Sep 22, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Cleveland Browns linebacker Barkevious Mingo (51) sacks Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (7) in the third quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Browns win 31-27. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Christian Ponder told to 'suck it up' by quarterbacks coach Craig Johnson

To say Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder has struggled so far in the 2013 season would be an understatement — he’s thrown five interceptions to only two touchdowns — and it appears that Minnesota fans are losing their patience. While running back Adrian Peterson made it clear that he supports Ponder despite the criticism, quarterbacks coach Craig Johnson has a slightly different tough-love message:

The bottom line is — and he knows this — if you do not win the game, you’re getting the blame. That’s just the way it is. Suck it up. You’re no different than quarterbacks in every other part of the country. When you lose, you’re getting the blame. That’s part of the deal (USA Today Sports).

Johnson continued:

He’s got to push through. At the end of the day, we’ve had the opportunity in the end of the game to have a chance to close it out, and we’ve got to do that. He’s done that (before). We’ve got to do it. Period.

Hopefully Johnson’s harsh-but-true words will help light a fire under the struggling quarterback. Ponder is currently 21st in the NFL in passing yards and a woeful 30th in passer rating.

The 0-3 Vikings will take on the 0-3 Pittsburgh Steelers this upcoming Sunday.

[Source: USA Today Sports]

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