really more than that.
So, how does this help Christian? The media will build you up and tear you down. If you do listen to the media, only utilize it to put a chip on your shoulder. So many athletes respond to that nasty little chip, but don’t let the bad stuff chip away at your confidence. If you do, they win. You win when you don’t let them get to you. Don’t let them win.
No. 5 to-Do: When in Doubt, Tony Robbins
Tony Robbins is one of the foremost personal success gurus around, and if Christian, who seemed to be visibly bothered by a lack of confidence at year’s end, may wish to consider consulting with the very successful Robbins and take a few sessions.
Of course, I am just kidding about consulting Robbins, but the point is all about finding that happy place, that successful place, that place that breeds confidence.
Let's Make a Deal
On a final note, there are naysayers who continue to doubt the Vikings No. 12 pick from 2011, but I have no doubt in Ponder.
And here is what I would like to leave you with, for all those who say he wasn’t worth it. The Vikings should have never drafted him. Let’s draft a real quarterback this year with the No. 3 pick. Check this out.
Let’s make a deal. This time next year, if Ponder has good numbers, say 3,200 plus yards passing (average of 200 a game), 20 TDs or more and 13 INTs or less, you will hit all the Vikings blogs and admit to your lack of patience and short sightedness.
Conversely, if Ponder does not finish the season as the starter or puts up horrendous numbers, has a QB rating of less than 75 and where the INTs nearly double the TDs, I will go on those blogs and admit that my head was in the clouds. I was wrong.
But I won’t be wrong. Ponder will respond and we will all be happy for it. Have faith, people, and good luck, Christian.
I can’t tell you (Christian) what your goals should be, but to have a goal to work your way into the conversation as one of the NFCs best quarterbacks is a pretty good start.