Welcoming Christian Ponder To Minnesota In Style

Posted by Mike Wobschall on April 29, 2011 – 11:37 am

On Thursday morning I woke up 14 hours before the start of the 2011 NFL Draft unsure of whom the Vikings would select with their 1st-round pick. Just a few hours into Friday morning, though, I not only knew who the Vikings selected at #12, I also met him at the airport and welcomed him to Minnesota while riding back to Winter Park.

Ponder and offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave

Yes, Vikings Entertainment Network, with the help of Paul Martin and the Vikings operations staff, was there to swoop Ponder up at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport late Friday morning and deliver him to Winter Park, where the QB met with the Vikings coaching and personnel staff. VEN Videographer Jordan Struck was there to record all the action, and we’ll have an entertaining and informative piece about Ponder up on the site momentarily.

Ponder arrived right on time at MSP and was promptly met by representatives from Brooks Brothers, so he could try on a suit coat and tie for his press conference later today. After a quick fitting and the selection of a purple and white-striped tie, Ponder and the VEN clan headed back to the limo for a ride back to Winter Park.

Inside the limo on the way back, we had a chat with Ponder about his time at Florida State, the draft-day experience and phone conversations with Frazier and Spielman, his thoughts on living in Minnesota, why he’s so driven to do well in school and pursue advanced education, what charities he wants to support while with the Vikings and some of his other interests and hobbies.

Ponder even took the time to call in to AM 1130 KFAN and join Paul Allen’s 9-noon radio show. It was a great trip with Ponder and I could clearly see that he’ll be a good fit in Minnesota. He never once seemed impatient with the suit fitting or with having to wear a microphone for the VEN piece. He was smiling a lot and was enthusiastic about being in Minnesota. He wasn’t checking his cell phone constantly and there were no awkward silences in the car. He was thoroughly happy to be chosen by the Vikings and I think he’s going to win a lot of fans over very quickly.

Ponder with Frazier and Spielman

Be sure to check back frequently to today because we’re going to carry Ponder’s press conference live. We’re also going to have a sit-down interview with Ponder on later today as well as comprehensive coverage of the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft.

Also, don’t forget to look for the “Meet Christian Ponder” piece that Jordan and the rest of the VEN video guys are working on right now.

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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 42 Comments »

42 Responses to “Welcoming Christian Ponder To Minnesota In Style”

  1. By inspired on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    I am excited about this kid. At first I had my doubts but after watching some video and learning about him. I think it was a good pick.

    Lack of arm strength? He throws 50 yards on the run in this video.

    Welcome to MN ponder. I am excited to watch you play.

  2. By Ham on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Give the kid a chance, people. I think he’s going to surprise people (cough Trent Dilfer cough)

  3. By Nick on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Yeah welcome Mr Ponder, now let’s move on to defense, defense and more defense, starting with Stephen Paea, in round 2. Let’s get back to our feared run defense, no team will want to run against Kev Williams and Paea!

  4. By Keem on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Lets be real here guys.. With Adrian running the ball does it matter who throws as long as its not tavaris! A.D Takes alot of the kid! Lets give him a chance!

  5. By fogman on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    No other alternative but throwing him in from day 1 unless they get McNabb…………good thing he is mobile, he might be running for his life with our O-line as it is.

  6. By lui on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    now we just need to re sign Sidney rice or draft a WR and fix our defense

  7. By Parody on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Does anybody know how long it will be before we learn what number Ponder takes? I’m guessing that it won’t occur until after a CBA, and he signs with the team, but I’d like to know if this is right.

    I usually wait a few years to see if a guy is the real deal before getting his Jersey, but I want to take a chance and support our #1 this year for the first time in my life.

  8. By Pete on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Ponder is a smart QB. I want a smart QB. This is good stuff. I am liking the pick. I think he will be more successful than Cam Newton after the next 3 years of football.

    Notice how every year he played at FSU he had better and better stats.

  9. By Jim on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Atleast we didn’t get newton, I can already see him be a bust most overhyped player carolina should of got gabbert.

  10. By Jim on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Wow I’m shocked we didn’t draft a division 2 qb from alabama.

