Musgrave: No Need To “Put The Brakes On” With Ponder As Starter

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 20, 2011 – 12:25 pm

The Vikings have made a change at the QB position, but that doesn’t mean the offense is going back to the drawing board. Although Sunday will be rookie Christian Ponder’s first NFL start, Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave doesn’t expect to scale back any game-planning tasks.

“We feel like we can go forward with a full complement of volume,” Musgrave said on Thursday. “We want to expand each and every week, and continue to be tough to defend. But we don’t feel like we need to put the brakes on in any regard.”

There have been flashes through the first 6 games of the 2011 season of how Musgrave’s offense can produce when executed properly, but the Vikings haven’t been able to string together 4 quarters of solid play. With a new QB at the helm, it’s certainly reasonable to anticipate an uptick in production.

Prior to being named the new starting QB, Ponder was the Vikings backup and took the majority of scout team reps, along with any 1st-team reps the coaching staff felt Donovan McNabb didn’t need. That, Musgrave says, has helped Ponder to a certain extent. On Wednesday, Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier told reporters that he’s seen Ponder make significant strides since the beginning of training camp, and Musgrave agreed.

“He’s done a good job of running the opposing team’s offense off the cards,” Musgrave said. “While a lot of us (teams) have similar concepts throughout the League, he got some time on task with certain routes and concepts that we employ. So it was good for him to get out there a little bit, even though it was off of a card.”

But Musgrave also acknowledged that there’s nothing like real-time playing experience.

As for splitting up practice reps now, Musgrave says Ponder will take as many as the coaching staff can get him.

“With Christian, we’re going to try to give him as many as we can to make up for lost time,” Musgrave said. “And then as we move through the season, we may scale that back a little bit just to keep his legs and arms fresh just to prepare for each Sunday.”

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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 55 Comments »

55 Responses to “Musgrave: No Need To “Put The Brakes On” With Ponder As Starter”

  1. By Tfunk3 on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    so is webb still 3rd string and can anyone explain why if so…I thought i saw mcnugget say he was a play away…

  2. By GM on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply


  3. By ScottyJ on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    I am so excited to see Ponder at QB. I think he is going to do awesome. It looks like he has what it takes to be a very successful QB. Again, I am 100% behind Ponder and the Vikings coaching staff, this is going to be fun. Go Vikes.

  4. By vikingbob136 on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    The kid should have started the season.One more loss is the worst it could be.Lets draft some OL from Wisconsin next year.Hutch cant play forever.Could use a linebacker to replace Leber too. Don’t get me started on the DB’s.Go rookie!
    Show em what you can do

  5. By Rogerthevikefan on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    OT Ricky Wagner, OG Kevin Zietler and C Peter Konz(not sure on his name). Wisconson develops good OLinemen. So does Iowa OT Riley Rieff is a mid first rounder likely will be 3rd tackle taken. If Ohio State C Mike Brewster(Best C in Draft) falls into the 2nd Vikings should take him.

  6. By Rogerthevikefan on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    I like Fusco but Brewster is a plug and play starter.

  7. By Frederick Jones on Oct 20, 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 Marcus Johnson was 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: TWO, 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.

    Perhaps all we need is NEW SCOUTS.

  8. By Matt on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    @ vikingsbob136 Leber is playing with the rams this year btw

  9. By VegasVike on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Put the brakes on??? Were we full throttle to get to 1-5?? Put the brakes on!! Hahaha

  10. By VegasVike on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    That’s got to be the funniest thing I’ve read on this site. Put the brakes on!

  11. By DRS on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    VegasVike, You got it my man, Maybe they should get off the breaks!!!!!

    Go Vikings, maybe a win Sunday and the rest of the year. Hope is coming to MN.

  12. By VegasVike on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    I know what he is saying but it just sounds so funny. Let’s get a win Sunday! Put the pedal to the metal!!!!

  13. By SMH on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Put the brakes on? Have you seen how small the play calling sheet is? My high school team installed more plays, no wonder the play calling is so predictable.

  14. By Rogerthevikefan on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    I think Mcnugget was confused on what was the gas and what was the brakes. Maybe he tried driving while holding both down.

