It really doesn't matter what the Minnesota Vikings accomplish this season if they haven't found their quarterback. There's little doubt they have their man.
Spielman is taking a global view on Ponder's recent play. Ponder has been an up-and-down signal-caller over the past month, but that's not altogether unusual for a quarterback in his sophomore NFL outing. Spielman name-dropped Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan and Eli Manning as players who also encountered boundaries in Year 2.
"Just look at guys in their second year," Spielman said. "And where he is right now to where he was last year and just look at some of the quarterbacks I have mentioned. And what their progress was. And they're almost identical wherein that realm where they all ended up."
Ponder has struggled at stretches to complete play-action passes in a Vikings offense that relies on those plays in a run-heavy attack.
NFL Films guru Greg Cosell recently pointed to Ponder's lack of a "calm helmet." Tape of the Vikings passer reveals too much indecision as he drops back. Ponder's head "keeps on looking from side to side" in the fleeting seconds he has to make a decision on what to do with the ball. Ponder's not getting a "defined picture" of the play, according to Cosell.
When he's on, Ponder also has been an efficient thrower at stretches, but there's miles to go for this young quarterback.