Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Harvin First Shoe to Fall in Vikings' Ponder Myopia

Minnesota Vikings' head coach Leslie Frazier is fighting his first rebellion against his decision to stick with quarterback Christian Ponder.  Wide-receiver/running back Percy Harvin has gone from doubtful for two straight weeks following an ankle injury to out last week to potentially out for the remainder of the season.

Asked Wednesday whether there were issues outside of the injury that could be influencing the now greatly extended return of the Vikings' star receiver, Frazier replied that "there could be some things--we'll just have to wait and see."  Asked to clarify whether it was a personality issue, Frazier stated that he did "not want to go into it."

The word on the street is that the issue is two-fold.  The first is that Harvin is grossly underpaid compared to his wide-receiving peers.  The other is that Harvin continues to protest Ponder's role as starting quarterback on the club.  The emphasis appears to be on the latter.

Frazier clearly is stuck in this dilemma.  He has committed to toeing the company line and presumably feels obligated to compel his players to do the same--no matter how objective the players might be in their assessment.

While it is rare that a player would find support for calling out a coaching staff, Harvin's reported criticism of the team's continuing support of Ponder is wholly understandable.  Ponder has been brutal.  More significantly, however, Ponder's poor performances diminish fellow players' contract prospects and health.  At some point, a voice of reason is required within the inner circle.  Frazier may elect to punish that, but, sooner rather than later, Frazier will be the one punished by loss of his job.

Statistic of the Day:  Christian Ponder has a QB PAA of -12.4.  QB PAA rates QBs versus a generic replacement quarterback.  Ponder ranks second lowest among NFL starters.  Peyton Manning ranks number one in the league with a 57.8 score.

Up Next:  Is This Frazier's Moss Moment?  Plus, Vikings' front office struggling to rehabilitate Ponder in public and behind the scenes.

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