Watching Sunday night’s Vikings-Bears game, Cris Collinsworth pointed out that since they drafted Tommy Kramer in 1977, Minnesota has only used two first-round picks on a quarterback (Daunte Culpepper and Christian Ponder). Instead, the Vikings have elected to mostly go with re-tread quarterbacks, including Wade Wilson, Rich Gannon, Jim McMahon, Warren Moon, Brad Johnson, Randall Cunningham, Jeff George, Brad Johnson (again), Gus Frerotte and Brett Favre. Did I mention the Vikings haven’t made one Super Bowl appearance in that time?
So after roughly 35 years of the status-quo, Minnesota decided to draft Christian Ponder out of Florida State with the No. 12 overall pick. The Vikings liked Ponder so much, that they seemingly reached to draft him, when many experts predicted Ponder may have lasted into the second round. However, even after drafting Ponder, the Vikings could not resist the temptation of wasting precious experience for the young quarterback, in favor of bringing in another re-tread.
With Brett Favre finally out of the picture, one could certainly question Minnesota’s move to bring in Donovan McNabb in the first place. Coming off a disastrous year where he looked washed up, McNabb finished 5-8 and was benched in favor of Rex Grossman.
Of course, the glass half-full argument was that McNabb had the lowly Redskins at 4-3 before coach Mike Shanahan benched him out of nowhere in a winnable Week 8 game vs. the Detroit Lions. Plus, with a running back like Adrian Peterson on your team, how bad can that turn out?
Well, it turned out awful. The Vikings have started out 1-5, and are already out of contention for the playoffs. McNabb meanwhile, has looked uninspired, slow, and frustratingly bad on third downs and big situations. After 11 great years with Philadelphia of going 98-62-1 (61 percent), McNabb is now 6-13 (32 percent) since. The verdict is out: McNabb is washed up.
So when Minnesota finally announces the beginning of the Christian Ponder era this week, for the Vikings’ sake, hopefully this will put an end to Minnesota’s perpetual fixation on the crappy re-tread quarterback. Ahh who am I kidding — Carson Palmer will be available next season.