  11. By xvike on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    After watching some more tape on him, it seems that when he was healthy, he did have a good arm. He can put some zip on it. I think that some scouts exaggerated his lack of arm strength. From what i saw, he has enough arm strength to make all the necessary throws. Does he have a cannon like favre? No but he has the accuracy of Brees. But i think that his arm strength will improve over time. Aaron rodgers and Brees both didn’t have outstanding arm strength when they came out of college but look at where they are now. Both have a SB title. All i’m saying is that he has everything you need for a successful qb except the arm strength but that is something that can always be improved vs something like accuracy. Now it’s up to the coaches to help him become a good nfl qb.

  12. By kathy on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    The Vikings fans will come to love CP. This is a player that will put in the time and work necessary to be the best qb he can be. He is not fragile as has been suggested. His injuries have been flukes, and some because of his passion for the game. He played with broken ribs. He played while having to have fluid drained from his arm weekly. If it is at all possible, he will play through pain. He will not be making headlines for stupid off the field decisions. The guy is a player. I expect great things from him.

  13. By JOSH on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply




  14. By JOSH on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply





  15. By vikingfan on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Hopefully Ponder will be a pleasant surprise for the Vikings. Arm strength is nothing to worry about as long as you can make the necessary throws. Jamarcus Russell, Vince Young, Ryan Leaf and Alex Smith all had excellent arm strength while Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers, and Eli Manning were all questioned about their arm strength. Look at the difference in these two groups. Zero Super Bowls and I believe one playoff appearance (Vince Young) in the first group compared to 3 Super Bowl Rings and many playoff appearances by those in the second group. I’m just glad we didn’t get Locker.

    Every year the “experts” love the athletes and cannon arms in April at draft time, then in November and December they backpedal and say “arm strength is overrated and athletic QBs don’t win in the NFL.” Then they contradict themselves by rating cannon arm, athletic QB busts to go high and be great NFL QBs. This is why you shouldn’t put so much stock in what the “experts” say.

  16. By vikingfan on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    I bet Ponder will wear number 7 because of his college number. Personally I like number 11 or number 9. Whatever number he wears, I hope he can win us that many Super Bowl Rings.

  17. By Nick Fairley on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Why didn’t you guys take me? Pat Williams is getting old and i could have come into be in the rotation. but you reached for a 3rd round QB. please explain to me

  18. By Leo on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Ponder was the best QB left on the board.With free agency up in the air,I’m glad we didn’t wait to see who we could sign after the draft.
    The Vikings have had some draft bust but who hasn’t.Peterson & Harvin ,you can’t gripe about these guys.We need a CB next in the draft.

  19. By Jim on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    The thing I like about ponder is his confidence, competitiveness, that attitude of “I’m going to win” a qb that has a belief in himself will do wonders he doesn’t get panicked if the vikings develop him the right way he will be a very good qb, let ponder make plays.

  20. By Leo on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Ok, we alo need an offensive lineman and Pat Williams replacement.

  21. By Frederick Jones on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply


    Yes, we do have some great players left. The good part of our offensive line is they are all signed. We just need a couple more good guys there.

  22. By Ponder is ROY on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    I like the pick. Intelligence, character, desire and confidence are way more important than “arm strength.” He’ll pump some iron and throw it as far as we’ll ever need him to. I am AGAINST getting a veteran like McNabb. He will cost too much and just delay the inevitable. I like our payroll where it is for QB’s (Ponder, Webb, Bomar – bargain) this will free up cap money to go after free agents where we have needs: CB, OL, DL, S. Turn-arounds don’t take long in the NFL, we’re already better than end of last year.

  23. By Rocksalt on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    if he can read defenses, he’s got my vote.

  24. By Geiber on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Jim, we got Musgrave who helped train Ryan in and id say ryan is pretty good no eh? Lets play some football!

  25. By Bryan on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    I was a bit suprised by the pick at the #12 spot, but he’s got a good coach in Musgrave who happens to know a thing or two about developing young quarterbacks. By the way, I attended the Vikings draft party last nite and had a great time, man did the commish get booed!

  26. By purplerainman on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Musgrave knows what he’s doing. Speilman and the Vikings also have an awesome resume when it comes to scouting talent. Rice, Harvin, AP, Greenway ….They’ll be more dialed in today I think. I would like to see them trade up and grab two in the second round there is still a lot of talent left for their secondary and O-line.

  27. By Dennis Pressley on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Great choice in Ponder! The great QB’s read defenses well and throw accurate. Musgrave will know how to get the best out of the kid.

