Originally written on Vikings Digital Diaries  |  Last updated 6/21/13
As the Vikings shift their focus towards the 2013 season this week with mandatory Organized Team Activities, expectations are higher than ever. For a team that posted a franchise best turn around in their record (going 3-13 in 2011 to 10-6 in 2012), the internal bar is set to a repeat performance and great, making the playoffs and advancing. But not everyone is convinced. As a recent Vikings.com article pointed out, pundits in the national media have identified the Vikings as a team that's not expected to even have a winning record in 2013 (an over/under on wins is set at 7.5), to the only NFC team to not make a repeat appearance in the playoffs. For a team that only got better as the 2012 season wore on, such a step back would be surprising to Vikings fans and personnel alike. But if you ask Vikings linebacker, Chad Greenway, what will prevent that reversion, he smiles and instantly brings up quarterback Christian Ponder as a player who has advanced since last year, and shown enough improvement to help the team do even better than last year. "Christian is going to take a big step this year" Greenway said in a recent interview, "Yes, a VERY big step! He's such a smart little guy, isn't he?! Who's big? You are!! You're SOOOO BIIIGG!" Greenway isn't the only person who has seen improvement in Ponder this offseason. Ask head coach Leslie Frazier who has changed the most in the past year, and he jumps straight to Ponder, too. "Oh, Christian has definitely changed, definitely most different," the coach says. "You should see how big he's grown, in just a year! He's already out there walking around now, all on his own, no adult to lean on or anything. And he's almost forming words now, too, almost able to call a real play in the huddle. I mean, he still gets some of his sounds mixed up, which is why you'll see him try to hand a ball off to Peterson to the left, when Peterson heard that the play was to go right, but that's expected development for such a young kid. We call them growing pains, at home. But man, they grow up so fast, don't they?" Even the rookies have taken notice. First year receiver, and first round pick, Cordarelle Patterson, recently talked about his experience working with Ponder during this team activities. As a neophyte himself, he knows he's the young pup of the crowd. As such, he's looked to Ponder in awe. "It's amazing, really," Patterson said after a recent practice. "You look around and you see these grizzled old men, these veteran NFL players like Adrian Peterson, Kevin Williams, Jared Allen, and they're just so scary and intimidating, especially to a baby faced player like me. And then you get to work with Ponder, and it's like he's more open, you know? More innocent to the game, almost. Always smiling, oo-ing and aw-ing at things, just like I am. It makes him really relatable." Time will tell if Ponder really is the key development for the team during this offseason that will lead them to success next year. But If anyone would be able to do it, even Adrian Peterson thinks it would be Ponder. "Last year, in his second year, we called them the 'Terrible Twos'," Peterson shared, "Because it was his second year, and that was as far as he could throw it, two yards. But in his third year? Hey, he's got big boy diapers on now. He's got to be potty trained. Time to lose the pacifier, stop sucking your mommy's tit, and play some big boy football. I'd like to give him some advice on how to take that next step, but I never had to. I was always playing at this level, so I don't know what to say. Stop being a baby, I guess." We'll see if those sage words pay off. *NOTE: This is satire! People - for the most part - did not actually say this. Don't sue us. [follow]
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Former USC linebacker suing school over insurance policy

Report: Fred Jackson expected to sign with Seahawks

Adrian Peterson accused of fathering another child out of wedlock

Robert Griffin III liked fan’s Instagram post trashing Redskins

Report: Tom Brady may have been ‘open’ to one-game suspension

Fenway Park staff reportedly confiscating Don Orsillo signs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Clippers’ owner Steve Ballmer betting on himself

Titans' Marcus Mariota: ‘Statistics don’t matter to me’

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

FSU names Everett Golson starting QB for 2015

UCLA's Adams arrested for suspicion of felony robbery

AJ Green heading for contract stalemate with Bengals?

Do the Washington Nationals need to fire Matt Williams?

Most surprising developments from 2015 NFL preseason

Herschel Walker supports Trump’s candidacy for president

WATCH: Kevin Kiermaier robs Manny Machado home run shot

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Caroline Wozniacki smoking on cover of ‘Rhapsody’ magazine

Could Robert Griffin III be the NFL’s next Steve Young?

Spurrier: SEC fans right to be upset with Ohio State's schedule

Report: 'Deranged' fan shot outside WWE building

Report: Brady convinced Harbaugh to return to Michigan

Ronda Rousey gets Venice mural from artist Jonas Never

Redskins TE wants to know who's leaking stories to ESPN

WWE superstar's girlfriend fired over Nazi Instagram posts

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

Caroline Wozniacki smoking cover of ‘Rhapsody’

Everett Golson named FSU's starting QB

Urban Meyer won't announce QB before season

Teammates relieved RG3 was benched?

Five NFL teams that should trade for Robert Griffin III

10 takeaways from Week 3 of the NFL preseason

Cubs' Jake Arrieta no-hits the Dodgers

Chicago Bears release Tim Jennings

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker