Frazier Explains Decision To Play Ponder

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 19, 2011 – 11:03 am

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.”

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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 26 Comments »

26 Responses to “Frazier Explains Decision To Play Ponder”

  1. By Frederick Jones on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    2004 Was the worst draft in Vikings if not NFL history.
    2005 was 2nd worst in Vikings history.
    2006 was a great draft, but Johnson and Hicks were the only OL picked.
    Cedric Griffin is the only DB remaining from 2003-2007. He’s had 3 years to prove himself, and hasn’t.
    2007 was a great draft, however NO Offensive Linemen were selected and only one DB (Mike Macauley, who never even started a game for MN)

    Total Offensive LInemen drafted 2003 to 2007: Three, none remain on roster
    Total Defensive Backs taken 2003 to 2007: 5 only one remains on roster
    Cedric “Cornbread” Griffin

    Your wonderful FRONT OFFICE is mostly to blame. :( :( :( :( :(

  2. By Digger on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    Griggin has had double knee operations you idiot! He has spent more time rehabing then playing. Give the guy a break!

  3. By Jeffbleedspurple on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    Coach!! We don’t need an explanation, we are just thrilled you did, mmmm OK!

  4. By vikings fan1955 on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    I have to conceed that this is the right move, yes mc nabb did better last week but we need to let ponder get his experience in now. He will get over half a season and he will also get some wins for us. I also think I have to admit another of my mistakes and that is berrian. I will say this for him, he has show he can catch better than last yr but not muh better. If he can’t produce under ponder he’s gone. Sometimes a new qb can make a big differece and I hope this is true for berrian. It would be a big feather for ponder to have a victory over bg in his first start and I’m predicting a win. YES I’m serious

  5. By robb on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    Best move since drafting Ponder and firing Chili.

  6. By Eric on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    This all sounds like ‘Coach-Speak” for…. ” Hey, we’re not very good, it doesn’t look like we’ll be good anytime soon, & this season is only a third over. We need fans to show up to games in order to facilitate the support needed to spend huge sums of public money on a stadium.
    Mc Nabb, was a gamble that didn’t work, and now is the time to see if Ponder will bring some hope to the fans & the organization, before ownership considers options in California.”

  7. By Mark on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    I hope that Ponder can find Harvin at least two times more per game and that BB doesn’t drop anything that hits him between the numbers. I think that Chris Carter could walk off of the TV set and play better than BB is right now. At least CC would hang on the ball. Moss or Owens would be better, for that matter.

    Next year, Spielman, use your highest draft pick on a left tackle. Then your next pick on a CB, then your next on a G, then your next on another DB, etc. Get it?

  8. By Viking33 on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    Mike you are correct, it is easy for people not directly involved to say “do this and do that”, but that’s the beauty of being a fan. We gave it a chance, and it didn’t work out. I think we all know we have a much better chance of being heard by the team we love than by our Govenment. Also, we are not CUB fans, we are Vikings fan. I think we all were a little optimistic when McNabb came on board, because we have seen first hand what he did to the Vikings in a few important games over the years. It is just not there and I for one am just happy for a change. I am on board with Ponder – I hope some of those O-Linemen we drafted get in there too. Lets back off the opposing defense a little and give AP a chance to get going.

  9. By VegasVike on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    No explanation needed, we read the book and saw the movie. Go CP!

  10. By VegasVike on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    And Mike W, you may want to uncensor Ponders first name…

  11. By Frederick Jones on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    Who is in the draft room?

    I bet it’s Spielman, Brzezinski, and Frazier.

    Then the rest of the coaches, scouts, and consultants are required to watch the draft, and be available for phone calls.

    Of course they ALL have computers, and lots of prepared data

  12. By Frederick Jones on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply


  13. By billbobagons on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    Question if the QB is not the only problem then show the fans that you can make some more changes. Frazier said McNabb was really good but were making a change. Why would he tell McNabb that maybe thats the problem Frazier cant see McNabb was not good at all. Just maybe that the reason Frazier is not changing some of the O line guys and a few other position in the secondary because he thinks there all doing a great job, Start getting some young guys in at many position so you see what else you need in the draft.

