Vikings QB Ponder Talks Fatherhood, New Role As Backup

Updated: 07/22/2014 11:16 PM
Created: 07/22/2014 11:15 PM
By: Chris Long, KSTP

Christian Ponder has a very different point-of-view as he enters his fourth season in the NFL.

"It's different when you're the starter and when you're not," Ponder says. "There is going to be a different feel to it."

After losing his starting job to Matt Cassel amid struggles last season, Ponder faces a training camp without a likely shot at starting for the first time since his rookie season.

"People say they'll approach it the same, but you can't. If you're not starting, you can't approach it the same way," he admits.

Despite shifting down the depth chart, Ponder is still preparing to fill whatever role the team needs.

"It's a way to get better," he says. "I'll learn from the coaches, watch Matt (Cassel) and Teddy (Bridgewater) and always be prepared. It's a crazy game. You never know what'll happen as the season goes."

Shifting to backup QB isn't the only new challenge for Ponder this preseason.

He and his wife Samantha welcomed their first child - daughter Bowden Sainte-Claire a couple weeks ago.

The first name is an obvious nod to his college coach, former and legendary Florida State mentor Bobby Bowden. The middle name matches Samantha's, which is also a tribute to her grandmother.

"He actually called me when he heard about it," Ponder said when asked if he'd talked to the elder Bowden about the tribute. "It was actually (Samantha's) idea."

"Fatherhood's great," Ponder beamed. "I may not be getting as much sleep as I'm used to getting but it's been awesome."

As he prepared for that role, the words he used almost fit perfectly with preparing to take the field as an NFL quarterback.

"It's funny," he laughs. "You try to prepare as much as you can - I think I've read three books already - but until you're in there changing diapers yourself?"

Christian Ponder

Front Page

  • Butternut Man Charged with 1st-Degree Homicide in Toddler's Death

    A Butternut man has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the death of his girlfriend's 2-year-old child. According to the criminal complaint, the man brought the child to the hospital in full respiratory arrest, and the child died the next day. A forensic exam revealed evidence of child abuse.

  • Duluth Man Arrested in Connection With Armed Robbery

    Police say they arrested a 23-year-old Duluth man suspected of robbing another man at knife point on Monday. Police say the suspect has four other convictions in Minnesota from 2011 and 2012. No one was injured, and the suspect is being held at the St. Louis County Jail.

  • Sex Offender Released in Ashland

    Ashland authorities want the public to know about a sex offender who is being released in Ashland on Tuesday. They say Madison committed second-degree sexual assault of a child in 2009. He will be living on West Lake Shore Drive.

  • Crews Taking Down 61-Year-Old Duluth TV Tower

    Work crews are taking down one of the oldest towers on Duluth's Observation Hill and began to lower heavy pieces of steel on Tuesday.

  • Cell Tower Permit for Chester Park Tabled Again

    Duluth's Planning Commissioners voted 3-3 to table a special request permit Tuesday that would allow for a Sprint cell phone monopole tower near the old ski jump in Chester Park.