Thread: Cassel/Ponder Thread
10-04-2013, 07:55 AM #41
I am guessing Leslie is just trying to defend his guy as much as possible now.
He knows that he can use the injury as the reason to start Cassel and he is GOING to use the injury as a reason to start Cassel. There is just no way to start Ponder and keep the locker room at the same time at this point.
On the whether or not Cassel is good/Ponder is ever going to be good debate ... I don't really know where to stand on either one of them.
Matt Cassel: He has definitely shown at times in his career to be a more than capable starter in the NFL. He did very well in New England to earn his first big break and then had one very good season in Kansas City before it all went to hell. Sometimes talent just needs a change of scenery and I think him coming to Minnesota was calculated and a good move. He knew that he could get a good shot at starting here and now he is ready to work and keep it.
Christian Ponder: I want to like the guy. I think he works hard and seems like a good guy. I just don't seem him regularly make the right read and rarely see him throw with confidence. He constantly teases the fan base with a handful of very good throws here and there ... only to regress. He seems very content to read No. 1then No. 2 and then run no matter what and see what happens. With a running back like Adrian Peterson, the defense plays more up and covers the shorter passing lanes, meaning that Ponder needs to be pinpoint, something he does not seem to be on a regular basis.
When it comes down to it ... I don't love Cassel, but I think he makes the throws that THIS OFFENSE needs better than Ponder. Throws down field are what an offense with Adrian Peterson needs. It opens up the pass and the run. It clears out the underneath as well as teams back off a bit. Cassel hits those quick slants better than Ponder and clearly has more zip on any ball more than 10 yards down the field.
I think we have no choice but to see if Cassel can right this ship in the next few weeks and lead us back into playoff contention.
10-04-2013, 08:17 AM #42
10-04-2013, 09:33 AM #43
Good point on the quick slant. If the backers have to respect that play and a qb that can hit the receiver quickly with a fast ball that the receiver catches in stride, it opens up the run with Peterson and the downfield throw. Ponder just hasn't shown he can consistenly make that throw. The quick slant is a staple of NFL offenses today and the Vikings need that aspect to open up the rest of the offense.
10-04-2013, 10:08 AM #44
The difference is that Gore saw it because they also stack the box for Kaepernick. Peterson sees a ton of 8-man looks ... he also sees safeties up more than any other back in the league. And ... while the 8-man look is what people talk about ... the biggest problem is the SEVEN man look.
We rarely force a team into their nickel package because they do not need to go to it to cover us.
The simple fact is that teams FLAT OUT do not respect Ponder because they KNOW he cannot beat them over the top. Pittsburgh came in with a similar theory in trying to let Cassel show he could beat them ... he did. They adjusted ... and Peterson ran down their throats.
You don't have to be Peyton Manning ... you don't have to be Tom Brady ... you don't even have to be Philip Rivers ... you simply have to make teams pay when they don't think you can. Ponder very rarely does this. Cassel did it multiple times in just one start.
All the ProFootballFocus crowd (including coldhard) think they can apply a ton of sabremetric like formulas to football and constantly tell people they don't know anything because baseball has worked so well with it. The difference is baseball is a 162 game sport ...the numbers never lie there because eventually they all settle in after that long of a season.
While some of the metric lovers work great for football (and I am a metrics guy) it simply is a less important narrative in a sport that only plays 16 games.
Anyone arguing any sort of metric, any sort of if and or but and any sort "he needs more time" argument for Ponder over Cassel is a complete lunatic at this point. I am not saying that Cassel is the long term answer and Ponder isn't ... I suspect neither is a long term answer.
But Cassel is the answer RIGHT NOW.
10-04-2013, 10:39 AM #45
Ive been one to preach patience with Ponder but I am the first to admit when I am wrong. We have to keep going with Cassel as I see it. The same receiver's, OL, and AP looked to be in pro bowl form with Cassel starting. The ball came out on time and with authority, there were no happy feet indecisive moments. This team looked totally different solely by changing a single player.
I will say that Musgrave seemed to call a bit of a better game as well. I am beginning to wonder if Spielman is insisting on Ponder must play so as to not prove him wrong by investing the 12th pick on a guy whose biggest claim to fame is one good game against the Pack, and a smokin hot wife......
Time for a change.
10-04-2013, 10:47 AM #46
Statistics, metrics, whatever you like are just that. Whatever conclusion you want to make with them is up to the interpreter. I am a strong proponent of not using statistics to make general statements (especially in football), but that doesn't mean you can skew reality to fit things that didn't happen.
10-04-2013, 11:55 AM #47
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When are you going to realize that picking out the 20 bad throws this year and ignoring the 300 good ones does not make your point?
10-04-2013, 12:02 PM #48
AD said the huddle has a completely different feel when Cassel is in charge, and HE should know. Eric Davis, speaking about Weeden this morning on NFL AM, said (paraphrasing) that you can has as many difference makers and dynamic players on your team, but you MUST have your QB as your leader. I just don't think the team believes in Ponder anymore, no matter what we or Frazier wants or says.
As far as metrics, in a 16 game season, it is hard to quantify momentum. I've played football, and when your team has it, it makes you feel unstoppable, no matter what you did in the last 10 games, no matter how bad your CBs are, no matter what. You see streaks in baseball that defy explanation (which, in my opinion, is the same kind of deal), but they almost never hold through a 162 game season; bad players or play will out when you have 4+ months to play.
Ponder looked good last season in the first 4 games (good enough to win, anyway), but he lost his confidence when defenses boxed AD out and basically said, "Ok, Ponder...YOU beat us!" He blinked, and now he looks gunshy. In the old days, we used to put a gunshy QB in the backfield with more rushers than blockers, and we got to hit him if he couldn't get the ball out accurately and on time; in essence, we beat the fear out of him. That will never happen again, but one year it gave the team I was on a FEARLESS QB who who hit US if WE screwed up.
10-05-2013, 09:23 AM #49
"If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"
10-06-2013, 05:39 AM #50
Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!
Vikings fans will still support The Purple, but we would be pissed. That is the football term for upset.