"A lot of time last year, it didn't necessarily have to do with the protection. A lot of times I wasn't comfortable getting to my third, fourth reads, checking the ball down. Instead of just checking it down when a guy is wide open, I'd just run."What? If it "didn't necessarily" have anything to do with a lack of adequate pass protection then why would he not be "comfortable" making his progressions? If not due to blocking deficiencies why else would a quarterback prefer to run with the ball rather than check it down to a wide open receiver (as if there is ever an excuse not to throw to a wide open receiver)? The statement, of course, sounds exactly like something a quarterback would utter so as not to throw his offensive line under the bus. But, hold on, he continues:
"That's something I have to get away from. It's easy to break the habit. It's just going to make it so much better having full confidence in the protection."Well, now, there is that bus after all! For a player touted for his intelligence coming out of college, one would think that Ponder would be more capable of proffering two consecutive and corresponding comments that do not directly contradict each other.
The bottom line is that with the drafting of Kalil and a couple of wide receivers, to go along with the additions of John Carlson and Cannabis Simpson via free agency, Ponder's leash has gotten a lot shorter and he will be expected to take the proverbial next step in his development this coming season. If Ponder continues to exhibit happy feet in the pocket, truncate his progressions and stare down his intended target, no improvements along the offensive line will make the least bit of difference and, ultimately, the Vikings might be impelled to look at quarterbacks as soon as next season.