Did Vikes Swallow Purple Drank Served By Jimbo?

One of the more unexpected picks during the NFL Draft last week was the Minnesota Vikings taking oft-injured Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder with the 12th overall selection.

When later asked why the Vikings selected Ponder, Minnesota Head Coach Leslie Frazier said:

I just felt like his character is going to get him through some of the tough days that you go through as a young quarterback in the NFL or even a veteran quarterback. That was probably the determining factor. Not just his physical talent but he is a very high character individual.”

As we know from past, colossal NFL Draft busts, any choice substantially based on a prospect’s “character” is a risk. Especially in the upper-half of the first round.

So how then did the Vikings come to the conclusion that Ponder’s character made him worthy of a 12th overall draft choice?


Without being around former Seminole QB Ponder consistently for any significant length of time, Frazier confirmed to Mike Florio Tuesday on PFT LIVE that the Vikings relied on a Florida State coaching staffed headed by coach Jimbo Fisher.

“When we went down to visit with him, Mike, and just sit down and talk with him and watch him work out, I was really impressed with his poise and leadership qualities that some of the (Florida State) coaches talked to us about and seeing how he handles himself.

“I think there’s some intangibles at that position that you have to have if you’re going to be a NFL successful quarterback.

“The mental toughness has to be there and I think you need to be a relatively bright guy who can understand concepts and be able to lead and he displayed those qualities.

“I said (at the time) if we get a chance this guy could really be who we’re looking for. Fortunately for us the opportunity came and we jumped on it.”

So with the Vikings subsequently drafting Ponder it should come as no surprise that Fisher, who has the same agent as Ponder in Jimmy Sexton, echoed Frazier’s sentiment when it came to a quarterback evaluation.


“I’ve always believed that you measure a quarterback on his bad days, not his good days. When you’re not having your best day, how do you respond? Can you stay into it and manage the game?

“He’s always in the film room studying. He’s highly intelligent. He checked every protection for us. He had the ability on every pass to check off and throw to all our guys. He’s a lot more athletic than people think.

“He’s extremely tough, competitive and he’ll put the time in. He is about winning. You combine his intangibles with his great ability, and you get a great champion.”

High praise indeed.

If only Fisher, a former quarterbacks coach at LSU, had said that about Ponder and not Fisher ex-pupil Jamarcus Russell before the 2007 NFL Draft.

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JaMarcus Russell Arrested Over Codeine Syrup

Daniela Werner of the Mobile (Ala.) Press-Register reports that JaMarcus Russell was arrested on Monday for possession of a controlled substance.

JaMarcus Russell Codeine Syrup

That controlled substance: codeine syrup.

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Raiders: QB Russell Lost ‘Quite a Bit’ Of Weight

Longtime Oakland Raiders staffer Willie Brown appeared on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area’s Chronicle Live on Monday to claim that JaMarcus Russell has lost a “quite a bit of weight” thanks to “special meals” and supervision from a former Raiders player.

JaBlargus Russell at McDonalds Drive Thru

(That’s JaBlargus, not JaMarcus)

“You’ll be surprised when you see him. It’s quite a bit of weight that he’s lost. I don’t want to pin it down and say how much he lost but it will be a significant difference when you see him compared to last year.

“The most important thing is he’s getting in shape. Not only losing weight, but getting in shape. He’s watching his diet, he has special meals brought in that he’s eating, and we have one of the Raiders, a former player there with him to monitor him and make sure things are going fine. The weight thing, he’ll get it down. He’ll get it down.

Jerry McDonald of InsideBayArea.com reports that the former Raiders player helping Russell lose weight is Eddie Anderson.

