It’s easy for those who don’t sit in meeting rooms or cross paths in the hallways with players to shout out from the mountain top that changes need to be made after a slow start to the season. When you’re the one in the corner office at the end of the hallway and in charge of leading an NFL team to victory, it’s not as easy to make those changes.
But that’s the position Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier found himself in this week, and he announced on Wednesday morning that he will indeed make a change at the QB position. Christian Ponder will replace Donovan McNabb as the team’s starting QB starting this Sunday, and the expectation is that Ponder will remain the starter for the balance of the 2011 season, and hopefully well beyond.
Frazier said he informed those involved of his decision on Tuesday, and then addressed the team as a whole on Wednesday morning.
“I had a chance to talk with both Christian and Donovan on Tuesday and just went through some of my thinking and why myself and the coaching staff came to this conclusion,” Frazier said. “Donovan was terrific, he’s a class individual, as all of you know if you’ve had a chance to speak with him. A true pro in every sense of the word. He’s a competitor. He wanted to be able to finish things, but he understood why we were doing what we were doing. Christian is as excited as you can imagine. He’s extremely excited about this opportunity. He’s looking forward to his first start in the National Football League.”
Frazier stressed several times during the press conference that struggles at the QB position were not the only reason the Vikings have just 1 win in their first 6 games. He said the team must play better around Ponder in order for the rookie to play effectively. Ultimately, though, Frazier said the decision of whom to start at QB this week was based on who gave the team the best chance to win.
“When I talked with our team, I expressed to them that some of the things that went into this decision,” Frazier said. “We’re 1-5. I think there’s a lot of football left to be played. It does not mean that I am giving up on the 2011 season. The decision was made purely based on what will give us the best chance to win on Sunday. That’s why the decision was made. I didn’t feel or sense that staying status quo was going to get us a win on Sunday. Based on that, along with some other things that I looked at, just decided that this is the direction we need to go at this point in our season.”
Tags: Christian Ponder, Donovan McNabb, Leslie Frazier
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