  28. By OLD SCHOOL on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    His name is Flounder until he proves other wise!

    And as far as bringing in a McChoke or some other waste of time veteran for the next 2 years….



  29. By OLD SCHOOL on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply



  30. By Patrick on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    I love this pick!!

    Go back to the tape of the last senior bowl. Ponder is the one quarteback that consistanly moved the chains.

    Welcome to the Vikes!

    Best wishes to you and the rest of Vikings team and fans!

  31. By RowingWithThaVikingsSince98' on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Lets let musgrave do his job. CP is a bright kid he will work hard every day to improve on his craft cause he cares. musgrave helped matt ryan become the QB he is with the help of Roddy White Tony Gongales Micheal Turner an musgrave is more than capable of doin the same thing w/CP with the help of Sidney Rice(if he resigns), Percy Harvin, Visante Shanicoe, Adiran Peterson, so dont doubt until after this season! LETS GET IT DONE VIKES IM WITH YOU!! GOOD PICK

  32. By jack on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    go ponder show us what you came for , i know you can! C’MON MINNESOTA!

  33. By dave on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    i think he can make it but we need to get a line at least to protect him

  34. By dave on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    get asmougha in free agency and harvey dahl and prob draft a center 4th round or outside linebacker from UCONN would be a good fit and we’d prob be good

  35. By Titus on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Old School can you say “Control Freak”?

  36. By TBoz on Apr 30, 2011 | Reply

    To make a correction, Leo, Ponder was NOT the best QB left on the board at #12. In fact he was the 9th rated QB out of all in this draft. If they were going to reach, and take a risk on a QB, they would have been a LOT better off taking Ryan Mallet. Much more accurate, much stronger arm, better pocket presence, but, people were scared off by his off field character issues. Sorry, but if I am going to take a risk on a QB, and my choices are between one with a decent body of work but he has health issues, versus one who has a possible NFL build all the way around but has off the field character issues, I’ll take the one with the character issues and enormous upside over the one with the health issues.
    You can always teach a young kid how to better handle himself and build an positive image, but you can’t teach a kid to stay healthy.
    Personally I think even Dalton would have been a better pick. But, Ponder needs to be given a chance to prove us doubters wrong. Hopefully he does. I’ll be cheering for him.
    What really cracks me up though, is these analysts like Kiper, McShay, Duh Duh Dilfer, who talk and talk about how great this QB is, how great this guys upside is, and if you look back at the last say 20 years, it’s the QB’s they DON’T talk much about and claim to be so great, that end up being the best of the group. There are very, very few QB’s who were top rated at the time of the draft, who are either in the league succeeding, starting, winning SB’s. Look at all the top starters in the league. At least 3/4 of them are late round picks (2nd rd or later), that hardly no one talked about. Brady, Brees, Romo, Warner recently, S. Young in the late 80’s, Orton, Cassel, just to name a few either now playing or recently retired. A lot of the great QB’s do come in as top picks, but many of the best ones come in under the radar.
    I won’t be surprised one bit if Ponder is one of those who sneaks in under the radar to become a perennial Pro Bowler or better. It really all rests on how the coaching staff handles him and the situation, and if we can get our terrible Offensive Line to actually block someone.
    I really wish the kid luck. Hopefully Frazier and Singletary have a few tricks up their sleeves to shore up that Offensive line. If not, Ponder is going to get killed in his Rookie campaign.

  37. By TBoz on Apr 30, 2011 | Reply

    Sorry, meant Frazier and Musgrave, not Singletary. lol

  38. By Deb on Apr 30, 2011 | Reply

    Welcome Mr. Ponder…I hope that you have a very productive and yet happy career with us VIKINGS!!

  39. By cren on Apr 30, 2011 | Reply

    Once trading is allowed, you guys should try and get the Bengals to trade Carson Palmer, or the Broncos to deal Orton while you let this kid develop for at least a season. Could be a long year with a rookie qb, unless he is exceptional (see Sam Bradford)

  40. By chris on Jun 22, 2011 | Reply

    for everyone saying bring back favre to help develop our new qb is nuts. favre ruined our chances at superbowl and choked during the new orleans nfc championship game. keep favre far away from the new qb hed be a good broadcaster on espn though. the vikings can be the new patriots and packers will choke this year i guarentee it.

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