Former Vikings QB Brad Johnson Talks About Ponder

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 11, 2011 – 10:39 am

One former Florida State Seminole and former Minnesota Vikings QB had flattering words for another former Florida State Seminole and current Vikings QB.

Brad Johnson, who played 9 total seasons with the Vikings (1992-98, 2005-06), recently told Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune that Christian Ponder “should be ready to go” for the Vikings.

Coming from a player such as Johnson, those words should not be taken lightly. Vikings fans who remember Johnson’s days with the Purple might reflect on mixed memories, but make no mistake that Johnson was an accomplished player in the NFL. He spent 9 seasons with the Vikings, but played 4 seasons in Tampa Bay and led the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl victory following the 2002 season. Johnson also spent 2 seasons in both Dallas and Washington before retiring.

It’s been a while since Johnson was a mainstay on the Florida State campus, but it’s clear he still follows the program. Johnson said that current Florida State Head Coach Jimbo Fisher “demands a lot from quarterbacks and makes them learn the game” and Johnson also intimated that Ponder might have a steadying influence that could benefit the Vikings.

“Obviously, Christian is a quick study and hard worker and led those guys to a lot of wins down there,” Johnson said. “The program went through a lot of change when he first got there, so he fought through some tough times. Hopefully he has a great career. He did a lot of good things for Florida State, really kind of stabilized the program. The program went through difficult times when he got there, and he kind of led them back to a winning tradition down there.”

Success, much less a starting job, is no sure thing for Ponder in the NFL. Second-year QB Joe Webb is on the roster with Ponder in Minnesota and Rhett Bomar will compete as well. It also wouldn’t be surprising to see the Vikings add a veteran signal-caller along the way.

Those things aside, Johnson was confident when talking about Ponder and expects the rookie will be able to overcome the natural hurdles a young QB faces in the NFL.

“He’s got toughness about him, he’s got enough arm to complete whatever kind of ball needs to be completed at that level,” Johnson remarked. “Obviously it’s just being ready. It’s going to be tough on him without training camp and minicamp. What happens with this lockout? He’s been a quick study coming up, but any rookie is going to have a tough time adjusting.

“But he picks things up, and he should be ready to go.”

Posted in All | 31 Comments »

31 Responses to “Former Vikings QB Brad Johnson Talks About Ponder”

  1. By Ellie on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply

    I believe Brad Johnson knows where of he speaks…My only worry is will there be football this season????

  2. By Frederick Jones on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply


    Brad Johnson is an expert on quarterbacks.

    1.) Why wouldn’t he say good things about Ballard? What does he
    have to lose? It’s not like a paycheck is dependant on his remarks.

    2.) Former Super Bowl Champion, Brian Billick, wrote in his book, when it comes to picking a quarterback, “Nobody Knows Anything.”

    3.) Even Johnson admits that Ponder will struggle because of no camp, and probably a short pre-season.

    Sign Rice, Sign a top flight offensive lineman, then see if there is some money in the kitty.

  3. By Mike Wobschall on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply

    There will definitely be football this season.

  4. By Touchdown on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply

    how do you know mike?

  5. By Titus on Jul 11, 2011 | Reply

    Mike, that is a declaration– what do you know? Of course there will be football– pee wee, high school, college, arena, etc.

    Mike is confident about something– or, Mike, are you just certain we will have at least part of a season?

  6. By Mike Wobschall on Jul 12, 2011 | Reply

    I’m certain we’ll have a full season.

  7. By josh_lanky88 on Jul 12, 2011 | Reply

    MIke W is right there will be a full season both players and owners believe deal will be in place on the 21st, as reported by ESPN yesterday.

  8. By CA Norwegian on Jul 12, 2011 | Reply

    Could it be certain they will come to an agreement? To me the only certainty is they both believe the other side will cave. We still have dispute, when agreement exists, the season is certain. No?

