Vikings QB Christian Ponder was a popular topic of conversation on Monday morning, but he may not be the Vikings fans' popular choice to play quarterback for the team. And the person who decides that, coach Leslie Frazier, reiterated on Monday that Ponder is exactly the guy who will do it.
Ponder's play has been inconsistent at best this season, and Sunday in Green Bay it was detrimental to the team. Two bad throws for interceptions inside the red zone negated two huge drives and basically cost the Vikings the game. After the game, Ponder accepted blame for the loss, right after he received moral support from his teammates and coach. On Monday, Frazier backed him again.
"When you are in a business where you're judged by results and results for us are based on wins and losses, when you come up short that does create some frustration," Frazier said. "But we do have confidence that Christian will continue to get better. That was a tough day at times for him yesterday. We think he's more than capable of being successful. We think he's capable of getting that done, and we're going to need it for sure this coming weekend [against the Bears]."
Ponder's interceptions were glaring mistakes -- not only mentally, but they were physically poor throws -- and he struggled the rest of the game as well. He completed a total of 12 passes, and some of them had to be rescued by TE Kyle Rudolph's acrobatic catches. Ponder was clearly off on Sunday, finishing 12 of 25 for 119 yards, a TD and the two INTs, and plenty of the Purple faithful for were calling for him to be benched for his backup Joe Webb.
“I didn't really consider that,” Frazier said. “It hasn't come up any time this season where I thought we needed to pull him out of a game.”
Is it a lack of confidence in Webb that keeps him out of a game when Ponder is struggling?
“We think Joe can do it," Frazier said. "We think he's a quality quarterback. He's our backup now. If he had to step in and play, we have confidence that he would do a good job. But we do have confidence that Christian is going to play better.”
How about using Webb in a relief role to help Ponder clear his mind?
"I don't know if at this stage that would be the best thing,” Frazier said. “He needs to play, and not only for experience but for our continuing to evaluate where he is as a quarterback in his second season. I don't know if it's the wise thing ... to have him sit and watch. What he would learn from Joe, I don't know what that would be right now. He needs to be out there playing.”
So Frazier is sticking with Ponder. He was the 12th pick in the draft two years ago, and the Vikings clearly want to find out what they have in Ponder before they jettison him and start over. So, short of Ponder getting injured, there's little else that would see him on the bench this season.
“This is a performance-based business, so performance matters,” Frazier said. “It's a process, though. I always have to consider where Christian is in his development and what the expectations are for him. We'll continue to monitor his development and how he's progressing. But it's an ongoing process. He's in his second season. He's made some progress along the way. He's had some moments where we all would agree he has to play better. We're looking for that to happen over the course of this week leading up to this next ballgame.”
For more Vikings news and notes, follow Joe Oberle on Twitter @CBSVikings.