Hartman: Cassel ready to help, challenge Ponder

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 26, 2013 - 7:38 AM

The Vikings’ new backup quarterback is enthusiastic about his role and preparing to play if he’s needed.

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hobie2Jul. 25, 13 8:43 PM

Wait for the "posts of QB change" in 3..2..1... Cassel went 19-28 there, but here he will lead us to the Super Bowl, if only given the chance...ok... Reality - It's not High School - in the NFL of today, the plays for that third of the players having the ball are decided by a committee and sent to radio headset of the second person to touch the ball on an offensive play, and he speaks what the headset says... To a third of the players playing in a game... The Vikes would have been Super Bowl Champs if the defensive third of the players had limited every opponent to 10 points a game and the special teams third had scored as they did. Heck, some coaches even see the offense's purpose as to keep the ball away from the opponent's offense and special teams - your opponent can't score if you have the ball, even if your offense DOESN'T score, and you win as long as your special teams can score (like if you have a great kicker)- time of possession ball... Now, if your defense is so lousy that it gives up 24-30 points a game, you will need an offensive machine to make up for their failure

jplamp9Jul. 25, 13 9:32 PM

Every team with a less than stellar QB has an open competition for the starting job. For some insane reason, Ponder was anointed the starter regardless of performance. Seattle paid Flynn big bucks but Wilson beat him out, Brady beat our all-pro Bledsoe and Kaepernick replaces Smith mid-season. If Vikes are adamant about sticking with Ponder if he struggles the head coach with a one-year contract will go down with the ship.

bredpathJul. 25, 1310:06 PM

The only reason Ponder is starting is because he was picked by Spielman at #12 overall. Frazier's been forced to play him because of that fact and there's really never been a viable backup. With Cassel, Jennings, Patterson and a healthy Simpson around now, the leash is going to be a lot shorter on Ponder. He'll get pulled at some point before mid-season.

lgaytanJul. 26, 13 8:43 AM

Good QB's get their starting spots reserved, can we honestly say that Ponder played good enough last year to receive this privilege?? I'll answer my own question, NO! The starting QB spot should be given to the player who performs the best during training camp. We don't want another Chili/T-Jack situation do we?????

bengravedJul. 26, 13 9:39 AM

Cassel, better get used to the sidelines, no matter how poorly Ponder plays. Last year, Fraziers, boss Spielman, did not give the green light, to taking Ponder out of the games, even when he was playing poorly, and not even passing for a hundred yards. Instead of giving our backup QB, last year, much needed actual playing time, he let him ride the pine. We seen the results of Spielmans decision when our backup QB performed as expected, a guy that did not get any playing time, during the regular season.

vlombardyJul. 26, 1310:29 AM

It's shocking, really, that Sid is writing a column that could be interpreted as criticizing the current starting QB. Very un-Sid-like. It's kind of refreshing.

xjritterJul. 26, 1311:17 AM

Ponder is starting because this is only his third year as a pro, and the Vikings finally appear to have a competent receiving corps. He could really flourish this year. He made enough plays to win the last 4 games in a row against opponents whom many of the naysayers on this blog would have said the Vikings had no chance because of perceived weakness at the quarterback position. Perhaps the real weakness of the offense was in the receiving corps. Now we will find out.

whareidJul. 26, 1311:45 AM

Based on past performance, Ponder is certainly the weak link that could keep the Vikings out of the play-offs. Hopefully, he will show significant improvement this season. If he does not, pray that Spielman and Frazier have the brains and guts to pull the plug on the Ponder experiment and move forward with Cassel and a QB pick in the 2014 draft. This team smells like a winner! Let's not screw it up!

pdnorlingJul. 26, 1312:01 PM

jplamp - You may want to check your facts. In two of the cases you cited, the quarterback did not win the job in "open competition". They replaced the starter when they were injured. Brady replaced Bledsoe due to an injury, and Kapernick replaced Alex Smith due to an injury. It was only when both were healthy enough to return, that the coach stuck with the replacement instead of the starter.

stanturnJul. 26, 1312:43 PM

The Twin Cities media must really enjoy creating a quarterback controversy and must not have anything else to write about. I was not a big Ponder fan either...but the guy won 4 out of 5 games at the end of last season to lead the Vikes into the playoffs. Unfortunately, Ponder suffered an arm injury and Joe Webb showed Minnesota fans what the back-up option is all about. Give Ponder a frickin' chance now that he has a decent receiving corps and a Pro Bowl tight end. Sid should really be writing about the Vikings extremely questionable defensive backfield!!! It's unbelievable the Vikings didn't bring in a proven, veteran cornerback after the way they let Antoine Winfield go. Leslie Frazier sure didn't learn anything as a d-back in the NFL. It is now a pass-happy league and the NFC North has some gunslingers. Chris Cook, 5-foot-10 Josh Robinson and the rookie Rhodes cannot cover Brandon Marshall or Megatron. The Vikings are gonna get burned big time by other teams' passing games. That's what the media and fans should be talking about - the lack of depth in Minnesota's defensive backfield, not the Offense!!!


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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2013 preseason     
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Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
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Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
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