If there’s a guy who’s been around the block a few times in his NFL career, it’s Minnesota Vikings third string quarterback Sage Rosenfels. The 34 year old has been on four different NFL teams, playing behind multiple Pro Bowl QBs. He recently made a few comments about Christian Ponder, and his development as an NFL quarterback.
“I feel like I’ve been around some of the better ones, the really good ones,” said Rosenfels. I feel he still has his ups and downs, which every young player does, and veteran players, too, but he’s getting more and more consistent.”
“Every practice, he’s generally playing better and better. In just the last couple of weeks, I’ve really seen a lot of improvement. He’s getting some confidence, playing well in these first two preseason games, and that’s what he needs, especially from last year, when he struggled at the end of the season.”
Now while Rosenfels didn’t come out and say Ponder is the next big thing, he did say all the right things. But what else would you expect? Rosenfels isn’t going to bash the starting quarterback, but I do believe he’s being honest, mainly because I’m seeing the same things.
Confidence is the key for Ponder. In the first two preseason games, he’s noticeably more relaxed in the pocket, reading through all his options, and taking what the defense gives him.
One of the main goals for the Minnesota offense this year is to eliminate negative plays. Part of that is reducing sacks, and part of that is throwing it away, or scrambling for a few yards if possible. Ponder’s decision making will be the crucial part in reducing negative plays.
Ponder seems to have the right physical tools and mentality to be a successful quarterback. Will he be the next Pro Bowler to play in front of Rosenfels? I won’t say no, but he’s clearly several steps from that level. I look forward to seeing his continued development, starting with this Friday’s game.