  9. By Carl B on Jul 12, 2011 | Reply

    I agree we need to get a veteran signal caller to mentor Ponder during the season. We really need to sign Sidney Rice. We need to get an upper eschelon OL. We need to get a CB from free agency.

  10. By paul on Jul 12, 2011 | Reply

    I really didn’t watch his college career much but the discriptions I’ve heard of Ponder kind of remind me of Brad. A good accurate short and medium length passer who makes good decisions with the ball. Brad probably sees a lot of himself in Ponder. I liked Brad so I have no problem with that.

  11. By Titus on Jul 12, 2011 | Reply

    Oh, I didn’t see the ESPN take that the agreement is coming– Mike, you seemed to act like you had insider information– please do not make such strong statements– there will DEFINITELY be a season– without clarification on why you think that and where you get your information– everyone has been waiting for this news.

  12. By Frederick Jones on Jul 12, 2011 | Reply

    Mike Wobschall is on the inside. I’m sure that he just has a gut feeling about the CBA business.

    Both the players and owners have a lot to lose if there is no season. Plus, they also must realize that the popularity of NFL football could wane some if they don’t play.

    It certainly happened to baseball.

  13. By Titus on Jul 12, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Fred, how is it going?

  14. By Carl K on Jul 12, 2011 | Reply

    Even if a deal is in place by July 21 – that is not enough time to have free agency and allow the Bears and the Rams a chance to get ready for the Hall of Fame Game on August 7th.

    It is NOT a “full” season without the Hall of Fame Game! LOL. I know it has not been officially cancelled… but I doubt the NFL can pull this game off on time at this point.

  15. By Frederick Jones on Jul 12, 2011 | Reply


    Well it’s been a durn good summa.’

    I enjoy hot weather up to about the high 80s.

    So it’s been great. Have you been able to get
    some good rides in?

  16. By Frederick Jones on Jul 12, 2011 | Reply

    @Carl K,

    I don’t pay much attention to the Hall of Fame Game. You are right in that
    it probably won’t be played. I’m even thinking they might suspend all or most of the pre-season games.

    There is no reason they couldn’t just have training camp and then follow with the regular season games.

  17. By Tim on Jul 13, 2011 | Reply

    I think Ponders is gonna have a offensive rookie of the year season right out of the gate.

  18. By Touchdown on Jul 13, 2011 | Reply

    Unless Cam Newton is a stud, Ponder will be offensive rookie of the year!

  19. By Carl K on Jul 14, 2011 | Reply

    Ponder and Rudolph both have a good shot at rookie of the year.
    But Ponder has to beat out Webb first… and I look for Webb to put up some insane highlights in preseason. I really love our young QBs, and can’t wait for the season to start.

    Lets get a deal done this week!

  20. By Rick on Jul 14, 2011 | Reply

    Vikings should look at Randy Moss again he has been working and ponder will need a reciever to throw too

  21. By IBLEEDPURPLE on Jul 14, 2011 | Reply

    I think that Ponder is the most NFL-ready QB out there. I think he will find his rhythym and surprise a lot of fans. As far as the Collective bargaining Agreement…. I collectively bargain that everyone agrees that we want an end to the drama. Play football already. Mike is right- we will have a full season, but it may be a bit of a sloppy start! I bleed purple… Nuf said.

  22. By Paint it bla... PURPLE! on Jul 14, 2011 | Reply

    I like Webb, but we need to start Ponder immediately. We can’t afford to let Ponder sit. He will have growing pains no matter when he makes his first start, better off now than when we have a great team around him.
    As for Joe Webb, he needs to be on the field. We can not have a guy with that much talent sitting on the bench. Sign Sidney, put Webb on the other side with Percy in the slot.

  23. By cody howey on Jul 15, 2011 | Reply

    guys im pretty sure that there will be a full season they argeed on the rookie wage scale and the slary cap now its just minnor little details that have to happen i think a deal will be done by next wednesday and those deals i hurd from nfl network and from chris mortonson and adam sheftler

  24. By Woodboat on Jul 15, 2011 | Reply

    Yeah, it sounds promising that they’ll get in 16.