  15. By New Vike on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    I think the objective of the game this week (obviously you play to win the game, ask Herm) is to get Ponder comfortable. Winning is not the biggest thing going in the game this week. If they can get a solid performance out of Ponder, it breathes new life into the franchise going forward. Get Ponder comfy, and rattle the silverspooned opposing QB.

  16. By maxvike on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    I am an old time viking fan from Texas. Way back to the great days of the purple people eaters. As a South Texan I selected the Vikings over the sell out Cowboys because of the frozen field. I hope the Vikings owner will bring back the frozen field of the great north which gave the Vikings a great advange over the visiting teams. Sure its all now about comfort for the season ticket holders, so why not have heated seating for all but let the snow and cold into the game.

  17. By purpleVikingfan on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Put the breaks on? Give me a break! I say full sails ahead!!

  18. By Cheeseheads Unite on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Expect a good game this sunday. I’m not sure if benching McNabb was a good thing, but we’ll see. Tough start to your season. Too bad. I expected McNabb to be better than he’s played. Maybe Ponder will breath some fresh life into your team. But wait untill after sunday!! These are two storied franchises who have a great history & rivalry. This will be a great game. But, I must say go packers.

  19. By purpleVikingfan on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Cheeseheads are afraid!!! They are indeed afraid!!! “”I’m not sure benching McNabb was a good thing,”

    I expect better results out of Ponder Sunday. I must say outright “GO VIKINGS!!!!

  20. By Cheeseheads Unite on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Look purplevikingsfan, I’m just saying good luck to both of our teams. I’m sure Ponder will do you guys some good. I was just insighting my opinion of McNabb being benched. Well good luck to both are teams. But I must say outright, go packers!!

  21. By Kody Wiig on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Not sure benching him was smart no signing him was the mistake he is done back up bound miami wouldn’t even take him the way he has played has helped our offense in no way ponder could have easily been doin what he has done but truthfully would probably done better qb is what makes your team

  22. By VegasVike on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    I’ve seen a car with the gas and brakes applies at the same time, looks a lot like McNabbs throwing mechanics

  23. By Tykevike on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Im a new Viking fan. Looks to me like Ponder will be a good quarterback. I think he should have been inserted a few games ago, but alas, let the chips fall where they may. Is it too big a leap to say that the vikings might still have a chance to make the playoffs if they beat the Pack? I

  24. By DrinkHeavyVikingsFans on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Mike had to wait until Frazier benched McNabb to write “With a new QB at the helm, it’s certainly reasonable to anticipate an uptick in production”? I nearly choked when I read that. How long were you in that coma kid? C’mon, you don’t see what a phony you sound like after everything you’ve posted up to this point? Get with it Mike..

  25. By bemidjijoe22 on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    think it was a bad move benching he hasnt won any games for us but he hasnt lost em either.isnt turning the ball over.just has to let it go earlier or get out the pocket and run.our wrs arent getting open.i think ponder is gonna get demolished by gb. im a die hard vikes man but i think we see dnab or webb against gb in 2nd half.but none the less. go vikes!!!

  26. By Digger on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    If you can do better then Mike W Mr. drink heavy, then maybe you should try and take his job and say the things you say to his face! He is doing his job. Otherwise, shut it!

  27. By Digger on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Wow bemidjijoe22, you sure are an optimistic fan! Glad I am not Ponder. Wow you have some way of being a fan!

  28. By Kody Wiig on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Digger no doubt who needs oppenents with fans like that Dono is done all he needs is to what now get rid of the ball quicker and run now o really how long until he starts been in the league long enough he is washed up that’s all it boils down to andy reid would not have traded him if he was still producing

  29. By NovaScotiaVike on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    DrinkHeavyVikingsFans….What you said is bang-on. Wobschall has defended McGagg all season long, going so far as to recently say that the Viking’s record was not McGagg’s fault. But as soon as Ponder is named QB, it’s ” Wow, we’ll be better now”! Talk about hypocrisy !….And Digger, if I lived in Minnesota, I would gladly say this to his face AND try and take his job,right now it’s too much of a commute.

  30. By bemidjijoe22 on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    haha im a season ticket holder lets fight more about whos a fan.this is why gb and detroit fans make fun of vikings fans.we spend more time fighting amongst a vikes fan thru and thru.doesnt mean i have to agree with everything they do. I expected more of dnab but i think if they werent gonna stick with him thru the whole season they should have either started ponder game 1 or at least before now.or wait till the bye week.not throw ponder to the gb wolves. as i said before.GO VIKES!!!!

