Christian Ponder Excited To Use Winter Park Sick Of Lockout
“I can’t tell you how many times we drove by Winter Park and couldn’t do anything,” said Ponder, the 12th pick in the April draft. “It’s definitely awkward. It’s a weird deal. I want to go talk to [offensive coordinator Bill] Musgrave, talk some ball so bad. But obviously I can’t do it, so it’s a little frustrating.”
Ponder has had no choice but to suppress the frustration he has felt about a lockout that is in its fourth month. This has left him to try and prepare for a season he will enter not having been able to work in the Vikings’ offseason program and possibly without a full training camp.
Ponder has heard the speculation that the Vikings will bring in a veteran quarterback to ease his transition to the NFL. The reality is with all the time he’s missed already, it would be difficult for Ponder to start the regular-season opener on Sept. 11 at San Diego, assuming the game is played.
Ponder knows this, but …
“It definitely would be tough,” he said Thursday during a layover at the airport in Charlotte, N.C. “It’s already going to be tough after I missed the minicamps and all that stuff and then [we could] miss some training camp. It’s going to make my job tougher.
“But my goal is to be able to start, and I’m doing everything to make myself prepared. I trust the coaches and what they’re going to do with me. They are going to put me in the best situation and do whatever is best for everybody. We’ll see how it plays out, but I’m working my butt off to start.”
As for the rumors that the Vikings are going to target a guy such as Washington’s Donovan McNabb, Ponder does not seem concerned.
“I don’t really put in any weight into what [is reported] right now because there are no negotiations [allowed],” he said. “No one can talk to anybody. I don’t think anyone really has a clue what’s going to happen. … It won’t be a big deal to me if they bring in a veteran guy. That’s going to benefit me in many ways, and so whatever happens I’ll be fine with.”
It’s not just Ponder, coaches, teammates and fans are getting antsy for the lockout to end. With the Vikings drafting Ponder in the first round everyone has high expectations of him. With Webb working out with Brett Favre you almost wonder if Webb could keep Ponder on the bench for his rookie season. What do you think?