Turner's reputation influenced Ponder

Christian Ponder said Norv Turner is already exceeding expectations among offensive players, and Turner's reputation brought instant respect.

Christian Ponder is still uncertain about his long-term future with the Minnesota Vikings – if there even is one – but the reputation of offensive coordinator Norv Turner played a role in re-invigorating Ponder.

With three decades of experience as an NFL coach, Turner inspired "a lot" of respect among Vikings players, according to Ponder, and has already exceeded their expectations.

"Knowing he's one of the best offensive coordinators in the league, and that's why he got a head coaching job and that's why he's been doing this thing for so long, everyone had high expectations for him and this offense coming in and he's already exceeded them," Ponder said. "I think the amount that he's already helped out with everybody has been great and some of this stuff is hard. It's a lot of offense, it's a lot of verbiage to spit out and a lot of responsibility on the ‘O,' but guys are doing a great job picking it up and it's going to help us this year."

Ponder, born in 1988, grew up in Texas, where Turner's reputation took off as offensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys dynasty from 1991-93. But, interestingly, Ponder didn't grow up a fan of the Cowboys. He was a fan of the Denver Broncos – that and his young age at the time meant he didn't know of Turner then.

Now, of course, Ponder knows all about the credentials the 62-year-old Turner carries, whether that's as a coordinator with the Cowboys, Chargers, Dolphins, 49ers and Browns or as a head coach with the Redskins, Raiders and Chargers.

"First meeting he was (with the Vikings), we knew that he knew what he was talking about. He had confidence in this offense," Ponder said. "He explained to us that he's tweaked this offense over the last couple decades and made it the best that it is. He said he's still learning and fixing things. But he's got a great reputation with us and we're excited to see what's going to happen this year."

It will be the first time Ponder will be outside of a Bill Musgrave-led offense since the quarterback was a first-round draft pick in 2011. The schemes and the personalities couldn't be much different between Musgrave and Turner.

Turner is implementing a numbers system; Musgrave's was simpler in scheme and terminology. Musgrave is a quiet guy; Turner appears that way off the field but has shown time and again he isn't afraid to be boisterous on the field.

"He is (vocal). A lot of the coaches are like that. On the field, they're one way. Off the field, they're nice," Ponder said. "But I like it. It brings a lot of intensity to the game. He's got very high expectations for our performance on the field and he makes sure we know it. He's not going to accept a mistake and he's going to get it corrected. So, it's good for everybody."

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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