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Greg Jennings: Christian Ponder needed Vikings' help

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings has been quarterback Christian Ponder's biggest supporter this offseason. Jennings' message: Have patience with a player who hasn't had great weapons.

"Every quarterback, you've got to give him time (to develop)," Jennings said Tuesday on ESPN, via the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "Tell me this, right now: Brett Favre, receivers around him. Aaron Rodgers, receivers around him. Christian Ponder ... receivers around him."

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The implication is that Ponder hasn't had much help at receiver. We'd argue that Jennings is a downgrade from the departed Percy Harvin and Kyle Rudolph is developing into one of the best young tight ends in football. Still, the Vikings' receiver group is undeniably deeper this year after drafting Cordarrelle Patterson.

"He (Ponder) has always been a position where the stress and the pressure was on him, and he really didn't have the help around him to take that load off, outside of 'All Day' (Adrian Peterson). That's it," Jennings said.

We appreciate what Jennings is trying to do. He has Ponder's back. But saying Ponder had no help outside of Peterson is like saying the Denver Broncos are thin at quarterback except for Peyton Manning.

It is possible to isolate and evaluate quarterback play regardless of the weapons around him. Ponder has struggled more than most other recent first-round draft picks at quarterback in his first two seasons. But it's only been two seasons. It's fair for Jennings to point out that Ponder is still early in his development.

If and when Ponder does turn his career around, Jennings can be the first in line to say, "Told you so."

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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