Freeman done trying to analyze QB situation

Josh Freeman somehow avoided the appearance or implication that he is frustrated with his situation in Minnesota, but he said he is done trying to figure out why he isn't starting yet. Meanwhile, Leslie Frazier says this week's opponent, the Green Bay Packers, was a factor in the decision, and yet the statistics for Ponder and Freeman vs. Green Bay would lean toward a different conclusion.

Josh Freeman continues to put in the extra time behind the scenes, hoping that one day soon he will be named the starter of the Minnesota Vikings.

Until that day – which many figured would be coming this week before head coach Leslie Frazier announced otherwise – Freeman said he is done trying to figure out the quarterback situation.

"Hey, I gave up on that. I'm just working," Freeman said. "No, it's been great. I've just been focusing on football. I had a chance to really … there's no distractions, no anything. You just get to sit and focus. I get my Beats (headphones) bumping in the QB room, just sitting there and just jamming and watch tape and take notes. It's great. It's great."

Freeman, surprisingly, doesn't seem salty about Frazier's decision to name Christian Ponder the starting quarterback once again. That came despite Frazier admitting he wasn't sure where Ponder was throwing the ball on his fourth-quarter interceptions against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, which led many to believe Frazier had enough with Ponder's inconsistency.

Perhaps Freeman is simply maturing and getting used to the unpredictable ways of the NFL.

"I could probably say maybe my first couple years in the league (might not have been so accepting)," he said. "But at the same time, I like to consider myself fairly rational and can evaluate the situation and what's going on. I think that the best thing for, honestly everybody, but especially for me, is to be the best me that I can be. Things that are out of my control, I'm done with those."

Freeman, of course, has had his share of struggles this year, too. He was labeled a problem player with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as they struggled at the beginning of the season with him as their starter.

Eventually, Bucs coach Greg Schiano had enough, benching Freeman after three games – he completed only 45.7 percent of his passes for 571 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions – and releasing him after four games.

But Frazier said what he heard about Freeman's attitude doesn't mesh with what he's seen from him.

"In some ways, based on the information that we received, he's exceeded (expectations)," Frazier said. "He's been all in, he's been a professional in everything we've asked him to do. I like the way he handles himself in the pocket, in the meetings, in the locker room. Much better than some things that we had heard."

Still, Frazier said he believes Ponder offers the Vikings the best chance to win this Sunday at Lambeau Field, referencing his play against the Packers in the past and the venue.

Freeman has started against the Packers twice, winning one and losing one with the Bucs. He has completed 60.9 percent of his passes for 547 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions for a 91.9 rating. In 2011 at Lambeau Field, a 35-26 loss for the Bucs, Freeman completed 28 of 38 passes (73.7 percent) for 342 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions and a 96.6 rating. He also faced Green Bay in Tampa as a rookie and completed 14 of 31 passes (45.2 percent) for 205 yards, three touchdowns, one interception and an 86.1 rating.

Ponder, meanwhile, has a 1-4 record against the Packers, completing 59.7 percent of his passes for 907 yards, six touchdowns and five interceptions and a 70.7 rating.

Last year showed just how erratic he can be, even facing the same team. At Green Bay on Dec. 2, Ponder completed 12 of 25 passes (48 percent) for 119 yards, one touchdown, one interception and a 41.9 rating. Four weeks later, in the friendlier confines of the Metrodome, he completed 16 of 28 passes (57.1 percent for 234 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and a 120.2 rating. It was easily the best rating of his career and led to his only win in the series.

"The coaching staff, Leslie, they feel like Christian is the best option. Like I said, it's not my job to dispute that," Freeman said. "It's my job to go out and work as hard as I can."

Freeman maintains that he doesn't regret signing with the Vikings in early October, despite starting only game since then and with free agency pending after this season.

Right now, he says, he's not disappointed, but he is frustrated with how things have turned out for the team.

"Like everyone in the building, frustrated at the record and the circumstances right now, but at the same time just continue every day," he said. "We're just locking in on football and just grinding. Everybody is keeping it upbeat and we feel like once we can get a win here in Green Bay that we can get something rolling."


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

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