Ex-Florida State coach Bowden still believes in Ponder


How bad is it for Christian Ponder in Minnesota? He's basically a forgotten man just one week after getting benched and replaced by Matt Cassel.

Finding a Ponder supporter in Minnesota would be a difficult job for the CIA. But if you look close enough, a Ponder supporter can be found. The Pioneer Press has proof.

The St. Paul paper tracked down former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, who still supports his former college QB.

"My philosophy has always been that if something bad happens to you, something good is going to happen to you next,'' Bowden said. "Goodness knows, I've gotten my tail whipped before. But I was able to bounce back. That's how I look at it as far as Christian Ponder is concerned.''

Bouncing back, or just simply doing well, hasn't exactly been a trait of Bowden-coached quarterbacks in the NFL. Bowden, who coached at Florida State from 1976-2009, has watched seven of his college quarterbacks go on to the NFL. Only former Viking Brad Johnson and Ponder have had limited success -- and Ponder isn't in Johnson's class at this point.

  • Chris Weinke: 2-18 record, 3,904 yards, 15 TD, 26 INT.
  • Danny Kanell: 10-13-1 record, 5,129 yards, 31 TD, 34 INT.
  • Casey Weldon: Never started, 1 TD, 4 INT.
  • Brad Johnson: 72-53 record, 166 TD, 122 INT.
  • Danny McManus: Never played a down.
  • Peter Tom Willis: 0-3 record, 1,261 yards, 6 TD, 15 INT.

There's no question Ponder still has a chance to excel in the NFL, but it might not be with the Vikings.

"I am a Christian Ponder fan,'' Bowden added. "But this is a business. The Vikings might believe that the quarterback they got from Tampa is a fit for them. If that is the case, then I believe that there is another perfect situation that Christian will find. ... I really hope it works out with the Vikings, but if it doesn't, there could be a place where he could be real good.''

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier is expected to name this week's starting quarterback on Wednesday. Ponder is seemingly third in line behind Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman.

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