  31. By NovaScotiaVike on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Detroit fans make fun of us? Any team with a history like the Lions have don’t have the right to mock anyone.

  32. By NovaScotiaVike on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    Unless they’re only one-and-a half years old.

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

    By Frederick Jones on Mar 12, 2011 | Reply


    Adrian Peterson had 1298 yards last year with perhaps the worst offensive line in the NFL. That’s the only possible reason he made the Pro Bowl, because they knew the Vikings offensive line was so bad.

    Dear Titus and Mike B.,

    Note the date above and the fact I was crying for a high pick or free agent for the OFFENSIVE LINE back on March 12th. That is about TWO MONTHS before
    the draft.

    Perhaps I am ahead of the gang when it comes to the VPs of Nosepicking, or the Armchair Quarterbacking Viking Scouts. These guys have a job to do, they cannot be like the AVERAGE FAN !


  34. By Puckertrucker on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    Ryan Longwell:

    You shouldn’t worry about the kick return Hester had Sunday night there was nothing the team could do. I mean I replayed the kick return and noticed that bears players #21 and friend held either it was #84 or 94 on the 35 yard line they had him by the arms and pushed him past Hester. Also # 37 held another Viking by the Jersey thats how Hester got his run back TD and I intend on calling the NFL and complain that they should watch the film also. I think that runback should be disallowed.

  35. By DrinkHeavyVikingsFans on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Digger you can drink that front office Kool-Aid that Mike is putting out there every week..the rest of us want to see reality and the Vikings get back on track as a great team again. Mike’s a PR guy masquerading as a sports journalist..let’s not pretend dude..GO VIKES

  36. By NovaScotiaVike on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    I’m glad someone else can see what I’ve been harping on for over a year now. You get it DrinkHeavyVikingsFans !

  37. By morgan on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    DO NOT LET WEBB GO TO WASTE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Where is Randy Moss???????

  38. By ozzinator on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    But Nova , I just have to hear about the 47 yd. field goal!

  39. By NovaScotiaVike on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    Oz, I’m just wondering if Jared Allen died. There hasn’t been a blog about the “Quest for 100″ in about 3 days.

  40. By ozzinator on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    Bwaaa ha ha ha

  41. By Jeffbleedspurple on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    Brakes!!!! Will I sure hope not! No one is expecting brakes now! McNabb is on the bench where he belongs so forget about brakes, By the way Wobby, good move by you and Paul Allen getting rid of that Packers helmet I must say, I would have done exactly the same thing.
    I think the Packers are going to make the mistake of treating our new QB as your average Joe rookie QB or better yet as if McNabb was still in there and go with single man coverage and stack the box to stop Peterson, this is where our intelligent young QB is going to make them pay. I hope anyways!

  42. By Lants on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    @ Frederick Jones

    I hear ya man!! I’ve been talking about our O-line since 2009, when I saw that Favre was not getting the protection he needed. They were still holding it together for the first part of that year, but it got worse in 2010…and now here we are, and I am speechless.

    Here is to hoping that the back-up linemen coming in are some monsters, but I have my doubts.

    We need an o-line, it’s where the games are won and lost, and we’ve seen how that has worked so far this year, right?

  43. By VegasVike on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    Maybe Jared put the brakes on..

  44. By PURPLEBLOOD on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    NOW thats some funneeee s?it detroit makiing fun ! with their one dimensional &sses . for some reason i smell a winn this this game hopefully the O.C. let,s it all hang out from here on out we have nothing to gain by playing conservatively so lets go vike’s and have some cheese fondu!

