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Greenway: "Christian Is Going To Take A Big Step This Year"

Posted Jun 18, 2013

Christian Ponder

Things are going in the right direction at Winter Park.

Leslie Frazier’s team is coming off its 3rd playoff appearance in 5 seasons and authored the greatest single-season win improvement in team history by going from 3 wins in 2011 to 10 in 2012. GM Rick Spielman followed one of the best drafts in team history in 2012 with a draft that features three 1st-round picks in 2013. The receiving corps got a boost from the addition of Greg Jennings. TE Kyle Rudolph is a budding star. And the reigning MVP appears to be better than ever.

But there are still doubters out there. Many of those not within the Vikings covenant question whether or not the Purple will make it back to the postseason in 2013. NFL.com’s Elliot Harrison pointed to the Chicago Bears as the biggest challengers to Green Bay’s standing atop the division, and most sports books have set the over/under on the Vikings win total at 7.5. ESPN’s Mark Schlereth, who singled out the Vikings as the lone NFC playoff team from last year who will not return to the playoffs this year, tried to speak for all Vikings fans in saying this: “I think they believe…Christian Ponder, I don’t know if he can do it. They’ve lost some weapons on the offensive side of the ball. I think they had a great draft. Adrian Peterson, can he have that productive of a season again? I don’t think so. I’m going to put (the) Vikings out.”

One person who is not a doubter of the Vikings, though, is LB Chad Greenway. Appearing on NFL Network’s NFL AM, Greenway was asked “where most of the improvement will need to come from for the team to return to the playoffs next season.”

Said Greenway: “We have to continue our running game on offense, obviously. Christian [Ponder] is going to take that next big step for us this year. Defensively we just have to continue to get better against the pass, continue to get off the field in critical situations; third down and long – really any third down. And then be great in two-minute. That’s really the biggest difference.”

Pressed further on his team’s QB, Greenway reiterated his confidence in the 3rd-year signal-caller.

“He’s going to be a key cog in what we’re trying to do to get back to the playoffs,” Greenway said. “Not only that, but obviously take us to the next level. Adrian has done this for many years and he’s carried the load before; he carried the load last year. We all know how capable he is of doing that, so Adrian is going to do what he does. Our running game has continued to get better year in and year out. Christian is going to take a big step this year, we all feel that way. He’s proven that out here on the field in this offseason and he’s going to continue to grow just like he did throughout the season last year.”