Hate to ruin Brown’s surprise, but I’ve obtained a photo of Russell taken last Friday at the Lakers-Suns game in Phoenix:

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Video: TV Guy On Russell’s ‘Lethargy Addiction’

Last Sunday, Gary Peterson of the Bay Area News Group fired off this line in an otherwise straight-up assessment of Raiders quarterback Jamarcus Russell:

Jamarcus Russell Lethargy Addiction Video Report

Or maybe Russell, rumored to have spent part of the offseason at a clinic being treated for lethargy addiction, shows up for minicamp weighing 230 sculpted pounds and ready to work twice as hard as anyone else in the building. Sorry, didn’t mean to make you blow coffee out your nose first thing in the morning — just trying to cover all bases.

Though Peterson was trying to make a joke, at least one person didn’t get it. With that person happening to be a prominent member of the Bay Area electronic media.

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JaMarcus: 3 Months To Make Good On Kiper Call

So you’re saying there’s a chance?

That’s gotta make the Clausen camp feel great this AM. Along with Todd McShay.

Thanks to YouBeenBlinded.com.

Photos: Who Knew Fat JaMarcus Loved To Party?

Earlier today OAKLAND TRIBUNE columnist Cam Inman reported that JaMarcus Russell blew off his season-ending meeting with the Raiders to go party at The Palms in Vegas.

Fat Jamarcus

When I heard the news, I immediately thought back to these wonderful photos of a soft-centered Russell showing an uncanny dedication to a rigorous offseason routine.

Fat Jamarcus Parties

Delightful foreshadowing to today’s events?

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JaMarcus Russell In Loss: “I did a pretty good job”

Sunday in San Diego, the Chargers beat the Raiders for the 13th straight time, a bitter pill for the legions of SoCal Raider fans who made the annual journey south from (East) Los Angeles.

Jamarcus Russell

(NFL apparently is like Vegas to J-Russ and Cable: A game of “chance”)

With the lossthe Raiders dropped to 2-6, their playoff hopes out the window.

But despite Sunday’s result and the season’s circumstances, JaMarcus Russell wasn’t displeased with himself after the Charger loss. Nor was his coach. Read more…

Schlereth: JaMarcus Needs ‘3-Alligator Count’ Rule

Mark Schlereth tweet on JaMarcus Russell

OK, technically this is what’s known as piling on, and I’m going to have to throw the flag. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t laugh out loud when I saw it. By the way, they’re also considering the two-hand touch rule for defenders rushing Tom Brady, I hear. Read more…

Speed Read: Overrated, Clap Clap, Clap Clap Clap

Because no battle is ever won, he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools. - William Faulker, “The Sound and the Fury”

That was written by Mississippi’s “greatest author,” who I also thought was kind of overrated. Which, it turns out, could easily apply on multiple levels to the Ole Miss football team. On a national stage and with a No. 4 ranking, the Rebels completely imploded, falling 16-10 at South Carolina last night. It may or may not be true that no battle is ever won, but for Ole Miss, this one was certainly lost.

Moe Brown of South Carolina

Mainly it was lost for two reasons: QB Jevan Snead had a miserable game, going 7 for 21 for 107 yards while being pressured by the Gamecocks’ defense all night. And Houston Nutt’s game plan reminded you of why he was barely a .500 coach with a backfield of Felix Jones and Darren McFadden at Arkansas. Nutt seemed unable to accept that the passing game just wasn’t working, and waited until the fourth quarter to turn to running back Dexter McLuster. He ran for 68 yards in the final quarter, but by then it was too little, too late. Read more…

Raiders’ Hall Will Put Up $70 Mil On Vick Behaving

OK, Michael Vick is leaps and bounds better than JaMarcus Russell. He may even be a decent guy, at least in his interactions with species of a non-canine persuasion. But how desperate do the Oakland Raiders have to be for a quarterback that they’re already campaigning for him to be starting behind center next year?

Michael Vick

(At least we know he looks good in Raiders colors.)

It’s one thing to voice support for a friend and former teammate. It’s another entirely to peg your contract to a felon making it on the outside. While Vick can throw a mean spiral, nobody can throw good money after bad like cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who’s willing to put up his $70 million contract as collateral that Vick won’t get into trouble with the law if the Raiders sign him.

Who should the Raiders start at QB in 2009?

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