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Christian Ponder reportedly spotty in Vikings practice

The usual caveat applies: It's only the offseason. But the reviews in Minnesota so far have been pretty uniform: The quarterback play has been "spotty" in practice for the Minnesota Vikings.

"Watching Christian Ponder out there, the footwork didn't look great," Judd Zulgad, of 1500ESPN.com, said Wednesday. "The passes didn't look all that sharp.

It's only June, and Ponder is playing with a new set of receivers. Things aren't going to be perfect. But the Vikings are counting on Ponder's stability in Bill Musgrave's offensive system to lead to major growth. They need major growth. That reportedly hasn't shown up yet in the offseason.

"You know what's not there? Crispness," Zulgad said. "There's not a sharpness. At times you would expect things to look second nature to Ponder. ... That's not what we're seeing so far, but like I said, it's minicamp."

Zulgad's comments caught my eye because they came on the same day ESPN's Adam Schefter wrote that "some believe" Matt Cassel is good enough to challenge for the Vikings' starting job this year. It's Ponder's job, but Cassel probably is a better NFL player at this point. This is not a surprise. (Or a good thing for the Vikings' playoff chances.)

Ponder's second season provided no indication that he's ready to be a quality starting quarterback. Maybe he makes that jump this year, but that's based more on hope than anything tangible he's shown at Florida State or in the Vikings.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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