“Who’s the quarterback?”

Recently, I’ve seen a lot of link-sharing on Facebook, specifically referencing Christian Ponder’s sudden (and what many try to describe as ‘overbearing’) involvement with the Vikings team and staff. Personally, I think it’s a great way for the rookie to earn respect from veteran players and take initiative in his position as possible starter QB. As a soon-to-be lieutenant, I’m constantly reminded on how valuable PT is to subordinates. There’s not much else that bonds a team than hard, physical challenge and friendly competition, which is exactly what Ponder has harnessed.

The guy is confident, and who wouldn’t be after being picked 12th overall in the 2011 draft.

Which got me to thinking, how important is the bond between the QB and the rest of the team? Many of you can remember Favre’s last couple years with the Jets and the Vikings.

During his time with the Jets he was treated like a celebrity, a Godsend, a guy who practically got his own office adjacent to the locker room. Everyone knows that the team started off pretty strong, 8-3, looking towards the future, towards a superbowl appearance. But the 1-4 finish wasn’t because of pressure, it was because the team fell apart when Favre went to the coaching staff to complain about his offense, and how he wanted to throw the ball more.

True, he did want to throw it more. But not a lot of people really expected him to throw it to the other team…nine times (except for bitter Packer fans).

Then he went to the Vikings, and miraculously clicked with the team, which almost resulted in an NFC Championship. But was it really because of the QB? What made this year different from last year? Same chemistry, same players.

Personally, I wouldn’t count on the relationship being as important as one may think. In order to be a good leader, you need to learn how to lead through inspiration. No offensive coordinator in the world is going to be able to secure a solid play every single time, or guarantee QB protection. It comes down to the players, we all knew that. And Ponder seems to be offering up that inspiration, despite his rookie tendencies.

So what makes Ponder different from Alex Smith of the 49ers? He allegedly held the same type of workouts (although he’s not technically with the team anymore) with veteran players. But when one player, Michael Crabtree (RB), was questioned on his relationship with the QB, he responded:

“Who’s the Quarterback?”

Not surprising, seeing as how the 49ers are in the exact same position as the Vikings, just drafting QB Colin Kaepernick in April. But that got me to thinking, does it matter?

“Whoever the quarterback is, I’m gonna do my job. I’m going to do the best I can to get whatever he needs. You know what I’m saying? That’s just how it’s going to be. I’m not one-sided. I’m for whoever’s the quarterback.”

It’ll be an interesting experiment to watch, Vikings versus the 49ers, seeing which QBs make the cut, why, and whether or not the team responds to them. Because history has proven time and time how the rise of the perfect quarterback can be halted by being blamed for the downfall of a team.

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