Report: Vikings name Ponder starting QB

Ponder replaced McNabb as team's starting QB last October

POSTED: 03:43 PM PDT Jun 22, 2012 
Christian Ponder

Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier has a lot of decisions still to make about this year's team, but one of his biggest is a done deal.

Frazier has named Christian Ponder the Vikes' starting quarterback, according to a report by Fox Sports North late Thursday.

"We're going into it with Christian being our starting quarterback," Frazier said. "If something were to happen to Christian because of injury, we feel like we have a capable backup in Joe (Webb). But there's no competition as to, 'Joe has to do this to beat out Christian.' Christian, it's his job.

"We're trusting that he's going to be the guy to lead us to where we want to go this next season. And we think we have a capable guy if something were to happen to Christian, that Joe could step in and do a real good job for us."

Ponder replaced Donovan McNabb as the Vikes' starting QB last October and went on to complete over 54 percent of his 291 passes for 1,853 yards, 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Those numbers were still noteworthy, particularly with the loss of No. 1 running back Adrian Peterson to injuries, as well as back-up wide receiver Michael Jenkins (knee injury) and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe's struggles .

A healthy Peterson and the additions of wide receiver Jerome Simpson and tight end John Carlson will only help to improve Ponder's ability to run the team, giving him significant more options.

But Ponder has also been working on himself during the offseason.

"I've gotten bigger. I'm stronger. I'll try to keep my flexibility," Ponder told 1500ESPN.com Thursday. "There's a lot of different things we can do flexibility-wise with the yoga. Just trying to keep my body in the right condition and getting stronger."