Ponder wants to start somewhere, wouldn't be surprised to see new QB
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - A motif across the Minnesota Vikings locker room on Monday morning was simple: things move quickly in the NFL.
Not one player on the Vikings can speak on that from this year's experiences more than former 12th-overall pick Christian Ponder, who was anointed as the team's franchise quarterback until he injured/played his way out of that role after nine starts in his third season.
"With me, it was an injury that took me out initially and then when I got the job back another injury happened," Ponder said. "So that's just part of the game and it's hard to play out. Hindsight is 20-20 now that you wish something was different, but that's the way the year went and we had to deal with it. Again, unfortunately it didn't work out the way we wanted it to."
In his last press conference following the Vikings' 14-13 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday, coach Leslie Frazier made matters clear that the quarterback decisions in all 55 games he coached were not his alone. Seven different quarterbacks started in a little more than three seasons for Frazier, with his successes ultimately tied to a quarterback he didn't draft - Ponder.
Ponder, 25, is under contract for 2014 and the Vikings can pick up a pricey 2015 option should they choose this offseason. That seems unlikely following a 2-6-1 record in his third year as backup Matt Cassel stepped in and led the Vikings to the latter of his two victories on Dec. 1 over the Chicago Bears.
Ponder wants to start, but knows that may not be an option in Minnesota anymore.
"It was interesting. It was definitely an interesting year. And not the way that I thought it would play out or probably anyone wanted it to play out," Ponder said. "So with my job, I didn't play well enough to keep the job and for us to win as many games as we should have. So it stinks knowing that was a contribution to [Frazier's firing]."
Ponder didn't have a clear idea of his role on the Vikings heading into 2014. He intended to speak with general manager Rick Spielman on Monday.
"I don't know what to think. I got to go talk to Spielman and see what he says. My preparation is to work hard this offseason and that's what's going to happen," Ponder said. "I want to prepare to be a starter whether that's here or somewhere else. We'll find out.''
Would it surprise you if the Vikings took a first-round quarterback in April's draft just three years after they picked you?
"Probably not," Ponder said. "I think it all depends on what the new head coach wants to do. But it wouldn't surprise me."