    @ Paint it, and those that think like he does. Please stop with the “put Webb at WR” talk. He hasn’t trained at that position, there is nothing to suggest that he might excel there. If he moves to WR, that puts the team TWO QBs short (Rhett won’t be on the team…) I like Ponder, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Webb starts the season under center. With our O Line, we need someone back there that can move REALLY move his feet. I also heard today that he’s been down practicing with Favre, which can’t hurt.

    If it came down to having Rice or a young, top notch CB… I’d say go CB. Rice is awesome and I’d hate to see him go, but we have guys that can fill that spot, especially if we go 2 TE (or even 3). We HAVE to do something about our DBs. With or without Rice, we aren’t going to be able to outscore what our DBs allow past them. With a top 10 defense, this team has enough on offense right now to make the playoffs. Quick strike offense to keep the QB clean, with AP and Gerhart, Harvin, Shank, and Rudolph.. that’s not too shabby. Lets not forget about the kid they signed out of the CFL, he might be something.

    I guess what I’m saying is, don’t go bend your shower rods if Rice moves on, because I’d be willing to bet he wants to move on.

  25. By mojo on Jul 17, 2011 | Reply

    ponder needs to sit for the first couple games and let webb do his thing and he will not get growing pains he will get educated

  26. By jeff on Jul 19, 2011 | Reply

    I’m hoping Rice does move on, he turned into a chump by not wanting to play last season. And then when he did, he played soft. He knew fully well right the team was going to cut him loose if he didnt come back earlier than he did, so now they will. The thing is he’s like glass, once he gets hit he’s broken. Sort of like Harvin, ouch, my head hurts. Yep, that really went over good for us didnt it? That draft signing reminded me of, I cant see the ball – Troy Williamson.
    This team will have a lot of growing pains while sitting in the cellar, we’ll see prominent players leave the team because “they can” and they will. I’m sorry to say it but its the truth. Its time to make trades for draft picks, move’m out and start over. Maybe with some luck we can draft 1st overall and get a real QB ( Andrew Luck ) that should be “ready to start” rather than one thats a questionable subject to the matter at hand.

  27. By desmond on Jul 19, 2011 | Reply

    Yow i like the kid from FSU but seriously folks the ‘Joe Webb Era’ has begun in Miinny and the rest of the league better get used to it

  28. By Jamarius on Jul 19, 2011 | Reply


    Joe Webb aint dat great we need ponder bad and rice needs to go cause he is trash

  29. By Garrett on Jul 19, 2011 | Reply

    Gosh I hate the packers. i am so tired of hearing how great aaron rodgers is. it makes me sick. I just want the Vikings to pound every team and just play the most aggressive and physical style in the NFL. I wanna see some huge hit wipe that arrogant smirk off his face.

  30. By DEAN on Jul 20, 2011 | Reply

    SIGN McNAB,CUT McKiney and get ashamgue, maby nick barnet if leeber doant resighn if rice doant resighn get moss back i mean we all ready gave up a 3rd round pick for him

  31. By eric house on Jul 21, 2011 | Reply

    Take a really good look at this Ponder guy… look this is not just some “dumb jock” so to speak… this guy has two mind you two masters degrees… he is a quick learner and he knows how to fight threw adversity… a lot of people think the Vikes made him way to big od a draft pick… well here is my prediction… and I am old school Vikings from back in the Fran the man days guys… he will be the best quarterback the Vikings have ever had by far and that included my old hero Fran Tarkenton… This kid has it all folks… he has the brains that is number one, he has the arm and he has the legs this kid can run folks… this year we will not have a 40 year old quarterback stuck in the pocket waiting for another sack…. I know I am going way out on a limb here and I realize people will see it differently and all respects if ya do… but mark my words folks this guy if the vikes hold onto him for a franchise quarterback “and I am not sure that is possible” anymore… will break all the vikes quarterback records.

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