Welcome to Around the Horns, our daily look at what's happening on the Vikings beat:
Perhaps the most revealing moment of Christian Ponder's Wednesday news conference came when he was asked about the Vikings' play call 3rd-on and-4 from the Bears' six-yard line last Sunday. On the play, Adrian Peterson was stuffed for no gain and the Vikings had to kick a field goal, rather than putting the game away with just more than three minutes left.
Did Ponder have the option to check to a pass on the play? "I did not," Ponder said.
That admission, after Ponder had consistently moved the Vikings throughout the second half, was a strike against offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, according to Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Instead of putting the game away and restoring some confidence in Ponder before the Vikings' home opener, Reusse writes, Musgrave chose to play it safe.
"Ponder’s teammates appeared to be at the height of confidence in him," Reusse writes. "Clearly, it was an attitude that Musgrave didn’t share. He ordered a Peterson run -- with no option for Ponder to use a QB’s better judgment."
Ponder said the Vikings wanted to make sure they got points -- their field goal put them up six points -- and reminded reporters the team has "the best running back in the league." That's true, but Ponder also said the Vikings made the decision to make sure "nothing crazy" happened on the play. The quarterback certainly isn't playing anywhere near the level to command the trust from the Vikings the game's best quarterbacks get from their teams, but as Reusse writes, that might have started to change if Ponder had been given the chance to come through and made the most of it.
Here are today's other Vikings stories of note:
In light of the Browns' decision to trade Trent Richardson, we revisited the 2012 draft-day trade where Cleveland sent three picks to the Vikings to move up and draft Richardson -- and how the Vikings used that trade to acquire several key pieces of their team. We also examined Greg Jennings' breakdown of Ponder's interception on Sunday, which the receiver was more willing to talk about than the "Packers suck" inscription he might or might not have added to his autograph for a fan this week.
Jared Allen is at peace in the final year of his contract, according to Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.