  14. By Arrow86 on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    @Frederick Jones:

    You’re a high school football coach. I agree that Spielman is NOT a GM. But when you look at a coach who blew 3 decent first half leads, is that a quality coach? Those teams didn’t draft and replace guys over half-time. The same guys who were getting their butts kicked in the first half by our purple, turned around and returned the favor with spice in the second half. Where are the adjustments? Where is the emotion to light a fire under someone?? Frazier is a good person. Not a very good coach. In fact, if the Vikes hired the best 5 high school coaches in the Metro, they would outcoach Frazier and this team with a weak O-line and all could win some games. The Bears came off a horrible performance on a short week and could have put 50 on us!

  15. By absaroka2 on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    Frazier, It’s about time! Better late than then never, I guess! I have been asking for Ponder since game # 1. Have studied ponder & his background as he is a super smart guy. Believe me, he will be one of the best QB’s the vikes have ever had! It would not surprise me if he leads the Vikes to victory on Sun. I may eat crow, but I doubt it! Vike’s by 10!

  16. By radzinwisconsin on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    Studwell is the one who does the scouting and its a joke!

  17. By VegasVike on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    If Fraizer feels he needs to “explain” why he’s benching McDizzle maybe we have the wrong coach. I mean really, does he think his fans are so stupid he needs to explain?? I need to explain to y’all why Jenna Jamison gives me a bo ner…

  18. By Purple05 on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    I think the decision was media and fan influenced…as most decisions in the NFL are these days…but it is what it is. I’m right behind you Ponder! McNabb…you had a wonderful career and despite some of the hate…whether you choose to retire or otherwise I wish you the best

  19. By Woodboat on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    @vikings fan1955….

    Good job out of you. There aren’t many that man up and announce that they feel they were wrong about an earlier opinion. I agree with all you’ve said. I can’t wait to see Ponder in action this weekend. His chance of leading this team to victory is slim… our D isn’t good enough on the back end to even slow the GB pas sing game down. I just hope that our offense sees some success and Ponder comes out uninjured with a few TD pas ses on his stat sheet.

  20. By Rogerthevikefan on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Coach Frazier it is about time you decided to start Ponder. You seem like a nice guy but if you don’t hold players accountable for their failures they will see that kindness as a weakness and take advantage.

  21. By Purplenurple4 on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    McBenched says he will be ready when called upon…to what,,,tell Webb he’s in!This guy is still delusional.” I’ve got alot of football left”,really..because you almost rank dead last in the NFL.I’m beginning to think the only film he watched was his post game pressers.
    OK ,I’m done rippin on Donny boy.The future begins!

  22. By jv3rnon on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Vikes needs next season:
    1#WR(drop Berrian)
    Center(drop Sullivan)
    RG(drop Herrera
    OLB(drop Erin)
    CB(drop Griffin and Allen)
    S(drop Sanford and Johnson)

    I like to see the Vikings a great defensive team and pretty good offense team like the Ravens. Vikes need to get a superstar on defense next season an difference maker. Rather it’s a S or a LB do something man. Vikings your fans want to see a winning team!!!

  23. By LarryB on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Yes, about time…. got a feeling this kid is going to be good….. Go Vikes

  24. By Daniel on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    With Ponder on the field, thats a sure victory. Go Vikings!!

  25. By Frederick Jones on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply


    There is not a positive way to answer your post about Coach Frazier.

    Put Frazier in charge of the Patriots, and fans may have an entirely different view of Coach Frazier.

    Winning is a great deodorant for coaches!

  26. By Jim on Oct 23, 2011 | Reply

    Right move. Overdue. Please no more have been once were quaterbacks. Also, lets be honest. For quite sometime our seconday is the pits, they all need to be replaced. They have cost us so many games I almost cannot bare to watch anymore. What is the reason for keeping them if they consistenly cannot perform. Game plan against the Vikes???? Throw it in the secondary. PAY ATTENTION!

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