Allen to Ponder: “you have to be the guy”

The Minnesota Vikings’ compass appears to be pointing north. With a healthy and dominant Adrian Peterson, Minnesota should only be getting better.

According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, defensive end Jared Allen has told the young QB that he “has to be the guy.”

“Adrian [Peterson] can carry this team so far; our defense can only carry this team so far…you know, you look at teams that historically win championships, and they have consistent play from their quarterback position.”

Don’t mistake Allen’s comments for hatred or as a means to call out his quarterback, rather, a way to motivate him to continue to get the Vikings deeper into the post-season.

“You should kind of have things down in your third year,” said Allen. “We got some good weapons for him. I hope he makes leaps and bounds, and has a phenomenal year, and that we have a phenomenal year.”

Should Ponder fail to capitalize on his successful 2012 campaign and be ‘the guy’ in his third year, the Vikings and GM Rick Spielman could turn to either struggling quarterbacks Matt Cassel or Joe Webb in 2014. Of course, college prospects like Clemson’s Tajh Boyd and Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater could be viable candidates to replace Ponder.

The biggest question facing the former Florida State Seminole is an injury to his throwing elbow. After an injury-plagued collegiate career, Ponder was reported to have an MRI one his right elbow earlier in the week. Remember, in 2012 injuries forced Ponder to miss the Vikings’ playoff game.

Ponder has gotten mixed reviews from fans and media alike in his first two seasons with the Vikings. Injuries have proven that Webb is not equipped to be an NFL starter, and Cassel’s struggles with the Chiefs are well documented.

As is the case with the other 31 teams in the NFL, if the quarterback struggles, so too does the team. The same can be said for the Minnesota Vikings and Christian Ponder. Ponder’s health might be crucial to the success of the franchise, and if he cannot go, Minnesota might need to draft their second first-round quarterback in four seasons.

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