Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 10/26/11
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Vikings rookie quarterback Christian Ponder is taking aim at the rest of the NFL. Hes just not sure if the act should be a part of his touchdown celebration. After what he thought was his first professional touchdown on Sunday, a 72-yard pass to receiver Michael Jenkins on the first play of the game, Ponder simulated shooting a pair of six-shooters into the air. Asked if it was his going to be his go-to move after scores, the rookie said he was just trying things out. What do you think? Ponder asked during Wednesdays press conference. Is that a keeper? Most people tweeted at me that that was a keeper. I dont know. We will see. Well go with the flow. Asked where the idea came from, Ponder wasnt sure and said the act was similar to a scene from the move Happy Gilmore. I think it was more of a Shooter McGavin, Happy Gilmore deal, but I dont know, Ponder said. Dont ask me. Ponder is adapting quickly to life as an NFL quarterback and doing it with an ease rarely seen from a first-year player thrust into such a critical position. During Wednesdays meeting with the media, the easy-going Ponder accepted responsibility for a few missed plays on first and second downs and said he had to learn from his two interceptions. He also deftly handled a question about the team waiving veteran receiver Bernard Berrian on Tuesday. I didnt really have much of a reaction, Ponder said. Coach (Leslie) Frazier had done a really good job of keeping distractions away from us and kind of staying the course. Coach Frazier handled that deal and I think he handled it well. Ponder also displayed a comfortable side, joking with the media several times. With Ponder at quarterback the Vikings took several shots downfield. Ponder completed just 13 of his 32 pass attempts on Sunday, but had 219 yards and two touchdowns. When asked if he had earned the trust from coaches to going downfield so often, Ponder joked, I think its just because I have a rocket arm. Asked if he had found a spot for the ball from his first touchdown pass to Visanthe Shiancoe, Ponder said he still didnt have it and was going to, go on a search throughout the equipment room to find it. Immediately after the touchdown to Shiancoe, Ponder ran up to the veteran tight end and asked for the ball. Shiancoe had no choice but to give it to me, Ponder said. It might end up next to my pillow and Ill be sleeping with it every night. Filled with excitement, Ponder also said he had warmed up too early for Sundays game. I was icing my arm before the game even started, Ponder said. I was definitely nervous. There were definitely some butterflies in the air. It was good just to get that under the belt and out of the way. You live and learn. Im not going to be throwing 500 balls before a game anymore. The calm, confident Ponder that stood at the podium Wednesday might be an example of what intrigued the Vikings enough to make him the No. 12 overall pick in Aprils draft. Ponders demeanor could also be one reason why Frazier was ready to turn to him as the starting quarterback for the present and future after just six NFL games. Ponders approach since arriving in Minnesota just confirmed what Frazier thought he was seeing from Ponder before the draft. Frazier credited how Ponder handled adversity at Florida State, dealing with injuries and, at times, less than elite receivers. That mental toughness along with his athletic ability and as smart as he is, you get a feel for how is going to handle adversity at our level, Frazier said. He hasnt been disappointing in that situation. Sunday was evidence of it. After throwing a couple of picks, bouncing back the way he did he showed that mental toughness that you have to have to succeed in our league. That was displayed at times in college; that he had some tough times, but he bounced back and he didnt seem to get fazed by difficult situations. Thats something you cant measure necessarily through a 40-yard dash or vertical jump at the combine. Thats something internal that a guy has to have. Now he needs a proper touchdown celebration.
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