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Ponder Confident Heading Into Make-Or-Break Season

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 4: Christian Ponder #7 of the Minnesota Vikings throws under pressure from Jason Hunter of the Denver Broncos in the first quarter on December 4, 2011 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – DECEMBER 4: Christian Ponder #7 of the Minnesota Vikings throws under pressure from Jason Hunter of the Denver Broncos in the first quarter on December 4, 2011 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

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JON KRAWCZYNSKI, AP Sports Writer

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — Christian Ponder says he’s feeling confident heading into what could be a make-or-break season for the young Minnesota Vikings quarterback.

Ponder is entering his second full season as a starter. The former first-round draft pick has been up and down early in his career. But the Vikings believe he is poised for a breakout season in 2013.

Ponder was spotty in brief action this preseason, but coach Leslie Frazier says he sees a player who is more comfortable in a leadership role. If he continues to struggle, the Vikings brought in veteran Matt Cassell to give them an option on the bench.

The Vikings open the regular season on Sunday at Detroit.

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AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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