  45. By Troutdaddy on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    Love the comments Novascotiavike…. When I saw the title of this blog it made me laugh… No need to put the brakes on…. Really? Many fans have been wondering why they have been on the whole time!!! Regardless- it looks like many are getting their wishes to get Ponder into the mix and start Building what looks like to be a more confident team with some spark. That spark has been missing. Finally something to hope for. One thing though to you bog junkies… Lay off of Mike! The man is very good at what he does and ALWAYS focusses on being supportive to the team, decisions the coaches make and the players regardless of who is in at QB etc… He has to, he has to have that rapport with them. It is his job- one that is not just about supporting the “Fan perspective”. I for one like his take on situations and knowledge of the game, players and what the “Situation” really is. The fact that some think he is now being two-faced because he is being supportive of Ponder and saying that things ought to pick up now? Pffff. Aside from being a PR person, he also is a fan and you know what if and when he ever changes his mind he has the okie dokey to do so. Suck it up bloggers… I bleed purple… nuf said…

  46. By VegasVike on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    This just in…. While traveling on Crosstown Musgrave came up on stopped traffic and ran full speed into the stopped car in front of him… When asked why he didn’t slow down he responded, and I quote. “I saw no reason to put on the brakes” HAHAHAHA!!!

  47. By DRS on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply


  48. By PURPLEBLOOD on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    Yes, chock one up for the cheese head that’s good sportsmanship and that’s how it ought to be no need to bash let the better team prevail it’s what sports is competition not talk ! WIN OR LOSE VIKINGS FOR LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  49. By PURPLEBLOOD on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    Yes, chock one up for the cheese head that’s good sportsmanship and that’s how it ought to be no need to bash let the better team prevail it’s what sports is competition not talk ! WIN OR LOSE VIKINGS FOR LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! oh! and you can’t put on brakes if your not moving!

  50. By SMH on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    Thank god that McCheeseBurger in benched

  51. By Tykevike on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    Ponder is gonna be running up the middle for 10 at a time, or running around the end for 5 or 10 at a time. Hes not a pocket QB hes a scrambler! And just about the time you think hes gonna run it …….well……he will throw a slant, or a post when the corners have come up to defend the run.

    Im sure your thinkin “what? a rooky, first start, hes gonna get squashed by the 6 and 0 GB team. The overconfidence of the pack will catch up with them….. the whole vikiongs team will rally around their rooky QB. You wait and see!!!!

  52. By Pharewynd on Oct 22, 2011 | Reply

    Better protection for Ponder? Not with the O-line currently being used today. They need to get younger/faster/stronger people from the practice squad who want to earn a place on the team by playing aggressively. Why not place Camarillo,Webb, as WR’s. Webb has the agility/height for a WR and used to play in that position. Ponder likes to throw the ball; give him some receivers to work with. As far as the secondary goes; if GB brings all (5) of its receivers, somebody better know who their man is and be on him like “white on rice”. Don’t give them a chance for any plays beyond 10yds. Something/someone needs to get on the secondary’s cases and tell them if they can’t produce they are off the team. There are players on the practice squad who would probably play better than some of the current secondary players. Ponder showed quickness to read the other team and agility to avoid the sack. Without protection and time to throw the ball, he cannot/willnot be able to consistently “win the game by himself”.

  53. By PURPLEHAZE on Oct 22, 2011 | Reply

    @VegasVike and others. I too chuckled at the “put the brakes on” quote. Musgrave has been the one with his foot on the brakes all year. With Ponder being more mobile and being able to slide out of the pocket, maybe we can stretch the ball vertically a little more now. McNabb sure never had time to throw it deep from the pocket. Just an opinion for those wondering why Joe Webb isn’t getting a shot. I like Webb. Very athletic. I think they should have some wildcat type plays in the offense for him but they need to convert him to wr. We need wr’s and he is not an nfl qb. In his last 2 years at UAB and so far in the nfl he has thrown 18tds and 40 ints (0tds and 3ints in the nfl). IMO, that’s probably why he doesn’t get the nod at qb.

  54. By Pharewynd on Oct 22, 2011 | Reply

    It will be interesting how they actually play the ball tomorrow. Run first like they do the majority of the time? Or,pass through the air and surprise everyone. I havent seen and “end-around” in at least 2 games yet. They need to mix up their plays. They are getting as predictable as when Chilly was there. Get some fresh plays and let the Packers try to figure them out. That would really be refreshing…

  55. By Jeff on Oct 22, 2011 | Reply

    Ponder should do fine, however, the Coaching Staff isn’t ready. The team needs; are new Coach’s. But looking on the bright side of things if Ponder gets his cherry broken sunday and loses, he may very well turn into somebody who has lost spirit and the results very well may be another scrub QB in the future we could just use as a back up. The team should just leave McNabb as starter and try to draft Andrew Luck.

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