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Percy Harvin denies having any problems with Christian Ponder

Percy HarvinPercy Harvin denies that he had any problems with former teammate Christian Ponder, contrary to a recent report. Instead, he says the two had a “great relationship.”

Harvin’s comments came during a phone interview with Suzy Kolber on ESPN’s “NFL 32″ Thursday. He was asked what went wrong with the Minnesota Vikings last season, and he took the question as an opportunity to dispute a Yahoo! Sports report that said he wanted out of Minnesota because he didn’t think Ponder was a good enough quarterback.

“My time with Minnesota was media blown,” Harvin told Kolber. “I had a great time in Minnesota. To the whole Christian Ponder thing, me and him had a great relationship. I hope he appreciated me just as much as I appreciated him. I never came out with any report saying my lack of faith in him or anything close to that. I haven’t done an interview since we inked, so I had no idea where all those reports came from.

“It was kind of disappointing to hear those reports coming out when I hadn’t done an interview since we inked. To clear all that up, me and Ponder had a great relationship. I appreciate him 100 percent and I hope he appreciated me the same as I did him.”

If Ponder is wondering where that came from, Jason Cole cited two sources who told him Harvin did not have confidence in the former Florida State quarterback.

Ponder was bothered by the report. He told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that Harvin never complained to him and that he thought they had a good relationship.

“The thing is, there’s no quote strictly from Percy that he was the one saying it,” Ponder told the Pioneer Press’ Ben Goessling. “I haven’t put too much thought into it. If that was his opinion, that’s unfortunate. But he’s a Seahawk now, so it doesn’t really matter.

“People have their opinions. There were things I could have done better (last season). But now that he’s on a different team, his opinion doesn’t really mean much.”

Going back to last June, Harvin seemed like a disgruntled player. He reportedly wanted a trade then, and he was said to have threatened to walk out on the team.

Given all his problems in Minnesota, it’s hard to take his word in the situation.

Photo credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE

Percy Harvin reportedly had no confidence in Christian Ponder

Percy Harvin has had a number of problems with the Minnesota Vikings over the past couple of seasons, many of which have remained private while others were publicized. Over the weekend, a report surfaced indicating that Harvin had told the Vikings he no longer wants to play with them. Just a few days later, he was traded to the Seattle Seahawks.

All indications were that Harvin was heading for another holdout and was bound to become a headache. According to Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, the final straw for the former Florida Gator and the team was that he had no confidence in quarterback Christian Ponder.

According to two sources, the straw that broke the Vikings’ back with Harvin is when he bemoaned the fact that quarterback Christian Ponder, a 2011 first-round pick, was not good enough. That came even though Ponder consistently fed Harvin the ball.

Harvin had 62 catches for 677 yards in eight-plus games last year before suffering a season-ending injury, so Ponder was giving him plenty of touches. That being said, Ponder’s play hit a rough patch in the middle of the season and he was largely inconsistent. No one would describe him as an elite quarterback, to say the least.

It’s also likely that Minnesota decided to deal Harvin because he is looking for a contract similar to the eight-year, $132 million deal Calvin Johnson signed with the Detroit Lions last season. Perhaps the Seahawks are willing to pay that kind of money to lock down a consistent difference-maker.

Now, it will be interesting to see if Harvin is happy in Seattle. This is a player who reportedly threatened to walk out on his team last year after hearing that a tight end from another team received a hefty contract extension. He also reportedly grabbed one of his Florida coaches by the neck during a disagreement in college, so a clear pattern of behavior has developed over the last several years. Time will tell if Pete Carroll can keep Percy happy.

Photo credit: Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE

Christian Ponder: It’s ‘depressing’ watching other teams in Super Bowl

Christian PonderOnly two teams get to participate in the Super Bowl while the other 30 teams in the league sit at home. Christian Ponder’s Minnesota Vikings reached the playoffs with a 10-6 record, but that was no consolation for him on Sunday.

