Minnesota Vikings quarterbacks coach Craig Johnson gave Christian Ponder some advice on how to take all the criticism he's receiving.
“The bottom line is — and he knows this — if you do not win the game, you’re getting the blame,” Johnson told USA Today. “That’s just the way it is. Suck it up. You’re no different than quarterbacks in every other part of the country. When you lose, you’re getting the blame. That’s part of the deal.”
In a related story, ex-Viking star Fran Tarkenton has high hopes for Ponder, but he's also realistic about the situation Ponder faces.
In his latest column in the Pioneer Press, Tarkenton says he admires Ponder's courage running the football, but his first responsibility comes as a passer.
The scary part of Tarkenton's piece is that he writes: "At some point, you are who y0u are."
If Ponder's play is an example of all he'll ever become, the Vikings are in deep trouble.
"Quarterbacks show you who they are pretty quickly," Tarkenton wrote. "After more than two years, the coaches know who Christian Ponder is and what he can do. They've watched him every day since he was drafted. The question is, are they satisfied with what he's giving them?"
To shed some extra light and hope on the Ponder situation, Tarkenton notes that star quarterbacks Eli Manning, Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III are all struggling through three weeks, too.