Jared Allen: Christian Ponder can be Vikings leader

Minnesota Vikings DE Jared Allen isn’t worried about the type of season prognosticators predict for his team or his quarterback.

“We don’t have a huge, franchise, flashy-name veteran quarterback right now, and that seems to be the formula right now,” Allen said Wednesday on “NFL AM.” “But you know, you can’t view it that way. I think every year you have a shot.”

The quarterback he does have is Christian Ponder, and while the second-year pro isn’t a flashy name, Allen believes the second-year pro will be able to lead the Vikings this season.

“He has all the ability in the world,” Allen said. “He is going to take what he’s learned this offseason and put it on the field. And can he be consistent with it? That’s what I’ve been telling him.”

Allen believes Ponder is ready to take a step forward this season.

“It’s time to take that step in being that franchise quarterback, be that leader on the team,” he said. “I think the kid’s got the right mindset to do it. He’s got the right amount of arrogance that you need to be really good in this league, and I’m excited to see what he does this year.”

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