October 17, 2012: Behind Enemy Lines
Quarterback Christian Ponder was the 12th overall pick in 2011 out of Florida State.
Sunday, he makes his 17th NFL start and comes into the game ranked second with a 68.6 completion percentage.
He spoke to those of us in the local media on a conference call earlier:
on his progression
I think I've made a pretty big progression. The difference between this year and last year is so different. Last year was an interesting year with the lockout and everything. You're not having OTAs and mini-camp, and through the preseason they were obviously trying to get Donovan (McNabb) ready. My first start was against Green Bay, and obviously I loved getting that start and I loved the experience I got last year. I was disappointed in the way that I played. I wish I would have played better, and I definitely cost our team some wins last year. I think, ultimately, after last year, it's made me a better quarterback this year. The time I spent in the offseason watching the film of myself last year and seeing how many mistakes I made that were so easily correctable, and I spent the time with the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach watching that film and trying to work on our reads and doing a bunch of stuff. I just feel a lot more confident and comfortable doing it this year, and I think it's paid off.
on O'Brien Schofield
They have a number of guys that are able to get to the quarterback between him and Calais (Campbell) and Daryl Washington. We're going to have a tough job on our hands to be able to protect. Our offensive line is going to have to do a good job. A lot of guys are getting to the quarterback and they're using good hands. Everyone's athletic. It's going to be tough for us. Those are guys that we've kind of singled out that we're going to have to protect against.
on Cardinals defense
I definitely think the unique scheme, especially what they do on third down. There's a lot of different stuff that they do, but they're very good at what they do. A lot of times when you see teams that show a bunch of different looks, they aren't really sound in what they do, but they're really sound in what they do and they have a lot of good players. They're a very tough defense, and it's going to be a tough challenge for us as an offense.
on Vikings, Cardinals early success
I think we both suspect that we're really good teams. Obviously we've made jumps from last year to this year, and I think as the Minnesota Vikings, we expect that this will continue and thta we're going to be playing in the playoffs. I assume that that's exactly what the Cardinals think as well. They have a great defense that's going to keep them in it, and their offense has come together as well, especially the running game last week looked good against Buffalo. They're going to keep getting better and keep stringing wins together, and that's kind of what we suspect as well.