Welcome to Around the Horns, our daily look at what's happening on the Vikings beat:
There is no shortage of opinions or commentary when it comes to Christian Ponder. The third-year Vikings quarterback said on Wednesday that he tries to tune out many of the outside opinions, and had a little fun when talking about ESPN's Ron Jaworski putting him 27th in his preseason QB rankings. Ponder said the ranking was "probably rightfully so, with how I've played," and then did a little mock grumbling about us ESPN types.
"I know (how they are)," he joked before mentioning his wife, ESPN college football reporter Samantha Ponder. "I'm married to one."
Add former NFL GMs Jerry Angelo and Mike Tannenbaum to those weighing in on Ponder. They shared differing opinions of the quarterback with the St. Paul Pioneer Press today; Tannenbaum said he's seen positive signs, while Angelo offered some pointed criticism of Ponder.
"He's not a natural," Angelo said, "and the more you ask him to do, the more he'll look like a robot. There are too many times when he has to make a play and nothing happens."
The most common criticism of Ponder is that he doesn't have a natural feel for what to do when pressure comes, or a strong belief in his ability to make the tough throws. We're going to get into Ponder's progression some more later this morning, but Angelo's assessment certainly fits into the spectrum of what many people think could hold Ponder back. The 25-year-old will get his chance on Sunday to begin proving the doubters wrong.
Here are today's other Vikings stories of note:
We looked at how different Leslie Frazier's approach to Antoine Winfield's retirement is from how the Vikings treated a certain prominent retired player a few years ago, and discussed what an obvious conclusion it was that the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority signed off on the Wilf family's finances, allowing progress on the Vikings' new stadium to continue.
Sharrif Floyd is ready to return from knee surgery and make his NFL debut on Sunday, writes Chad Graff of the Pioneer Press.
The Vikings won't need to give money back to the NFL and lower their blackout threshhold to make sure their first home games are on TV like they did last year, according to Brian Murphy of the Pioneer Press.
Trying to talk Winfield out of retirement is a no-brainer, says Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com.
The Vikings can't expect the same kinds of seasons in 2013 as they got in 2012, according to Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com.