It has been reported that Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier has decided Josh Freeman will be the starter Monday night against the (0-6) New York Giants. Christian Ponder will be considered Freeman’s backup followed by Matt Cassel.
Is it possible for Freeman to get ready to take over the starting role in a week in a half? Are the Vikings desperate?
Freeman seems to have a bit of a head start in the learning process. He used the Vikings’ system at Kansas State, where he played for Ron Prince, who worked side by side with Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave at Virginia. The Vikings coaching staff believes bringing out the new addition to the team and unraveling the immediate future is the way to go against a struggling Giants team.
Freeman may not be the future in Minnesota, but he has a chance to prove his worth and possibly take over full time. Nonetheless, the team will need to plan for the future with Ponder out of the equation. This is the move of a desperate team in need of a spark to turn the season around.
If the Freeman experiment doesn’t work out, watch the team sign a free agent after the season. I think it is more likely the team drafts a guy they believe can develop into a long term starter. Whatever the case, that is a long time from now and it looks as if Freeman will be the short term fix to the problem.
Matt Cassel underperformed last week against the Panthers, throwing two interceptions that were flat out bad decisions. Adrian Peterson was held to only ten carries on an emotional day for the All-Pro. I expected Peterson to get a majority of the carries, but the defense dug the team in a hole early and the offense was forced to throw the ball. Unfortunately this was unsuccessful, resulting in the 35-10 loss.
The offense has put a large burden on the defense. Constantly punting and unsuccessfully moving the ball down the field has put the time of possession in favor of the opposing team. The Vikings defense has struggled to stop offenses on third down. Against Carolina, penalties and bad coverage resulted in many scoring drives for the Panthers. The Vikings offense looked completely out of sync Sunday.
I’m most interested to see Freeman make plays outside of the pocket. Neither Ponder or Cassel were able to get things moving on the ground. Ponder has surprised many this season with a lack of success. Some players are back ups and they will always be needed in that role.
Sorry Christian. Sam Ponder isn’t a bad consolation though, keep your head up kid.
Read more Vikings rumors, news and opinion on our Minnesota Vikings page