Did Vikes Swallow Purple Drank Served By Jimbo?

One of the more unexpected picks during the NFL Draft last week was the Minnesota Vikings taking oft-injured Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder with the 12th overall selection.

When later asked why the Vikings selected Ponder, Minnesota Head Coach Leslie Frazier said:

I just felt like his character is going to get him through some of the tough days that you go through as a young quarterback in the NFL or even a veteran quarterback. That was probably the determining factor. Not just his physical talent but he is a very high character individual.”

As we know from past, colossal NFL Draft busts, any choice substantially based on a prospect’s “character” is a risk. Especially in the upper-half of the first round.

So how then did the Vikings come to the conclusion that Ponder’s character made him worthy of a 12th overall draft choice?


Without being around former Seminole QB Ponder consistently for any significant length of time, Frazier confirmed to Mike Florio Tuesday on PFT LIVE that the Vikings relied on a Florida State coaching staffed headed by coach Jimbo Fisher.

“When we went down to visit with him, Mike, and just sit down and talk with him and watch him work out, I was really impressed with his poise and leadership qualities that some of the (Florida State) coaches talked to us about and seeing how he handles himself.

“I think there’s some intangibles at that position that you have to have if you’re going to be a NFL successful quarterback.

“The mental toughness has to be there and I think you need to be a relatively bright guy who can understand concepts and be able to lead and he displayed those qualities.

“I said (at the time) if we get a chance this guy could really be who we’re looking for. Fortunately for us the opportunity came and we jumped on it.”

So with the Vikings subsequently drafting Ponder it should come as no surprise that Fisher, who has the same agent as Ponder in Jimmy Sexton, echoed Frazier’s sentiment when it came to a quarterback evaluation.


“I’ve always believed that you measure a quarterback on his bad days, not his good days. When you’re not having your best day, how do you respond? Can you stay into it and manage the game?

“He’s always in the film room studying. He’s highly intelligent. He checked every protection for us. He had the ability on every pass to check off and throw to all our guys. He’s a lot more athletic than people think.

“He’s extremely tough, competitive and he’ll put the time in. He is about winning. You combine his intangibles with his great ability, and you get a great champion.”

High praise indeed.

If only Fisher, a former quarterbacks coach at LSU, had said that about Ponder and not Fisher ex-pupil Jamarcus Russell before the 2007 NFL Draft.

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Dad Gummitt! 15,000 Tix Unsold For FSU Opener

While hawking a book the past couple weeks, Bobby Bowden has been lamenting how he was pushed out at Florida State after he’d repeatedly asked for “just one more year.”

Florida State Fans Jenn Sterger Florida State cowgirl

(Post-Bowden crowds: It’s all about quality over quantity)

That was actually the thinking when Florida State originally scheduled Bowden alma mater Samford for its home opener this Saturday. But with no Bowden, FSU fans apparently aren’t too keen on the matchup.

Sales have been so slow that FSU is partnering with local motels in a ticket discount promotion to lure fans to the game.

Motel 6, Best Western and Red Roof Inn along with other local establishments are offering cut-rate FSU tickets to non-conference home games in exchange for an overnight stay.

Andrew Carter of the ORLANDO SENTINEL reports of new Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher’s obligatory reax to the news: Read more…

Report: Bowden To Announce Retirement Tuesday

Mark Schlabach reports tonight for ESPN.com:

bobby bowden joe paterno

(World’s oldest team mascots meet for the last time)

Legendary Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, who built one of college football’s greatest dynasties in 34 seasons with the Seminoles, plans to announce his retirement Tuesday morning, sources close to the situation told ESPN.com.

Sources told ESPN.com that offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher, who was named Bowden’s eventual successor near the end of the 2007 season, has agreed to contract terms to replace Bowden after this season. The school’s booster organization would have owed Fisher $5 million if he didn’t replace Bowden by January 2011.

After a meeting with Florida State President T.K. Wetherell earlier today, Bowden was really given no choice to retire. Read more…

FSU Out $5 Million If Bowden Coaches Past 2010

Florida State has seemingly gone out of its way to let Bobby Bowden walk away on his own terms, but Bowden and the Seminoles will have quite the interesting situation on their hands if he’s not ready to walk away after the 2010 season.

Bobby Bowden

FSU hasn’t been a juggernaut as of late, and even Bowden himself has indicated that he doesn’t think the program will see a major renaissance under his watch. But he’s just two wins behind Joe Paterno on the all-time list, and JoePa is signed up for three more years at Penn State.  If Bowden wants to end his career as the wins leader, he’ll have to stick around a while. But is it worth $5 million to the university?

Read more…

Bowden “Doubts” FSU Revival Under His Watch

Bobby Bowden’s had a good run, but it looks like he’s about to hit his breaking point. After yesterday’s 45-15 loss to Florida that featured an angry Tebow, the Seminoles finished their eighth consecutive season that will see them finish outside of the national top ten.

Emeral Bowl Trophy Bobby Bowden

(Get used to winning this trophy, ‘Noles fans)

And while Bowden has always spoken his mind, a seemingly off-the-cuff remark made after yesterday’s game might indicate that Bobby’s coaching career might be winding down. Why else would he say that FSU’s “revival” isn’t likely to happen under his watch?

Read more…