Ponder sent the following tweet as he prepared to watch the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens play in the big game:

Minnesota got an MVP performance from Adrian Peterson this season and still only went 10-6 and lost in the wild-card round (Ponder was injured and did not play in the playoff game). If Ponder wants to start competing deep in the postseason, he will need to show vast improvement. In my opinion, he is nowhere near the level of the quarterbacks who led their teams to the divisional round of the playoffs. But hey, if he’s watching the game with Samantha Steele, his day can’t be all that bad.

Christian Ponder’s throwing arm heavily discolored (Picture)

Christian Ponder was held out of the Minnesota Vikings’ playoff game on Saturday with an arm injury, and now we have a chance to see how it looks.

Shari L. Gross of the Minneapolis Star Tribune shared this photo of Ponder Monday:

As you can see, the inside of Ponder’s arm is discolored around the elbow and biceps. The team said he had bursitis in his throwing elbow. Coach Leslie Frazier said Ponder had trouble raising and moving his arm Saturday, and described the elbow as tight and swollen.

After seeing this photo, who would disagree with the Vikings’ decision to hold out Ponder? Even Chipper Jones and his disgustingly bruised leg thinks that was bad.

Christian Ponder and Samantha Steele have already gotten married

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder and ESPN sideline reporter Samantha Steele are married. Yes, already. According to the Leader-Telegram, Ponder and Steele were married on Monday afternoon in a courtroom in Wisconsin. St. Croix County Court Commissioner Stephen Dunlap did the honors.

Let’s track this thing. In mid-October, Ponder confirmed the rumors that were circulating about he and Steele dating. Before long, he was sarcastically thanking her for helping the Vikings win games. Earlier this month, Steele confirmed that the two were engaged. Roughly two weeks later, Ponder and Steele have already tied the knot.

Some people just prefer to get things done quickly and quietly. As expected, Ponder and Steele have heard all kinds of speculation about why they chose to get married so quickly and not have a big wedding. Steele sent a pretty funny tweet about it on Wednesday:

When you know what you want, you know what you want. If I got the chance to date Steele I’d probably try to seal the deal as quickly as possible, too.

H/T Deadspin

Christian Ponder and Samantha Steele are engaged

Minnesota Vikings fans who blame ESPN sideline reporter Samantha Steele for Christian Ponder’s dip in production this season are not going to be happy. According to Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, Steele confirmed on Tuesday that she and Ponder are engaged.

Unless the two were dating for a long time and did a great job of keeping it a secret prior to Ponder confirming it a little over a month and ago, they moved rather quickly. If it seems like just yesterday that the Vikings quarterback was talking about how his girlfriend gives him something to brag about, that’s because it practically was.

Ponder and Steele reportedly met earlier this year on the set of ESPN’s College GameDay. After catching wind that fans were blaming his relationship with her for some of the Vikings’ misfortunes, Ponder sarcastically thanked her when Minnesota defeated the Lions. Considering he’s already given her a ring, it’s safe to say the former Florida State quarterback isn’t fazed by the opinions of others.

Christian Ponder thanks Samantha Steele after win over Lions

If Samantha Steele is one of the reasons the Minnesota Vikings lost two straight games prior to their win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday, she must have had a hand in the victory as well. Since Christian Ponder admitted that he and Steele are dating, he has had to deal with questions about whether or not their relationship has been one of the reasons his play has slipped.

On Sunday, Ponder threw for 221 yards and two touchdowns against Detroit and did not turn the ball over. He was sure to mention his lady after the 34-24 victory.

“I want to thank my girlfriend,” Ponder said according to the Star Tribune. “Because she obviously has such a big impact on how I play. Which allowed me to win. So thank you.”

While the questions about Steele affecting Ponder’s play weren’t a surprise, that doesn’t mean they are fair. Reporters always want to blame the new girlfriend if a player starts playing poorly, but people rarely credit a significant other for a good performance. For that reason, I can’t say I blame Ponder for cracking a joke instead of taking the high road.

H/T Game On!