FanPost

Is It Time For EJ?

Please, let me preface this by saying I already know what your initial reaction will be. "You are putting way to much stock into a few plays, without properly diagnosing the entire body of work." Even though this is being written in the immediate aftermath of the NC State loss, I assure you this is not the case. I believe that Ponder is an excellent game-manager and a good passer, but I do not believe he is our best option at quarterback right now.

We all know that Ponder is as tough as they come at the position, but while toughness can be a good thing, I believe it can also harm a team. We've all seen that linebacker who stayed on the field with a concussion and became a liability to the defense, or that pitcher who's hurting, but stays in long enough to give up the game losing home-run. I'm sure you've noticed the running trend here, injuries effect a players performance no matter how tough they are.

I admit, I have no experience playing football at the collegiate level (if you do, please add to the discussion), but I played many sports at a high level from Grade School through High School. I was taught to be tough and how to play with injuries, but I always knew that the coach would pull me if my injuries became a distraction. A player can only think about so many things at one time, and if you have any significant injury, your thinking about it (putting it out of mind is just a cliche).  The key point to remember is that a coach must know when it's time to pull a player and let them heal.

Bud and many others have referenced on this site that something seems to be off with Ponder. I believe that it starts with his injuries, which he readily admits to. Tonight (as well as every game this year) I watched him miss throws that he never missed last year. Not everything can be blamed on the receivers (though they have their own problems). Aside from that, many have noticed that he does not look comfortable passing from the pocket (and not all of that can be placed on the O Line). When a player is injured, their natural instinct is to shy away from contact, and that can and will hurt a team. I feel the need to throw in some obligatory stats here: through 8 games, Christian Ponder has a grand total of 1 game with more then 200 passing yards (and that was against a horrendous Wake defense). My diagnosis- that's not good.

Make no mistake about it, Christian Ponder's injuries are bringing this offense down, and Jimbo Fisher is in danger of letting his loyalty cost this team games.

*Edit* The author of this article is NOT implying that Fisher should shut Ponder down for good, but rather that he should sit for a week or two to heal his injuries. Hence, the entire point of the article that injuries are keeping Ponder from being Ponder.

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