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.

Fisher:

“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.

Follow Brooks on Twitter or join him on Facebook for real-time updates.

Photos: Vikings Punter Brands Field ‘Unplayable’

In a series of Tweets today, Vikings punter Chris Kluwe harshly criticized the field conditions at TCF Stadium in Minneapolis, which will host the Minnesota-Chicago NFL game Monday night.

“Serious time - All respect to the people that cleared the field and got it ready, you did an amazing job. That being said, it’s unplayable. The field is as hard as concrete an hour and a half after they took the tarp off, and anyone that hits their head is getting a concussion.

“I find it interesting that the NFL can claim an emphasis on player safety, and then tell us the field is fine. It’s beyond hypocritical. I can only hope, however unlikely, that no one gets catastrophically injured at the trainwreck that’s about to take place tomorrow night.”

Following those Tweets, Kluwe posted the following entry on Twitter:

I’ve been asked not to tweet anymore about the field so as not to distract teammates (who were there) and I will honor that. Time for WoW.

Visanthe Shiancoe

While Kluwe didn’t post any photos, his Minnesota teammate Visanthe Shiancoe did.

Read more…

For Favre, $500-a-Throw Means Enormous Paycut

After word filtered out last night that Brett Favre would miss his first start since 1992, Favre’s official website published a new memorabilia offer.

 Brett Favre per throw

(Cal Ripken’s similar offer: $550 per AB)

Florio first noted that for $499.99, Favre had begun offering, a “Signed and inscribed 297 Starts Football.

Tempting.

The football displayed in the Favre offer retails for $80, so you’re essentially paying $419.99 for the quarterback’s signature.

But don’t forget that as part of the sale, “A portion of all proceeds will go to the Favre 4 Hope Foundation”!

Classy.

After surfing around Favre’s official site, didn’t take long to find another $500 offer for a similarly signed, generic football celebrating Favre’s 500th touchdown pass.

$500-a-throw seem like a lot for an iPad autograph? Not when you’re Vikings Owner Zygi WilfRead more…

Moss-Insulted Minny Restaurant Offers Free Food

Paul Walsh of the MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE reports that the restaurant owner who was insulted by Randy Moss over the quality of his catering for the Vikings has taken his case to the people of the Twin Cities.

Gus Tinucci of Tinucci's Restaurant

Gus Tinucci, owner of Tinucci’s Restaurant in St. Paul, is offering free lunch to customers on Friday who hand over their Randy Moss gear. The items will then be donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs in the city where Moss next plays - Nashville.

Pretty cool idea.

Walsh reports of what led to the charity gesture by Tinucci:

The newly departed Moss inspired the charity promotion last Friday when he screamed at Gus Tinucci in the locker room after Vikings practice because he apparently didn’t like the way the buffet looked. Tinucci said Moss used profanity to emphasize that wouldn’t feed the food to his dog.

That’s right, Moss never even sampled the food before going ballistic. Read more…

Daughter Of Randy Moss Adjusts To Own New Team

Recently NFL star Randy Moss was traded from the New England Patriots to the Minnesota Vikings after expressing dissatisfaction with the Pats.

Sydney Moss

So how will things end up working out for Moss after his extraordinary move? It’s almost impossible to know how he’ll adjust, but if he takes his cue from his daughter, Vikings fans may soon be happy.

Rising high school junior Sydney Moss is already one of the best female basketball players in the country, with scholarship offers from many of the top college basketball programs around the country. But two years ago, Moss was entering her third school in just four years and had an attitude that reportedly was a “concern.” (She quit her high school team as a freshman and transferred.) Read more…

Not Safe 4 Work Video: Favre Misses 1 Hand Grab

Thanks to a video uploaded by WCCO-TV in Minneapolis today, Brett Favre’s privates are once again being unduly scrutinized.

This just confirms what we may already know: The workplace is never safe for Favre. Read more…

Hall of Famer On N.O.: ‘Hit That Town Like Katrina’

Pro Football Weekly on TV is in its 22nd season in syndication. The Chicago-based show airs weekly throughout the NFL season and features analysis from PFW publisher/editor Hub Arkush, NFL Hall of Famer Dan Hampton and former Bears receiver Tom Waddle.

Dan Hampton makes Hurricane Katrina comment about New Orleans Saints

(Thank to Glenn Davis at Sports Grid for the tip)

During the show close this week, the panelists were supposed to give their prediction for the NFL’s Week 1 Minnesota Vikings-New Orleans Saints game.

Hampton though, never got to the Saints. Read more…

I Have Something In Common With Favre’s Backup

Today Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson not only spoke for me, he spoke for every last, god-fearing citizen living in the United States of America* and our brave, fighting men and women of the United States military serving around the world. (Including nearly 300 ships at sea.)

Tarvaris Jackson

What did he say, you ask?

From Judd Zulgad of the MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE today: Read more…

Minneapolis Star-Tribune Reporter: Favre Is Lying

Judd Zulgad of the MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE has done a stellar job reporting on the latest iteration of Brett Favre’s jackass rodeo.

Brett Favre is a liar

Tuesday morning Zulgad was first to report that Favre had texted Vikings team officials about retiring. Jay Glazer of Fox Sports then broke the news that Favre had recently texted some of his Vikings teammates with the same story, which Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe then confirmed to Zulgad.  (Adrian Peterson and Jared Allen also said Tuesday that they recently received texts from Favre but would not reveal what the quarterback said in the communications.)

Wednesday ESPN’s Ed Werder reported, “Favre denied sending text messages to Vikings teammates and club officials that might have indicated he had decided to retire.

Brett Favre is a liar

Zulgad’s response to Favre’s denial about texting teammates and Vikings officials? Read more…

Audio: Favre Announcement ‘As Early As Today’

Judd Zulgad of the MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE and Jay Glazer of Fox Sports have the scoop of the year so far, reporting Tuesday morning that Brett Favre has told Viking officials and his teammates that he will not play this season.

Jay Glazer

Zulgad of the Star-Tribune, who had the first report of the possible Favre departure,  reports Tuesday:

NFL sources said the quarterback began informing Vikings personnel late Monday night that he has decided to retire for a third time.

Glazer also appeared on the Dan Patrick Show this morning to talk about why Favre has said he isn’t coming back and when he wants to make the announcement.
Read more…